Showing posts with label Vatican City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vatican City. Show all posts

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 2

Wednesday, 25th June 2014.

On the morning of our second day in Rome I woke up early to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of Rome drifting from Via Cavour up and trickling through the old-fashioned windows of our studio apartment. T'was most convenient as I am the sort of tourist* who endeavours to wake up early, see and do as many things as possible (God forbid if one item on the itinerary goes unchecked), and be in bed by the very respectable hour of midnight. 

*A happy side effect of travelling is that it enforces a rigidity so often lacking in the schedule of a freelancer, even now, two weeks later I bolt out of bed at eight and review the day's tasks. This is hardly groundbreaking nor innovative for those who commute to 9 to 5 jobs working for other people. But I work for myself and this is revolutionary, dammit! I'm even contemplating buying a Nespresso machine for mornings!

July 07, 2014

Rome wasn't visited in one day: Day 2

Wednesday, 25th June 2014. On the morning of our second day in Rome I woke up early to the sounds of the hustle and bustle of Rome dri...

Vatican City

Last week Henry and I Pope-d over (hee) to Italy and Rome-d around (heehee) the Eternal City and Vatican City. 

Now, I'm not especially religious. I'm not an atheist either. I'd say I'm agnostic. I am spiritual, very superstitious, I believe in the supernatural, the world of spirits etc. and I do believe in a higher power. I don't believe that this higher power necessarily takes on the form of a anthropomorphic, fatherly figure nor that this higher power must be called by a name and have a face. The way I see it is that the crux of all religions are the same: be a good person, help those in need, chew with your mouth closed. Whether you pray to Jehovah, a nameless faceless presence, or nobody at all, the enduring message that religion wants you to keep close to your chest is to have faith, love, help, and protect your fellow (wo)man, and just don't be a d-bag.

The thing is, for a few years I had a great disdain for religion, more specifically the religious (This was during the inevitable socialist-communist-atheist phase I went through during university. I also wore Doc Martens and shaved a side of my hair just because). I thought of the devout as sheep. I thought of religion as the cause of most of the bloodshed recorded throughout the annals of history to present day. I sneered as religion as a tool of oppression. An atheist (and in hindsight a savant snob) I was dating at the time said, with curled upper lip, that 'Religion has one purpose and that is to keep the wretched in check. Without the promise of being rewarded with a better life after death in exchange for good behaviour they would have nothing to lose and therefore threaten polite society. Only the desperate and the stupid would believe such dogma.' My personal view on the religious while not that extreme was incredulous. How could anyone unquestionably agree with everything they were told was gospel truth? How could anyone dismiss evolution and say that science should not be taught at school? How could anyone in their right mind agree with a twisted preacher who insists that his interpretation of the Holy Book dictates that we should hide and oppress women? Add to that the corruption in the Catholic church, people telling me that I'm going to hell for not picking a side (or rather their side), and people trying to convert me against my will. Is there any doubt why my view on religion is so tainted? 

So for a long time I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I chose to focus on the details I disliked about religion, specifically the Catholic church. That it was outdated with its dismissal of contraception and the persecution of those they deem 'heretics', the hypocrisy of denouncing gays when there existed a subculture of male priests sexually abusing male adolescents...need I go on? In short my view of Catholicism was a bunch of out-of-touch old dudes telling everyone they were going to go to hell which was ironic given that they were covering up atrocities within their walls.

Then along came Pope Francis. Need I say more?


I wanted to see for myself the Pope who embodies what I believe a religious leader should be: a humble man who serves the people, eschews grandeur and opulence (he said no to official papal apartments, opting to live in a more modest 'Vatican hotel' and wants to take the bus to work), has the common touch and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty, gets with the times. And who can forget 
July 01, 2014

Vatican City

Last week Henry and I Pope-d over (hee) to Italy and Rome-d around (heehee) the Eternal City and Vatican City.  Now, I'm not espec...