- The "Protest The Pope" activist group may attempt to block a road when Benedict visits the campus of St Mary’s University College in Twickenham (The Telegraph August 14, 2010).
- "Cor ad cor loquitur: what does the papal visit motto really mean?"? - Hew Twiston Davies thinks that it’s time to end the dispute over the meaning of Cardinal Newman’s tag. (Catholic Herald August 13, 2010).
- Writing in the Catholic Herald (August 13, 2010), Jill Duchess of Hamilton thinks Benedict XVI should address the papacy’s treatment of Robert the Bruce, without whom Scotland would not exist as an independent country:
Year after year, the papacy remained adamant that Scotland should be subservient to England. Scotland’s nationalistic clergy, plus the hundreds of thousands of Scots who followed Robert, refused equally steadfastly. All were excommunicated (Robert in 1306).
Nothing better illustrates the passion of the Scots for self-determination than the ceremony of Robert’s crowning by four bishops at Scone on Palm Sunday in the same year, which took place openly in defiance of the Pope – and the English. [more about Scotland's fascinating founding]
- With just over a month to go before the Pope arrives in Britain, the Catholic Church is facing a £2.6m shortfall in donations needed to pay for the visit, reports the Independant (August 14, 2010).
- The pope's decision to reject the resignations of Dublin Auxiliary Bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field has met with criticism from victims of clerical abuse (Belfast Telegraph August 12, 2010). For in-depth analysis as to why the Pope made this decision, see Michael Kelly's Two Resignations, Rejected (Catholic World Report).
- Pilgrims attending open-air gatherings during the Papal Visit will receive Pilgrim Journey CDs that feature a Britain’s Got Talent finalist singing the Lord’s Prayer:
Liam McNally, a 14 year-old schoolboy, will also perform the traditional musical version of Our Father at the start of the prayer vigil in Hyde Park next month. ...
The commemorative Pilgrim Journey CD includes spoken messages from the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, and Lord Patten of Barnes, who is overseeing the historic trip for the Government.
Other songs on the album are performed by a pair of trainee priests called The Seminarians and a composer called Alessandro Cherin.
Unfortunately, curmudgeonly columnist Damien Thompson heard two tracks from the album and deems it "musical atrocities that make the Birdie Song sound like Mozart" (Telegraph August 11, 2010):
I’ve just played “Urban Pilgrim (Reprise)” by Alessandro Cherin and “Deus Tuus Deus Meus” by Fr Gerard Bradley to my colleagues in the Telegraph newsroom. And they’re keeling over in embarrassment. “Urban Pilgrim” is described by a friend as “the stuff they play on planes when they switch off your in-flight movie as your prepare to land”. As for Fr Bradley, his vocation does not lie in the area of composition – and the singer has the upper register of a deputy accounts manager on a karaoke machine. [...]
It doesn’t give me any pleasure to make fun of this crap, because it proves that the Church in England and Wales is still in the grip of philistines.
- A further 5,000 tickets have been made available for those wanting to attend the Papal mass and beatification of Cardinal Newman in Birmingham (BBC News, August 11, 2010).
- A company selling papal visit T-shirts and hoodies has sought the help of police after receiving anti-Catholic abuse online (The Catholic Herald August 11, 2010):
They said they were particularly worried because one message referred to a specific member of staff by name.(Seriously? -- you should see the hate mail the "Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club" used to get -- Editor).
A spokesman said: “We took one look at it and thought: cops. It was not quite a threat, but it definitely had the intention of causing alarm.”
The messages, he said, referred to Catholics as “brainwashed” and “nutters”.
- Shawn Tribe reminds us of John Henry Newman's Dublin connection (Catholic Herald August 11, 2010):
we quite often make reference to Oxford and Birmingham, but as one of our readers kindly reminded us, we should not neglect to mention the University Church in Dublin, Ireland, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, which was founded and designed by none other than John Henry Newman himself, in his capacity as rector of the then newly founded Catholic University of Ireland.
- All eyes on the Pope as he visits ‘Protestant Britannia’ (Belfast Telegraph August 10, 2010):
On a global scale, Britain, the foremost Protestant nation through the rabid religiosity of the English and the Scots, mobilised its empire in aggressive opposition to papal power, while Catholic Ireland spawned its own spiritual diaspora by exporting generations of priests and people to the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
In the perspective of this fire and dungeon history, it is a stunning turnaround that Pope Benedict has selected 'Protestant Britannia' ahead of 'Catholic Ireland' for an official state visit next month.
Even more remarkably, Pope Benedict will meet his host, Queen Elizabeth, the head of the Anglican Church of England, in Edinburgh, the capital of Presbyterianism.
- Mgr. Andrew Summersgill, coordinator of Pope Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, maintains that pilgrims attending major open air events with the Holy Father will not be paying "a charge to go to Mass," but a contribution of solidarity to cover the cost of transportation for fellow pilgrims (Catholic News Agency, August 10, 2010).
- Just 2,500 tickets have been allocated to Catholics in Northern Ireland to attend events during Benedict's papal visit according to the Belfast Telegraph (August 9, 2010): "None have been allocated to believers in the Republic — despite the Catholic Church being an all-Ireland institution."
- The number of police officers on the beat in Birmingham may have to be slashed in a bid to foot the soaring cost of policing the Pope’s visit (Birmingham Post August 9, 2010).
- SCOTLAND'S two biggest police forces are planning a "handover" of the Pope at Harthill to ensure the M8 remains open during his visit (Daily Record August 8, 2010).