Two weeks ago Pope Alice farewelled the Pilgrim Reaper from Rome as he departed Oz. Pope Alice has just completed sweeping the streets of Sydney with a strong bristled broom, not unlike the one Benny, the Wicked Witch of Rome, flew in on. As Pope Alice mopped her brow she claimed a job well done and got down and kissed the bitumen of Oxford Street having already blest the pavements and guttering with liberal lashings of strong disinfectant.

The Catholic Olympics WYD had been a dazzling week of Prada shoes and Brussels lace and mobile museum display cases with a whole lot of obligatory red and yellow backpacks and guitars and national flags and folk dancing along with the spectacular re-enactment of a public execution against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. All this culminated in a magnificent recreation of an ant farm at Randwick Racecourse, one of the few arenas left in Australia where it’s legal to ride three-year olds.

“Catholicism! Catholicism!” shouted the young testosterone -charged pilgrim from New Zealand, as he was dragged away by the police at Moore Park, having just punched a protester in the neck. It was all part of the Catholic Olympics apparently, although boxing wasn’t officially on the list of events. Christians can be a feisty lot. Singing and chanting outside gay bars and saving souls by the scruff of the neck is de rigueur in an I Love Jesus world.

Oh! But what state would Oz be in without the NoToPope Coalition and St Rachel Evans. They kept “Australians all, young and free”, or as free as it’s going to get without a Bill of Rights and Wrongs. NoToPope hosted the rally and march and Annoying T-shirt Competition. Some slogans presented were so annoying they are unprintable here, such as the winner, “Only a virgin if you don’t count “¦.”. “If God hates fags then I hate God” was a worthy contender. Hostess Supreme Vanessa Wagner won the Hunky Jesus Competition. No it wasn’t rigged. It wasn’t actually Vanessa who won; it was her shadow Tobin Saunders, who emerged from the chrysalis of superhero Vanessa, as a glittering version of the Saviour and Star of WYD. “Kiss a queer for Christ’s sake,” everyone shouted. And kiss they did and debaptized themselves.

What a whirlwind week WYD was. It all seems so long ago and so far away now. Did it really happen? I hear you puzzle. Yes it did and you’ve lived to tell the tale. Now perhaps we can all get back to the reality of a world with millions dying from AIDS in Africa, women still considered second-class citizens, contraception pilloried from the pulpit and gays being hounded and vilified and denied basic rights.

Well that’s your flocking lot for this week. Spare a thought for the happy-clapping Christians as they return to the suppression and drudgery of being themselves and watch their youth fade along with the yellow and red of their souvenir backpacks. They could always cheers themselves up this weekend by coming along to the National Day of Action for Same-Sex Marriage and have a gawk at the queers in Brisbane, Perth and Lismore etc, valiantly demanding equality in a Christian democracy. But who can compete with the Olympics?