Don’t tarnish golden opportunity of Papal Visit

Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims as he arrives to lead the Angelus prayer at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, July 18 Pic: CNS

A WORLD leader of international prominence is arriving in Scotland’s capital in eight weeks and still some fail to acknowledge the countless positive benefits his visit will have on Edinburgh, Glasgow and our country as a whole.

Pope Benedict XVI will meet Queen Elizabeth II at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on September 16 to begin his four-day tour of Britain, a visit that will see him celebrate Mass before over 100,000 people in Glasgow and culminate with the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham on September 19. The Papal Visit is an amazing honour and presents an spiritual opportunity that is unlikely to come around again in our lifetimes.

The Holy Father is a renowned theologian and a prolific writer who advocates a return to fundamental Christian values to counter the increased secularisation of our society. Catholics, Christians of other denominations and members of other faiths are well aware of the attacks on our beliefs that are increasing originating in our corridors of power.

And today, what is the best Edinburgh commentators can offer in the build up to an historic event for which all eyes will turn to Edinburgh to see, including billions worldwide?

“Our city has been chosen because the Queen will be on holiday at Balmoral and because Buckingham Palace is not available,” said Barnaby Miln at Edinburgh Guide. “It is open to the public during August and September— to raise badly needed funds for its upkeep.”

Only in Scotland could this air of negativity originate and be allowed to permeate unchallenged. Even taken into account that come September Edinburgh may be suffering from post Festival burnout, this attitude is shocking.

Anyone with one iota of insight would realise that the Pope’s arrival—which will indeed see people ‘line the streets in adoration’—is also a golden opportunity for our capital, Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole. The world will be watching.

In his article Mr Miln also expresses concern for Christians of other denominations, it can only be hoped he does not speak for any.

“Do we pretend for that day we are merely bystanders interested in a spectacle? Do we put to one side for the one day all we have been taught to make our type of church just that little better than all the rest?” he asked.

“Will some Protestants worshippers be told to ignore the visit, or even make protest?”

Cross Wires is shocked at the very suggestion.

For more from Edinburgh Guide visit:


2 Responses to “Don’t tarnish golden opportunity of Papal Visit”

  1. Joe Smith Says:

  2. scobserver Says:

    Nick Donnelly, a permanent deacon from the Lancaster Diocese, has launched the Protect the Pope in response to Protest the Pope.

    Deacon Donnelly’s website informs Catholics on the law regarding hate crimes and offers advice on reporting incitement to religious hatred or acts of religious hatred during the Holy Father’s visit.


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