Friday 4th October 2013 will be an historic day. I know this because it cannot not be. In some ways it's just simple predictive history, in others it's a stirring, a surge or the tremors that result in a tsunami. Either way, it will be an historic day. For on this day that thing will happen that pushes a wedge of change, whether it be in the corridors or power or in the thoughts of the individual.
This weekend saw the UK host two of the largest Gay Pride festivals in Liverpool and Brighton, celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life. Both cities will hold a parade and open air festival, featuring stages and street stalls accompanied by various arts and cultural events throughout the cities.
How many of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics actually follow their church's teaching on matters such as contraception and abortion? How many actually believe its teaching on transubstantiation, that during Holy Communion the bread and wine offered to the congregation are miraculously changed into the body and blood of Christ?
So what does this all mean for non-Catholics? Well, probably not a lot. For most people, Pope Francis is just another old man who should really be on a golf course in Florida somewhere, enjoying retirement. And yet we all tuned into the news when the signal was given that a new pope had been elected.
Starting in March 2013, my husband Stephen and I are planning to fly to Rome, mount our bicycles, and pedal. Roughly six months later, we hope to arrive in St. Petersburg. And that's just for starters. We're trading in our house and two cars for a tent and two bikes and we don't know when (or where) we'll have a solid roof over our heads again. I know what you're thinking. Why?