Saturday, May 03, 2003

Well, the Pope's in Madrid and there is a lot of Popery and the like in today's papers and on the news. Jesús Gil is a practicing Catholic, and he has all sorts of good up-to-the-minute coverage of the Pope's visit on his blog Ibidem, so check it out. He's a lot more suited to cover this than I am, since he is actually in Madrid, is actually going to see the Pope and form part of the enormous crowd, actually understands what the stuff they do as part of the rituals and all means, and is actually a faithful believer and so understands the significance of this visit.

The crowd that is going to turn out in Madrid today is going to be well upwards of a million people, a considerably bigger turnout than any of the antiwar demos of February and March--they claimed up to a million people but more likely got a couple hundred thousand, max. I'd like to see the Remei Margarits and the Eulàlia Solés of this world analyze that phenomenon. Could it be that many more people in Spain are strongly Catholic than strongly anti-American? Could it be that the anti-war protests were just a passing fad, the cool thing to do for a few weeks until they were forgotten about, along with the poor Iraqi people? None of the people turning out to see the Pope are doing it because it's the cool thing to do this week. They're going out there because they, like, believe in God and stuff. And there are an awful lot of them.

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