‘Great expectations’ for Papal itinerary: Pope to speak in Edinburgh, Cardinal in Birmingham

THE finalised itinerary for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain released on the official website for the Papal Visit today confirms that the Holy Father will speak at the state reception hosted by the Queen in the grounds of the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh on Thursday September 16 before the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

Further details have emerged confirming that following the Mass for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman and prior to the Holy Father’s departure on Sunday September 19 he will meet the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales at the Seminary Chapel, Oscott College. At this meeting Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and the Holy Father all expected to give addresses.

Cardinal O’Brien said today that he was delighted at how Papal visit preparations were progressing and was ‘greatly encouraged’ by the uptake of tickets so far for the Mass in Glasgow.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio he has great expectations for the Papal visit.

“It is a very rich, intense and articulate program,” he said.  “Of course there is great expectation and excitement in the lead up to the first day, which immediately sees the Pope’s meeting with Her Majesty, the Queen. It is also the day when he will meet with Scotland, which is a very important part of this journey. I would like to remind people that the Pope’s visit to Scotland coincides with the Feast of St Ninian, who is the patron saint and evangeliser of Scotland. As such it is a very important day for Scottish people. We think it will be a great celebration, a very beautiful moment.”

On the second day of the four-day visit Pope Benedict will meet Catholic educators at St Mary’s University College before participating in an interfaith assembly. In the afternoon he will visit the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr  Rowan Williams, and then lead an ecumenical assembly at Westminster Abbey.

On the Saturday the Pope will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron and with opposition leader Harriet Harman prior to presiding at Mass in the cathedral at Westminster. In the evening he will lead a prayer vigil in Hyde Park.

Ahead of the Pope’s arrival in Scotland, a number of civic functions and receptions in Edinburgh and Glasgow are being planned to begin the celebrations.

For more information on the visit http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/2010-Visit/Events-Timeline

For Fr Lombardi’s reaction in full visit http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=416275

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One Response to “‘Great expectations’ for Papal itinerary: Pope to speak in Edinburgh, Cardinal in Birmingham”

  1. scobserver Says:

    While Fr Lombardi is right in that St Ninian is a saint strongly associated with Scotland, St Andrew is in fact our country’s patron saint.

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