September 9 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Cross Wires: Don’t forget who is coming to town

Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Scotland a week today. Take a few moments to let that sink in.

Now ask yourself if any of the whys, hows, wheres and ifs surrounding the visit that remain the fodder of speculation and debate are actually important at all?

Preparations have been made for the Holy Father’s arrival on September 16 and, if we haven’t already done so, now is the time to move from the practical to the spiritual.

Here at Cross Wires we can see how that might remain difficult: one survey said that the bulk of the population have no strong objections to the visit, another said the majority of taxpayers oppose contributing to the associated costs. Yet very important facts were left off secular reports on the second survey.

The Theos research, which threw up the taxpayers concerns, also found a majority of the public agrees with Catholic teaching, particularly about sexuality.

And just a week before the Holy Father is to meet the Queen in Edinburgh and then celebrate the first Papal Mass of this historic State visit to Britain, the first by a Pontiff, there are stutterings and mutterings over Latin in the Papal Mass, the ‘sale of tickets,’ merchandise and transport.

It is traditional and inclusive for the Holy Father is use Latin in a Mass of the importance of the Bellahouston celebration; the Church is not ‘selling tickets’ to see the Pope; Souvenirs are one way of donating and giving back to the Church; and, finally, has everyone forgotten that on a pilgrimage we all help each other every step of the way?

On a more positive note if you have a computer and an internet connection, you will be able to watch the Holy Father’s visit to the UK live and in full online at

So if you cannot be there in person, you can still see the Pope’s historic state meeting with Her Majesty the Queen in Edinburgh, the Beatification of Cardinal Newman in Birmingham and everything else in between.

And if you are not going to a pastoral event you can still see the Holy Father. To see details of the Popemobile routes through Edinburgh and London, visit

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