rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » God save the Pope! Row erupts as papal arrives in UK

God save the Pope! Row erupts as papal arrives in UK

Last updated on: September 16, 2010 16:34 IST

God save the Pope! Row erupts as he arrives in UK

     Next

Next

German-born pontiff Benedict XVI will make his first papal visit to Britain on September 16. The historic visit will take place nearly three decades after the last visit by a Pope to the country.

The Pope will start his visit by attending a State welcome ceremony at the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, where he will have an audience with Queen Elizabeth II. He will travel to Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Birmingham during the four-day visit.

The Pope's visit has been plunged into controversy hours before his arrival in London following his key aide, Cardinal Walter Kasper's reference to the UK as a 'Third World' country.

The Sun reported Cardinal Kasper -- a key figure in the Pope's inner circle -- as stating: 'When you land at Heathrow, you think you are in a Third World land'.

Click on NEXT to read further...


Image: Pope Benedict XVI
Photographs: Reuters
     Next

God save the Pope! Row erupts as he arrives in UK

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

It has been reported that the furore threatened to turn into a race row on Wednesday night when Cardinal's secretary Monsignor Oliver Lahl said the 'Third World' outburst referred to the 'many different people' who live in Britain.

Seventy-seven-year-old Cardinal Kasper also claimed a 'new and aggressive atheism' was sweeping the UK -- and raised the issue over a British Airways worker wearing a crucifix.

'If you wear a cross you are discriminated against. We want to publicly show our faith,' said Cardinal Kasper.

The Vatican, in a statement, said Cardinal Kasper had wanted to communicate that Heathrow was a 'melting pot of modern humanity with its diversity and problems' and had 'no negative intention'.


Image: Cardinal Walter Kasper

Prev     Next

God save the Pope! Row erupts as he arrives in UK

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Relations between the Catholic Church and the British government have been strained following clashes over the introduction of laws enforcing homosexual equality and the Embryo Bill, which paved the way for the creation of human-animal hybrid embryos.

More recently, a leaked British foreign office memo suggesting that the pontiff may during his visit launch a 'Benedict' brand of condoms, bless a gay marriage, and open an abortion clinic during a papal visit to the UK, almost forced the cancellation of the Pope's visit.

However, the British government apologised later, saying that it was 'ill-judged, naive and disrespectful', and that the responsible member of staff had been transferred to other duties.

The memo followed a brainstorming session, where members of the Papal Visit Team came up with ideas for the first papal visit to Britain in 28 years, and was sent to senior civil servants via email on March 5, with the title 'Policy planning ahead of the Pope's visit'.

Attached files included an 'ideal visit list', and said, 'Please protect; these should not be shared externally'. However, the memo was leaked, and published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.



Prev     Next

God save the Pope! Row erupts as he arrives in UK

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Other suggestions were that the Pope should change policy to allow female bishops, sponsor AIDS clinics, 'spend night in council flat in Bradford' and 'do forward rolls with children to promote healthy living'.

A further idea was to change the national anthem to a charity song, 'God Save the World', performed as a duet by Queen Elizabeth II and the Pope.

During his trip to Scotland, the Pope will celebrate mass in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.

The pontiff will hold a celebration of Catholic education on September 17 at St Mary's University College in Twickenham, where he will inaugurate the John Paul II Institute of Sport.



Prev     Next

God save the Pope! Row erupts as he arrives in UK

Prev     More
Prev

More

He will also address civil society at the Palace of Westminster, and lead a celebration of evening prayer in Westminster Abbey.

On September 18, the Pope will hold a prayer vigil on the eve of the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Hyde Park, London.

This will be followed by the celebration of mass for the cardinal's beatification in Cofton Park in Rednal, Birmingham, on September 19.



Prev     More