WYD – The Edited Highlights

27 July 2008

Now that World Youth Day has come and gone, I think it’s about time we looked at what I thought were the highlights of this Catholic Woodstock, as I’ve seen it referred to a few times.

There was Cardinal Pell getting his knickers in a twist at every available opportunity.   Some of this was just downright immoral and revolting (when talking about child abuse by Catholic priests) and some rather bizarre.  The Pope gave a press conference on the flight over here to talk about climate change and the world’s responsibilities.  The Cardinal, interviewed on ABC’s Lateline that night, said (and I really do quote), “I’m a bit of a sceptic about the claim that human activity is likely to produce a man-made catastrophe”.   Well, I learnt something there.  I’d always assumed that’s why it’s called “man-made”.

Randwick Racecourse (re-named Southern Cross Precinct for the duration of WYD) was used for 2 days, with a singalong on the Saturday, an overnight vigil and a Mass on the Sunday – at a cost to the NSW taxpayer of some $40+ million paid to the racecourse as compensation. 

Sydney brothels claim they had a 20% increase in business, but the press is kindly attributing that to the increase in the number of their members in town.   

But the highlight for me was the re-enactment of the Stations of The Cross, culminating in an actor being hoisted onto a cross down by the Harbour.  I do hope the tourists that this event was hoping to encourage won’t be disappointed to discover that torture and flagellation at the Bridge aren’t normal parts of Sydney life.


  1. You know lots of pilgrims are *still* hanging around? Glebe Point Rd was chocka with them this morning, reports my running correspondent. All still wearing their dodgy backpacks (sorry Lara, but yeucch!)

  2. Before you use terms like “Catholic Woodstock” again, please warn me. I spit a perfectly good cuppa all over my keyboard.

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