Latest dispatches from the God & mammon front…

November 16, 2007

Two interesting dispatches from the God & mammon front on the Reuters file this week:

At the racesBRISBANE (Reuters) – Australia’s horse racing industry will get A$41 million ($37 million) in compensation to cover lost profits caused by Pope Benedict’s coming visit to a Sydney racecourse, officials said on Thursday.

Following months of squabbling over plans for Catholic World Youth Day to be held at inner Sydney’s Royal Randwick racecourse next year, national and state governments agreed to a taxpayer compensation deal, Racing New South Wales Chief Executive Peter Vlandys said…

The six-day gathering of young Catholics from around the world is expected to attract up to 600,000 worshippers to an evening Vigil and “sleep out under the stars” on July 19 next year and the Final Mass with Pope Benedict on July 20. The track venue was chosen because it offered a direct line of sight for 400,000 people to an altar to be used by the Pope. — Read the full story here.

A scrap metal heapLONDON (Reuters) – For years, Britain’s clergy have worried about falling church attendance. Now they’re worried about a group who turn up too often — thieves.

In the past year there has been a sharp hike in the theft of lead from church roofs, triggered by the price of the metal quadrupling on international markets.

At more than $3,500 a tonne, lead has become a major target for organized gangs looking to sell on to scrap merchants who trade into the booming markets in China and India. As a result, priests have turned up at churches to discover rainwater pouring through great holes in the roof after thieves stripped the heavy lead lining overnight.
— Read the full story here .

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