Romereports.com April 12, 2010.
Benedict XVI’s historic visit to the UK in September is key to strengthen the relationship between the two countries. That’s according to the UK’s man at the Vatican, Ambassador Francis Campbell.
For the first time ever, a pope will make an official visit to the UK. John Paul II’s visit in 1982, was only a pastoral visit.
UK Ambassador to the Holy See“Some of the features of that will be very much in evidence for example the pope’s first engagement will be to meet the queen in Edinburgh.”
Ambassador Campbell, the first Catholic to hold this position since the Reformation, says although Catholics only make up 10 percent of the UK’s population, the visit is significant for diplomatic reasons.
Campbell says the UK and the Holy See work together on a whole range of policy issues. Francis Campbell
UK Ambassador to the Holy See“For example on disarmament, and the role the Holy See played in brokering the Clusters Munitions Treaty, where they worked very strongly with the UK in the proprietary conferences, there by allowing a consensus to emerge.”
Campbell says both nations also share the same vision on climate change, international development and interfaith dialogue.
In fact the pope will also address non-Catholics in the UK. Francis Campbell
UK Ambassador to the Holy See
“The pope will address civil society in Westminster Hall, he will visit with the Archbishop of Canterbury he will also do evening prayer at Westminster Abbey.”
On September 16th, Pope Benedict XVI lands in Glasgow and then flies to London for two days. From there he’ll travel to Coventry for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, where more than 250-thousand people are expected to attend.
The pope’s four-day visit is anticipated to match his predecessors visit which took place almost 30 years ago and drew crowds of up to 1 million.