This is somewhat tenuous at best, but isn't it rather fascinating that a theocratic government that holds sway over a large portion of religious people, whose head was once a member of a youth organization that pledged fealty to a regime that sent invasion forces to North Africa has now called the Dakar Rally "the bloody race of irresponsibility" in the wake of South African motorcycle racer Elmer Symons' death? An editorial in L'Osservatore Romano exhorts, "The Paris-Dakar, a race which many classify as a sporting event, in reality has very little to do with healthy competition." Dear Vatican: this is not the Crusades, nor is it the Spanish Inquisition. Nor is it an assault on women's rights or an attempt to squelch non-straight sexual orientation. What it is is one of the most grueling races in the world, undertaken by drivers who are willing to risk death for glory.
Given that the Catholic Church has, over its lengthy history, exiled people for things less dangerous than going fast over a vast expanse of desert, we find this to be rather silly. Especially since the Pope accepted a Ferrari steering wheel from Michael Schumacher. After all, Grand Prix racing has killed a number of men over the years as well. In closing, Dear Vatican, we encourage you to stop writing about motorsport and instead do more to spiritually uplift people instead of trying to legislate their behavior from a bully pulpit. Because crap like this is really a downer. Besides, wasn't Christianity's basic spirit established on the basis of one man who believed, pushed the odds and died for it? Just asking.
Vatican slams Dakar rally as irresponsible [Stuff, NZ]
Savior Survivor: VW Ups The Ante In The Fight To Provide The Pope's New Whip [Internal]