Pope's Speech to British Bishops, Farewell Address

09/19/2010 Comments (4)

Flags of the Vatican and the United Kingdom line the route taken by Pope Benedict XVI in London Sept. 18. (CNS photo/Andrew Winning, Reuters)

The Holy Father gave a deeply pastoral speech of encouragement to the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland today, the final day of his four-day visit to Britain.

Below is the full text of his speech, and farewell address at Birmingham airport. The farewell speech of Archbishop Vincent Nichols can be found here, and Prime Minister David Cameron’s address, in which he pledged that faith will always be part of the fabric of British society, can be found here.

My dear Brother Bishops,

This has been a day of great joy for the Catholic community in these islands. Blessed John Henry Newman, as we may now call him, has been raised to the altars as an example of heroic faithfulness to the...READ MORE

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Pope's Homily at Cardinal Newman Beatification

09/19/2010 Comments (1)

The Holy Father’s homily this morning at the beatification Mass of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Cofton Park, England.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This day that has brought us together here in Birmingham is a most auspicious one. In the first place, it is the Lord’s day, Sunday, the day when our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and changed the course of human history for ever, offering new life and hope to all who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. That is why Christians all over the world come together on this day to give praise and thanks to God for the great marvels he has worked for us. This particular Sunday also marks a significant moment in the life of the...READ MORE

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Need for Faith & Reason Brought to Life in London

09/19/2010 Comment

A useful example showing one important reason why Benedict XVI so emphasises the importance of faith and reason in today’s world, thanks to a group of Muslim radicals protesting in London during the Pope’s visit.

Dressed threateningly in balaclavas and kafiehs, holding black flags, and led a by a vociferous preacher, they bellowed: “Down Down Benedict!”, “Benedict: terrorist!” and “Benedict! Watch your back!”.

Their preacher then ranted about hedonism in Western society. “Christians!” he yelled to perplexed passers-by on the other side of the street, protected by an increasingly large number of police officers. “You have forgotten who Jesus really is!”

Although he made the error of...READ MORE

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Pope's 'Astonishing' Visit to Britain

09/18/2010 Comments (12)

A nun laughs as she chats with a police officer while she waits to see Pope Benedict XVI's popemobile cross Lambeth Bridge in central London Sept. 17. (CNS photo/Andrew Winning, Reuters)

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster described the events of yesterday in which the Pope gave addresses in Westminster Hall, Westminster Abbey, and Lambeth Palace as “astonishing.”

It was the first time the Successor of Peter had ever set foot in any of these historic buildings which at any one time have been pillars of Church and State in Britain for the past thousand years.

In his first briefing of the visit to journalists today, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the welcome the Pope received at Westminster Hall and Abbey were “extraordinary”. He added that the Pope was “very impressed” by the richness of the Anglican liturgy in Westminster Abbey. 

The Vatican...READ MORE

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The Pope's Westminster Hall Speech

09/17/2010 Comments (5)

The Holy Father’s speech to representatives of civil society, academic, cultural and entrepreneurial world, diplomatic corps and religious leaders in Westminster Hall:

Mr Speaker,

Thank you for your words of welcome on behalf of this distinguished gathering. As I address you, I am conscious of the privilege afforded me to speak to the British people and their representatives in Westminster Hall, a building of unique significance in the civil and political history of the people of these islands. Allow me also to express my esteem for the Parliament which has existed on this site for centuries and which has had such a profound influence on the development of participative government among...READ MORE

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Possible Threat to Pope Emerges During Interreligious Meeting

09/17/2010 Comment

News has come in this afternoon that London police have arrested five men in relation to a potential threat against the Holy Father.

Details are few, but some reports say they are not British citizens but of Arab origin.

In a verbal statement to the press, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi said the Vatican have complete trust in the police, there was no need to change plans and the police were taking the necessaary measures. The situation isn’t particulaly dangerous he said, adding that he remembered the situation was more dangerous in Sarajevo. “The Pope is happy about this trip and calm,” Fr. Lombardi said, and recalled the words the Pope made on the plane in which he said that...READ MORE

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Pope Offers Alternative to Celebrity Culture

09/17/2010 Comment

A nun waves a papal flag after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland, Sept. 16. The pope was on a four-day visit to Great Britain. (CNS photo/Dylan Martinez, Reuters)

On his first morning in London, the Pope travelled to St. Mary’s University College, where he addressed educational leaders and students.

He spoke of the need for educators to teach with wisdom, and offered young students an antidote to a celebrity culture in which money, fame and career appear the only goals in life.

The Holy Father arrived a little late owing to logistical problems, and had earlier celebrated a private Mass in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon. But the delay meant a large and excited crowd that had gathered outside the nunciature were able to cheer a little more until he left for the Catholic College in south west London.

St. Mary’s has a good...READ MORE

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Pope Arrives in Britain

09/16/2010 Comments (14)

The Holy Father has landed in Scotland and his state visit to Britain is well underway.

He was met at Edinburgh airport by the Duke of Edinburgh and was driven by motorcade to Holyroodhouse Palace. The streets near the palace were lined with well wishers.

During the national anthem of the United Kingdom, Benedict removed his zuchetto as a mark of respect.

In his speech to the Queen at Holyroodhouse Palace, the Pope stressed the deep Christian roots of the country from which so much good has been achieved. He recalled the great Christian figures of the past, the line of Christian monarchs, and figures such as William Wilberforce to Florence Nightingale, David Livingstone to Cardinal...READ MORE

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About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Follow on Twitter @edwardpentin