The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has arrived on his four day visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The Queen has welcomed the Pope Benedict to Edinburgh at the start of the first papal visit to the UK for 28 years.

Pope Benedict XVI arrival in UK

He was officially welcomed at Holyrood House ahead of a parade through the city and an open-air Mass in Glasgow. Tens of thousands of people are lining the streets of Edinburgh to greet him, although protests are also planned.
One of the Pope's aides has pulled out of the trip after reportedly saying arriving at Heathrow airport was like landing in a "Third World country".
The trip is the first to the UK by a Pontiff since John Paul II in 1982. It is also the first to be designated a state visit because the Pope has been invited by the Queen rather than the church.
The papal plane left Rome's Ciampino airport at about 0720 local time. On board with the Pope were about 30 senior Vatican officials and dozens of journalists.
The pilot raised the union jack and the papal standard from the cockpit as the plane taxied along the runway.
During the flight, in response to a question from the BBC, the Pope said the scandal surrounding the abuse of children by Catholic priests had come as a great personal shock to him.
He said he wanted to offer the victims "material, psychological and spiritual" help and to protect other children from dangerous priests in the future.
The Pope was greeted on the tarmac by the Duke of Edinburgh, Catholic leaders and a 30-strong honour guard from the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Lord Patten also welcomed him on behalf of the government.
Once at Holyrood House, the Queen and the Pope exchanged gifts before each made a speech to those gathered outside.

With the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen

The Queen said the visit was an opportunity to "deepen the relationship" between Catholicism and the Churches of England and Scotland. She also praised the Catholic Church's "special contribution" to helping the poorest and most vulnerable around the world.
The Pope said he wanted to "extend the hand of friendship" to the entire UK, not just its Catholic population. He also warned against the "atheist extremism of the 20th century" as an undermining force in society.
'History of tolerance'
The Popemobile is set to join the annual St Ninian's Day parade in Edinburgh where, despite tight security, thousands of people, including many school children, have turned out.
But Presbyterians, secularists, and other groups are planning to protest against Vatican policies on birth control, gay rights and abortion, as well as the abuse scandal, but police have said they do not expect large-scale demonstrations.
Asked about the protests, the Pope told journalists on his flight that the UK had a "great history of anti-Catholicism", but also "a great history of tolerance".
Meanwhile, one of the Pope's senior advisers - Cardinal Walter Kasper - will not make the trip after he made remarks about England to a German magazine, including claiming it was gripped with a "new and aggressive atheism".
The Vatican said the cardinal had not intended "any kind of slight" and had simply pulled out due to illness. Officials also said his "Third World" comment referred to the UK's multicultural society.
The leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland Keith O'Brien said he was "sure Cardinal Kasper will apologise for any intemperate remarks which he made".
Slow sales
On Thursday evening, the Pope will hold an open-air Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. The Catholic Church in Scotland had hoped to attract up to 100,000 to the event, but later reduced the capacity to 65,000 after a slow take-up of tickets.
Dioceses in England and Wales have also reported thousands of unfilled places for a vigil in London's Hyde Park on Saturday and a beatification Mass in Birmingham on Sunday for 19th century cardinal John Henry Newman.
The Pope flies to London on Thursday night and will spend the next two days meeting religious and political leaders, Catholic groups and holding prayers and Mass.
The total cost of the Pope's stay to the taxpayer will be between £10m and £12m, with the bill for policing estimated at an additional £1.5m. (Courtesy BBC)


Anonymous said...

Pope's visit has started with all the controversial comments from his aids prior his actual departure from Rome. There are many in the Pope's clique who are high flyers and racist who should be sorted out exiled to Africa.

He will have a earful to listen to, from the pagans to the erudites to the theologians on issues of gay rights, birth control, abortions and ordination of woman to priesthood.

How much can he have on his plate to readily explain what Catholicism stands for. If one does not believe in it, shun off.

Dalia said...

Welcome back dear johnads

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