The Pope Arrives in Britain

After much debate and anticipation surrounding the topic, Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Great Britain for a four day state visit. It is the first papal visit to the UK since John Paul II came to Scotland in 1982. The Pope flew into Scotland this morning and was met by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen is spending time at her royal residence in Scotland for the Pope’s visit, and has already been introduced to him at Holyrood Palace.

To mark his arrival, hundreds of children participated in the colourful ‘St Ninian’s Day Parade’ in honour of Pope Benedict; they were invited from schools all over Scotland, including non-denominational schools. Well over 100,000 well wishers lined the streets to get a glimpse of his holiness, and ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ winner Susan Boyle is singing at the Pope’s first British address today, and has described the privilege as beyond her “wildest dreams”.

Although thousands of catholics are honoured and blessed for their holy leader to be visiting Great Britain, the visit has also been met by a lot of negativity. One of the reasons for this is the financial drain it has put on an already struggling country; although the Catholic church raised £9 million, the UK taxpayer has still had to fork out around £12 million for the privilege. Due to previous assassination attempts, the security measures are required to be very strict and come at a high cost. There is also the issue of travel, accommodation, crowd control and events during his stay.

This week, some controversial comments have caused protest from groups across the country and have been splashed across the media. Many disagree with Roman Catholic views against homosexuality, contraception and abortion; they are believed to be outdated. One of the Pope’s Cardinals ‘Walter Kasper’ described England as being “like a third world country” due to the diverse and multicultural society. Today, the Pope caused outrage by comparing atheists to Nazis – a very extreme view which has not been received well.

So far, the Pope has only been here for 1 day out of his 4 day stay, and our London escorts along with the rest of the country are hoping that the peace will not be disturbed due to heavily opposing views. Whether you are for or against this papal visit, it certainly is causing a stir!