Yeah, we know we're going straight to hell for this item, but considering the pope's intolerant comments about gays this past summer in Rome, it's interesting that no one at City Hall has said boo about the Catholic Church hitting up queer-friendly Toronto for a $1 million interest-free loan to host its youth wingding here in 2002.
His Holiness may have a loophole if he makes those kinds of comments here: the Charter Of Rights allows for freedom of religious expression. (We can already hear Johnnie Cochrane screaming, "Papal privilege!")
"For some reason, religious beliefs come first and equality rights come second," says city councillor Kyle Rae.
Rae hopes to meet soon with Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of World Youth Day 2002, to let the Church know that jive might fly in Rome but it won't score you points in multicultural Hogtown.
Father Rosica, who says they have already received a generous $1 million grant from the province, conveniently points out that the pope's, er, colourful comments were made in the context of the gay World Pride Day. Oh, OK.
"The youth day is a completely different dynamic," he says. "It is for everybody.'