Security over Pope’s Lourdes visit trips up hunters

September 13, 2008

La Depeche du Midi, 13 Sept 2008Arriving in Lourdes a few hours before Pope Benedict, I promptly picked up the local newspapers to see how they were covering the story. His visit was naturally the lead story. What interested me more, though, was the second most prominent story in two regional newspapers here: “Pope hunts the hunters … Pope’s arrival upsets hunters’ high mass … Opening of hunting season delayed in 39 towns.”

It seems this weekend is the opening of the hunting season in southwestern France, but some towns around Lourdes had to put it off until next weekend due to the security for Pope Benedict. Hunting and fishing are big around here — they even have a right-wing political party called Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Tradition. One daily, La Dépêche du Midi (above), led its front page with the headline “Benedict XVI in the steps of Bernadette.” Just below that was the headline “The day of the hunters.” An article inside the paper said deer and izard — a kind of “goat antelope“– should be plentiful this season but there will be fewer wild boar than usual. When the hunters get to go out to hunt them, that is…

2 comments

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Having the pope in France is great, but we must confess it’s a pain in the ass for all the mess he makes on his way :-/ (I live in Paris, don’t care about the Pope, but had to walk 30mn more on Thursday because my subway station had been closed for “security reasons”…). Couldn’t he go to some emptier place ^^ ?

There has been over 200,000 pilgrims here in Lourdes over the last couple of days, yet when the Pope spoke you could have heard a pin drop, it was overwhelming.

I would like to share with you my actual pictures of the Pope’s pilgrimage to Lourdes: http://www.directfromlourdes.com/pope_be nedict_xvi_in_lourdes