I should preface this entry by admitting that once upon a time... I was a reasonable facsimile of a Catholic. These days I'd say I'm more of a P.J. O'Rourkian, as in... "show me the logic AND the lab equipment."
Regardless of my religious non-affiliation... say what you will about the Pope, he sure don't scare easy.
An army of snipers, riot police, secret agents and bomb disposal experts has been mobilised for the Pope's four-day visit to Turkey.Never mind the usual assortment of nutbag religious extremists... Pope Benedict had pretty much already pissed off every Tom, Dick and Kemal by telling the whole country they weren't good enough to come to; and here's the good part... somebody else's party.
Naval units will patrol the Bosphorus armed with machine guns after warnings to police and security services that the life of Benedict XVI may be threatened by Islamic extremists after he arrives on Tuesday.
The visit has put the Turkish government in a awkward position. Two years ago, before he was elected to lead the Catholic Church, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told Le Figaro magazine that he opposed Turkey's entry into the European Union.If it was me, I'd have had second, third and fourth thoughts about this one... even if my bodyguards didn't look like awkward contestants at a gay jousting match.