September 9, 2010.
Francis Campbell, Britain's ambassador to the Vatican, has said that criticism in anticipation of the pope's visit to the UK is not widespread, nor representative of the views of most people.
British Ambassador to the Holy See“I think it will be a mistake in the UK to take those voices that are the loudest and to assume that they are representative of the broad population of charge.[...] 06,30; There is always be voices, there will be critical, but there will be a mistaken and a incontext to assume at those who soot the loudest are this serving more attention.”
According to the British ambassador in the Vatican, Benedict XVI's visit will boost mutual cooperation in areas such as the fight against climate change, efforts for disarmament and interreligious dialogue.
British Ambassador to the Holy See“Climate change, international development, conflict resolution or prevention, and is those things that we hope to bring out more and to actually deep on the relationship and to really beginning to grasp the global presence of the Holy See on the world.”
Rome Correspondent, “The Catholic Herald”“The previous government, the labor government thought that there were strong policies convergences on issues of international development, on climate issues, environmental concern. They see the Pope is having this policies in common and I think they thought it would be good to him to visit Britain and try to consolidate that relationship”.
The September 16th-19th journey is unique because it marks first official state visit of a pope to the UK.
Although only 10 percent of the population is Catholic, the Pope has been invited by Queen Elizabeth II to give a speech to all citizens.
The first ceremony of the visit will be a meeting with the Queen at Holyrood Palace in Scotland. He also will greet other members of the royal family and representatives of British society.
British Ambassador to the Holy See“This is belonging the second time that a state visit will have started in Edimburgh. I hink the only previous example was that the visit of the kingdom of Norway. So is historic for us.”
The next day in London, he will meet with the leader of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who was in Rome in November 2009.
It will be their first meeting following the decision of the Anglican Church to accept women bishops, a reality which creates new challenges in the ecumenical dialogue between Anglicans and Catholics.
The next day the Pope will meet with representatives of civil society and British political leaders at London's Westminster Hall.
Rome Correspondent, “The Catholic Herald”“What he says would probably be about triying to bring back a sense of transcedence, the sense of God into society. And it will be said rigth in the heart of government and Britain.”
The visit will conclude in Birmingham with the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, an Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism in 1845 and anticipated many the ideas to be discussed a century later at the Second Vatican Council.
It's likely to be a journey marking a new chapter in relations between the UK and the Vatican, as well as a bridge of new understanding between the people and Pope Benedict XVI.