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change of scenery

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 29, 2008

By now we know more or less what to expect from Cardinal Renato Martino. When he is not referring to the late Saddam Hussein as a "tragic figure" or announcing that a proposed border wall between the US and Mexico would be an "inhuman program," he is coming up with lists of traffic-safety tips and pleas for better education of pedestrians, or astonishing insights into the importance of water in human life. Heavy stuff. Important stuff. Above all, stuff that will appeal to the sensibilities of the fashionable media.

Last Saturday Cardinal Martino showed up at the apostolic palace leading a group that was involved in a conference on tourism. 

Now you might be thinking to yourself: 'Tourism? That's not a very trendy topic.' Ah, but you underestimate our hero. The topic of the session was "Tourism: Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change." 

Maybe you don't immediately see the link between tourism and climate change. And maybe that's why you're not the president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants. 

Personally, I find the link quite obvious. When you want a change of climate, you act the tourist. In the winter, get a change in climate on a tropical island, for example. But that might not be exactly what Cardinal Martino had in mind. 

Oh, and speaking of changes in scenery: Cardinal Martino celebrated his 75th birthday last November, so he is now nearly a year beyond canonical retirement age. 

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