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Ouch. Harsh words for the Paris-Dakar Rally have recently eminated from his Eminence's orginization, the Catholic Church. Apparently a recent edition of the Vatican Newspaper included an article entitled "Paris-Dakar: The Bloddy Race of Irresponsibility," which effectively slams the race for its violence and penetration into non-Western cultures. The article comes not long after a South African motorcycle competitor named Elmer Symons (shown at right) died during the fourth stage of the event in the Morocco desert on Tuesday, January 9th.
We're sure his Holiness and crew realize that any motorsport carries with it the potential for personal injury and even death. The Paris-Dakar rally seems to goad the Vatican's goat, however, particularly because it employs a track that winds and weaves through various locals and regions that haven't had a whole lot of exposure to Western culture, let alone astonishingly fast all-terrain rally vehicles whizzing by at triple-digit speeds.

Mr. Symons death is truly tragic, and it seems odd the Vatican would use its occasion as the impetus for an attack against the rally. Unfortunately, racers of every sort die all too often in their pursuit for victory, so by that token we're not sure if the Vatican is formally denouncing all forms of motorsports, and without the original article (Damn! Shouldn't let our subscription lapse!) we wouldn't venture a guess.

Please keep the comments respectful. Thanks.

[Source: Antara News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's funny how the Church and the crusades are entwined in the minds of so many. At that point in history, the church was the state (as the religion-state relationship exists now in the middle east, never a good thing) The crusades were originally started as a response to one religion-state group (the muslim-turks) threatened another religion-state group (the byzantine empire). The Holy Roman empire (religion-state) was called in for backup because they were a. of similar religious background and b. they were powerful. The crusades as they existed, however, were neither controlled by nor caused by the church. They were quite literally the result of primogeniture. First born children of nobles were the only nobles that got any land. The second through nth noble sons got jack and figured they could use the "crusade" excuse to get more land. So, as the masses are, they swayed followers into the crusades on a "religious" basis. The greed of men caused the crusades. Crusaders were largely useless and misinformed. Popes were emperors and young rich kids were greedy (i.e. nobles). Very few (if any) were actually Christian (followed the way of Jesus), they were just starving hordes following greedy idealists. They were uncivilized. All religions seem to have the ability to create the great (Muslim-Rumi, Christian-St. Francis of Assisi), the evil (Muslim-Osama bin Laden, Christian-Henry the 8th) and the idiotic-misinformed-starving masses(Muslim-Jihadists, Christian-Crusaders). It's all about what people will call themselves, not what people really are.

      I prefer to call myself nothing, but my beliefs are undeniable.

      I believe in the Church, those people with true understanding. I don't believe in organized religion that calls itself a church and involves itself in anything other than teaching.

      1. Prayer
      2. Meditation
      3. Forgiveness
      5. Faith
      6. The truth of selflessness

      Goodnight Peace, Namaste, Shalom

      Pope Benedict; I request as an equally important being (though infinitely more important to myself) that you apologize for your statements about encroachment on other cultures as you've encroached my culture. I enjoy the rally, it is a sign of progress and a practice in cooperation. I understand that it is irresponsible that the race directors do not close the course to the public; that is a problem. You, however, are the representative of God to those in your church and you hurt your church and lessen its credibility when you attack others. Anger, the true root of your words, is based on selfish fear. God's representative on earth should know to check himself before he attacks others.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "There is no God"--The priest in caddyshack during the lightning storm.
      • 8 Years Ago
      As a Catholic, I hope I am as amused as Southern Baptists SHOULD be when one of their evangelists (like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell) say or get "mis-quoted" as saying something stupid/pointless.

      This race is...what? DECADES old? Why all of the sudden issue a statement that the Church thinks this is a bad idea? As for the excuse that this sport is an intrusion on "Non-Western" cultures. Aren't MOST sports currently played ANYWHERE on this planet Western in origin. Soccer, a sport known for it's "gentlemanly conduct" among both players and fans,(please note sarcasm) is HUGE in many third world countries. Does the Vatican think that maybe soccer/soccer balls should be banned from these countries on the grounds that this intrusion of a Western sport might somehow warp the minds and souls of non-Westerners?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Right, but the people in Africa aren't willing spectators. They're just villagers along the route.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Everyone, here's the lowdown on the Crusades from someone who actually knows something about history:

      Pope Urban II used the Seljuk seizure of Jerusalem as a cause for mobilization in the eleventh century. One of the causes for outrage in Europe was the destruction of the Temple of the Holy Sepulchre by al-Hakim, the mahdi ruler and a psychopath. The temple had been destroyed years before the First Crusade started in 1096.

      Now back to cars...

      The Vatican condemns a race event, but not pedophile priests? How loving.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I doubt the Vatican is concerned about dead race drivers. It's probably concerned about all the locals who have been killed over the years.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm with popey-babes!Just with the number of amateur boy-racers passing me on the right at brake-neck speeds and weaving in and out of traffic on the L.I.E. like cracked up speed demons has me fearing for the lives of poor townsfolk in poor unsuspecting (non-european)towns.Put em on a closed circut so they can kill each other, or at least be governed by the rules of the sport in a controlled setting.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Isn't this race from Lisbon-Dakar? Where did paris come from?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Not to belittle the greater issue, but it's the Lisbon-Dakar. It hasn't started from Paris in quite some time.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This just in:
      Jason calls the Vatican "irrelevant".
      • 8 Years Ago
      Hey look everybody, cars are driving fast! Let's make a stink about that so people forget about the child abuse scandals. God's cool in my book, but bloated and hypocritical religious organizations...not so much.
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