When the pope wheels -- or is wheeled -- into Toronto this week for World Youth Day, the only place you might be able to escape his presence is on the Internet.Newspapers have already published special supplements on the personal history of the Pope and what he means to people around the world, but his presence online, at least officially, is somewhat muted.
The Pope only gave his blessing to the Internet in May of this year, and still doesn't have his own e-mail address; my messages to firstname.lastname@example.org bounced back when I sent them.
It's also worth noting that when you search for "the pope" on Google, one of the first and most popular sites to present itself is http://home.fuse.net/gospel, a site that rather loudly proclaims that "the Pope is the anti-Christ."
There are, of course, thousands of unofficial rants and raves about the Pope and his business online, but officialdom seems to have dropped the ball. While the World Youth Day site (www.wyd2002.org) tells you where the wooden cross will be going, it will not be streaming the Pope's massive masses online for those who can't make it.
Here's the best of the rest on the Pontiff.
Beautifully designed official site of the Holy See and the Catholic Church. Includes a bio of the Pope and a helpful itinerary for his T-dot visit.
An unofficial "fan site" for the Pope, with links for further reading.
Wordy home of someone who disagrees with the direction the Catholic Church is taking and takes issue with it in excruciating, footnoted detail.
A site called "the pope is a dope." Nuff said.
A portal for all things Catholic. Helpfully includes a store, so you can help the Church financially through these difficult times.
A chart of all 264 Popes.
Where you can buy the classic sticker "I like the Pope because the Pope smokes dope."
In times of turmoil, it's always helpful to turn to the Onion for that magazine's opinion on the news of the day. This classic story deals with the Church's handling of the ongoing priest sex scandal. Genius. email@example.com