Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ponies to pope: Pay up!

A battle has been brewing between the pope and the ponies at Australia's Randwick racecourse, where Benedict XVI is to celebrate World Youth Day with about 500,000 young people next summer. Originally, local church officials had said the racecourse would be out of action for 10 weeks; now they say it will be just three days, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, and they aren't paying for anything beyond that.

Trainers, with their 700 horses and the support staff that go with them, are balking, saying the church is offering insufficient compensation and no alternative sites for training and housing. "Possession is nine-tenths of the law. If there is no one paying for the floats and no one willing to look at compensation or exercise responsibility, we'll look after our responsibilities and wish them well," said trainer's association president Anthony Cummings.

Call out the Swiss Guard?

Of course--and I realize this is going to be a very unpopular opinion--I've never really understood the purpose of gathering a million kids to "see" the pope. It seems overly expensive and even a little dangerous. Does it really have lasting benefit?

I know I'm going to get lacquered for this one. How can I be against WYD? Have it at.


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