Please visit http://www.petitiononline.com/PopeinUK/petition.html to add your name to the 30 000 who welcome the Pope's visit to the UK.
Also, a brief extract regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests (thanks to www.proecclesia.com):
"Recent coverage in the media gives everyone the impression that the sexual abuse of children is a particularly Catholic problem. Even the three party leaders discussing the Pope's visit in their televised debate spoke as if this should be taken into account, although they could have been expected to know better.
The figures show a different story. An American study, published on line by Sam Miller, who is not a Catholic but a prominent Jewish businessman from Cleveland, reveals that while a disgraceful 1.7% of Catholic Clergy have been found guilty of sexual abuse, 10% of Protestant Ministers have been found guilty. It also showed child abuse to be far more prevalent in schools, youth organisation and sports training with Catholic clergy at the bottom of the list below doctors, teachers and farmers. Mr Miller ends his article with these words " Walk with your shoulders high and your head higher . . . Be proud to speak up for your Church. Be proud that you are a Catholic ."
The official figures in England and Wales are lower. Only 0.4 % of Catholic priests have been accused of child abuse in England and Wales since 1970 less have been found guilty.
That it happens at all is a terrible scandal but the truth is that only a very small number of Catholic priests ever abuse children sexually and it is dishonest of the media not to make this clear. When a Muslim terrorist plants a bomb which kills a large number of people we are always told, every time it is mentioned, that this movement concerns only a very small number of Muslims who are not representative of the vast majority. Where is a similar disclaimer for Catholic priests? Why are the British people being given only half the story?
The truth is that a young child is now safer in the Catholic Church than in any other institution including nursery or school. Since the Nolan Report, as soon as a priest is reported to have abused a child, the police are informed and the priest is removed from his parish that day and kept in a Convent or Monastery away from children while the accusation is thoroughly investigated. Even after the police have dropped the case, satisfied that there is no truth in the allegation, the Church continues to complete Her own investigation until satisfied.
It is encouraging that some non-Catholic journalists have pointed out these facts online and in personal articles out of an interest in seeing fair play. Sadly Church Officials in this country have been very slow to join in and help redress the balance."