Why do we care?

Why do we, as a nation, care about The Pope or World Youth Day?
I understand why Catholics care (sort of – any celebration of a cult of personality – which the papal visit definitely is – makes me uncomfortable) – he’s the leader of their religion. But we as a nation are secular. We should perhaps note the visit of the pope in the way we note the visit of any foreign dignitary – front page photo for his/her arrival, story somewhere inside. Why are various levels of Canadian government supporting this event, and in particular, forcing all Torontonians to support the event, catholic or not? I understand about the visa issue for people wanting to come to this event – as long as the same happens for any major event held in Canada expected to attract multitudes of visitors (like, say, the commonwealth games).
I won’t go too far into the whole relevancy of the pope (one should respect others’ beliefs, even if one doesn’t agree with them), but I guess I don’t really see the difference between this and say, a leadership convention for the NDP, Liberals or PCs. Except that this is a religious leadership convention. Which brings me back to the point of why we’re being so blanketed with coverage of this?

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