Catholic News Service profiles Francis Campbell, the British ambassador to the Vatican, regarding his preparations for the papal visit (Cindy Wodden, August 27, 2010):
- Free Presbyterian Church leaders have taken a letter of protest to 10 Downing Street telling of their "dismay and abhorrence" that the pope is being afforded a state visit to the UK (August 27, 2010).
- The Pope is to recreate a historic 150-year-old painting when he visits Sutton's training college for priests. Nick Horner reports for the Sutton Coldfield Observer:
Pope Benedict XVI will pose for a photograph with the bishops of England and Wales at St Mary's College in Oscott on the final leg of his September visit.
The image will echo a scene from the college's past when, in 1852, leading figures in English Catholicism gathered at the site to be painted by James Doyle and the painting remains at the college to this day.
Doyle depicted the first Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman and Cardinal John Henry Newman who gave his famous Second Spring sermon to the bishops on the return of English Catholicism. ... [more]
- Cardinal John Henry Newman’s feast will be celebrated on October 9, the date of his conversion in 1845. Pope Benedict will make the formal announcement during his visit (Catholic Herald August 26, 2010).
- A Catholic speakers' bureau calling themselves "Voices for Reform" will provide "alternative" [re: dissenting] views on controversial church issues (The Guardian August 24, 2010):
Catholic Voices for Reform will go head to head with Catholic Voices, an established group which has recruited and trained 20 media-friendly "ordinary" Catholics to articulate traditional church positions before and during Benedict XVI's four-day tour.Got something to say? -- The Guardian is "looking for three or four – or more – ordinary Catholics to offer their views of the papal visit: their hopes, their concerns, their feelings, in 200 words" about the papal visit.
The new organisation, unlike its older and more conformist counterpart, will call for a wholesale transformation of the papacy and the Vatican.
- For reknowned Scottish singer Susan Boyle, singing for the Pope is ‘the greatest dream come true’ (Scottish Catholic Observer August 25, 2010).
- Padraig Reidy may be an atheist, but "this anti-Catholic rhetoric is making me nervous" (The Guardian August 22, 2010):
Modern Britain is a country founded in large part on anti-Catholicism. This is obvious in establishment bedrocks such as the succession, which bars Roman Catholics from becoming head of state or even being married to the head of state. But it is not just the establishment that distrusts Roman Catholics.
Catholicism is viewed with suspicion by significant sections of the British left. While some of this stems from European anti-clericalism, there is a deeper motif, a part of the patriotic left espoused at various points by Tom Paine and George Orwell that draws on notions of the "free-born Englishman". The Catholic, owing his allegiance to Rome, rather than this green and pleasant land, does not fit this narrative.
With Benedict on his way, the chorus rises ... [more]
- Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, believes that Benedict's visit "marks a new phase in the long and complex history of relations between the monarchs of this land and the papacy," (Zenit. August 23, 2010).
Campbell said he expects the event will attract a lot of attention in Great Britain, but he also thinks the pope could make a big impact when he speaks Sept. 17 in London's historic Westminster Hall, a building completed in 1099 and once used for coronation festivities and as a venue for courts of law. In fact, St. Thomas More was condemned to death at Westminster Hall in 1535. . . .As if to illustrate such a "rapprochement", the article points out that Campbell is "the first Catholic to serve at British ambassador to the Vatican since the Reformation."
Campbell said the fact that the pope was invited to speak in the same place where Thomas More was condemned -- for not siding with King Henry VIII in his debate with the Roman Catholic Church at a time of extreme church-state tensions -- "symbolizes a rapprochement" between British society and the papacy.
- The Pope's visit to Birmingham will be accompanied by "draconian" security (BBC); Britons are being told to "bring a picnic, but no booze" (Associated Press), nor "musical instruments and steel cutlery" for that matter (Reuters).
- Parishioners of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Rednal have been asked to prepare and participate in Pope Benedict XVI's open-air Mass in Birmingham (BBC News. August 27, 2010).
- Pupils from Our Lady of the Missions (OLM) Primary School in East Renfrewshire will sing in the events leading up to the Papal Mass in Bellahouston Park (Scotland - Evening Times August 27, 2010).
- Richard Palmer of the Daily and Sunday Express reports that the pope's visit has sparked "an invasion of Irish travellers" (6/27/10):
The warning came after a group who said they had come to Britain from Ireland especially for the papal visit arrived a month early. Residents were horrified after about 15 families in a convoy of caravans and trucks moved on to land next to their homes in Birmingham on Tuesday.Who will save us from the "swarms of gipsies"? bewails The Sun (6/26/10). Scott Phillips of the Irish Travellers Movement in Britain retorts: the desire of the travelling community to attend the papal mass at Cofton Park should have been planned for (Birmingham Mail 6/26/10).
They set up camp in fields near the picturesque Sarehole Mill, which inspired JRR Tolkien to use it as a setting in his books The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit.
- An unholy row is brewing after the Catholic Church demanded that the tram be moved off Princes Street for the Pope's visit next month to Edinburgh (Edinburgh Evening News, August 25, 2010).
- Scottish stonemason Neil Reid is putting the finishing touches to the chair, altar and lectern to be used by Pope Benedict XVI (Catholic Herald August 24, 2010).
- Teachers in Coventry have designed and made furniture which will be used for Pope Benedict XVI's special Mass in Birmingham (Video - BBC News. August 24, 2010).