"Christ lives, he has overcome death, he has overcome all these powers. We live in this certainty, in this freedom, and in this joy." (Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, 12 XI 2008)
"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks the truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie." (Blessed John Paul II, Canonisation of Edith Stein, 11 X 1998)

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Pope Benedict XVI is in Britain from September 16-19, making the first Papal visit to the UK for 28 years. It is the first ever official Papal visit to the UK combining state-to-state discussions and related engagements as well as pastoral events being organized by the Catholic bishops' conferences of England, Wales and Scotland.

What makes the headlines in the British press today ???Cardinal Waler  Kasper’s remark about Britain as "Third World” with “a new and aggressive atheism”, sex abuse scandals, Richard Dawkins' protests and how much it costs British taxpayers … You look at the biggest newspapers and you see how much excited they are about the visit. The Independent (Irish newspaper group controlled by Tony O'Reilly) doesn’t even bother to mention that fact on the first pages. The Guardian (owned by Guardian Media Group (Scott Trust)  concentrated on the victims of sex abuse scandals. The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Group (Barclay brothers)) wasn’t so negative today and even place a photo of a 9-year old cancer-battled schoolboy Anton McManus who wrote to ask for the Pope's blessing - telling him: "If anyone can help me God can”…. and they give “Our distinguished guest must be allowed to exercise it” – wow, what generosity! But of course they must reffered to another animosity against the Papal’s past:  “he is expected to recognize this by referring to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, a gesture rendered all the more poignant by the fact that as a very young man he served, briefly and unwillingly, in Hitler's armed forces”. The best so far was “The Times” (News International owned by Rupert Murdoch). They prepared a 16-page souvenir of Papal visit but of course did not resist to refer to the “Third World” remark on the first page. To be read carefully though as it’s a mish mash of everything – an article by Edward Stourton portraying the Pope as countercultural, willing to mix in the political arena (why not?), pointing to the abuse scandals hence “Catholics are no longer willing to give their leaders the benefit of the doubt” (well, would they give it to any politician?)… and of course a reference to the BBC pool that says 63% of British Catholics think that women should have more authority and status in the Church (see the adverts encouraging Pope to ordain women priests). If I do my math correctly there are 6 million Catholics in Britain but only around 1.5 million are regular church goers (that’s 25%) … now, it all depends on who you ask … the lapsed Catholics or the most faithful … I am sure you will get different opinions.
Anyway, think whatever you want, I think it s a great chance for Britain … and as Lord Patten justly points out “ the world will be watching Britain for 4 days” … I guess its worth the price … they will get a bigger coverage for half the price of the 1 day G20 summit that took place last year .. at least more positive :-)

Oh, and by the way, I wonder how much money the Protestants spent (Council of the Protestant Truth Society) placing a giant advert in one of the leading newspapers “Should we welcome Pope?” taking Ephesians 2:8 out of context. Remember that "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26).

Stay tuned to follow Pope live on : http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/webcast

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