World Youth Day, a Catholic event, is being hosted by Randwick, Sydney this year, and an estimated 250,000 young pilgrims are expected to attend.  The New South Wales government has given funding to the Day, which didn’t please all its citizens, and the early arrival of many ‘pilgrims’ who are acting rather evangelically on Sydney’s streets, has displeased even more.  There will be a parade and public masses, which will lead to street closures, and that’s incensed even more inhabitants. What’s it got to do with T-shirts?  Well there is, of course, an official range of merchandise, following the Pope’s very successful merchandising of his recent tour of the USA.  But more interestingly, the population of Sydney has been making its own views known on T-shirts printed, sold and worn locally.  Slogans include: 

  • Anti-World Youth Day
  • We close 300 roads so 300,000 can close their minds
  • “and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who wear t-shirts that cause annoyance or inconvenience…”
  • Oh no, I stepped in Dogma
  • Too many Christians, not enough lions – Randwick 2008
  • I’ve been touched by the Catholic Church, so where’s my $2 billion?
  • World Youth Day: You can cross yourself, but not the city

USA Pope merchandise courtesy of Mike Licht 

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