The picture says it all. Mark your calendars and tune in next Saturday 3/20/21 at 5pm EST for my interview with the masterful Tina Brock of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium theatre company, streaming live on Zoom and Facebook. Links below:
My overall feeling milling about the crowds was something I could only compare to, incongruous as it may sound, stories of Woodstock. The idea of teeming thousands sharing a weekend of peace and love without violence or major incident resonated with me. Granted the Papal visit was a family event and there were no apparently intoxicated people dancing around naked. No, I would soon find obscenity elsewhere.
On this overcast, blustery fall day I made a lone pilgrimage on foot two miles from my South Philly home to Center City for a chance at glimpsing Pope Francis, “the people’s Pope,” in person. All the way up Broad Street, Army or National Guard soldiers — I’m not sure which — in green fatigues hung out casually in pairs on every other street corner. They’d been there since last night but I’m not sure why as no Papal events are planned this far south and barely a soul was out. The city seems apocalyptically deserted.
Eventually I came to barricades personed by police and military at every intersection to keep out vehicles but as a pedestrian I could pass freely. Finally, just south of City Hall, I reached one of the security entrances to the main event. The lines were much shorter than I anticipated, and much friendlier. Soon I was inside the secure zone.
Although I’m not Catholic and have serious disagreements with the Catholic Church and its checkered history, the Pope is a major historical figure and he’s right here in my town so naturally I wanted to be a part of the event. Like all these visitors from around the world I was one more gawking pilgrim eager to see “the people’s Pope” in the flesh.