Here’s another reason I could never be a Roman Catholic. A press release from the World Youth Day Sydney, the religious extravaganza being staged by the Catholic Church in July this year, alerted me to the fact that Blessed Pier Georgio Frassati would be attending.
The charismatic Blessed Pier Giorgio is revered for his social activism, sporty nature, sense of humour and generous spirit.
â€œHis youthful good looks, charm, fun-loving nature and dedication to God and humanity make him the perfect inspiration for young people,â€ said Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, Coordinator of WYD08.
So far so good. Sounds like a great guy and maybe we can get him to write an article for OLO.
Well, maybe not. I should have read the headline more closely. The press release continues:
â€œPier Giorgio loved sport, horseriding, mountain climbing – and practical jokes.â€
Past tense? And then…
Born into a wealthy, influential but unreligious family â€“ his agnostic father became Italian Ambassador to Germany – Pier Giorgio joined the St Vincent de Paul Society in 1918 at 17, committing his spare time to the sick and needy.
An extremely passionate social activist, Pier Giorgio joined student organisations, opposed fascism and established a daily newspaper.
His great acts of charity included donating his graduation money to an elderly woman evicted from her apartment and supporting a sick widowâ€™s three children.
In 1925 Pier Giorgio was afflicted by an acute attack of polio, which doctors speculated he caught from the sick that he tended. He died at the age of 24.
So a key attraction will be the body of someone who has been dead for 83 years! Not my idea of Christianity – very medieval. What ever happened to worshipping in spirit and in truth!