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Pope to visit Glasgow and Coventry on UK tour

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 16 March 2010

Details are released of Pope Benedict XVI's four-day visit to Britain in September, the first Papal visit since 1982.

Pope Benedict XVI (Credit: Getty)

The Pope's visit will have the status of a state visit, however he will not stay at Buckingham Palace or join a horse-drawn carriage procession up the Mall.

The Pontiff will arrive in the UK on 16 September, where he will be welcomed by the Queen at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh.

He will then travel to Glasgow to hold a Mass at Bellahouston Park.

The Pope will travel to Coventry Airport for a public Mass where he will beatify the nineteenth century theologian and educationalist Cardinal John Henry Newman.

He will also visit Lambeth palace in London for talks with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and join prayers with other church leaders at Westminster Abbey.

He will also give what is being billed as a "major speech" at Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

The Pope will not be visiting Northern Ireland or Wales during his visit between 16 - 19 September.

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said Catholics were delighted at the Pope's visit.

"We are confident that the presence and message of Pope Benedict will encourage everyone to aspire again to a vision of life in our society marked by mutual trust, compassion and truth," he said.

The visit of the Pope's charismatic predecessor John Paul II drew huge crowds in 1982, and it was hailed as a breakthrough in relations between the Catholic and Anglican churches.

The announcement of his visit was made as the Catholic Church faces growing pressure over its stance on sexual abuse in Germany and Ireland.

Campaigners said they would stage protests against the church during the Pope's visit.

Terry Sanderson, of the National Secular Society, said a demonstration would be held in London: "Many people in Britain are sickened at the prospect of their tax money being used to entertain this man who has presided over a culture of concealment that has resulted in thousands of children around the world being abused and violated," he said.


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