Pope's Visit Matters to Britain

We are now little more than a month away from the first state visit to Britain by a Pope. On September 16, Benedict XVI will fly to Scotland, where he will be received by the Queen at Holyrood House. His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, also met Her Majesty when he visited this country in 1982 – a historic meeting, but essentially a courtesy call during a pastoral visit to the Catholics of Britain. This time, the Queen will be playing the formal role of host to a fellow head of state, who is also the spiritual leader of a billion people. Pope Benedict XVI will be, to use the traditional phrase, the honoured guest of the British people. But will he be honoured – or will his enemies in public life use the opportunity to humiliate him?

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