Vatican Confirms Benedict XVI's Upcoming UK Trip

Scottish Bishops Invite All to Participate

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VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2010 ( A Vatican spokesman is confirming Benedict XVI’s September 16-19 trip to the United Kingdom.

In a statement released today, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed that «accepting the invitation of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and of the bishops’ conferences of England and Wales, and of Scotland, His Holiness Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to the United Kingdom from 16 to 19 September.»

The priest noted that the Pope will visit the queen «at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh,» Scotland.

The Pontiff will also «preside at the celebration of the Eucharist in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.»

«In London he will meet representatives from the worlds of politics, culture and business in Westminster Hall,» the statement continued.

It noted that the Holy Father will «participate at an ecumenical celebration in Westminster Abbey, and preside at a Eucharist celebration in Westminster Cathedral and at a prayer vigil in Hyde Park.»

Father Lombardi concluded, «Finally, he will preside at the celebration of the rite of beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park, Birmingham.»

The theme chosen for the Papal visit, «Heart Speaks Unto Heart,» reflects the words of Cardinal Newman, and the hope that the hearts of many people will be impacted by the event.


The Scottish bishops’ conference just announced the choice of a logo for the Pope’s daylong visit to their country, which has as its motto, «The Hope Which Never Disappoints Is Jesus Christ.»

The conference president, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said in a statement released Thursday, «I hope that as many people as possible will participate in the celebrations surrounding the visit to our country of Pope Benedict XVI.»

He expressed the certitude that the Sept. 16 event «will be a day of great happiness and celebration in our country.»

The cardinal noted that the day of the Pontiff’s arrival is significant as it is the feast of St. Ninian, a 4th century Scottish saint «who was one of the first to bring the Gospel of Christ to our land.»

He affirmed that «following his arrival at Edinburgh airport, that morning, the Pope will be driven to Holyrood Palace where he will be welcomed by Her Majesty the Queen.»

The prelate noted that the Pontiff will then travel through the center of Edinburgh in the popemobile. He encouraged «as many people as possible» to «attend and line the Pope’s route.»

He also invited all Catholics, whether practicing or not, to attend the public Mass in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park.

«Apostolic visits provide a rare opportunity for us to strengthen our faith and to show it to others,» Cardinal O’Brien stated. «As we commemorate the feast of St. Ninian who sowed the seeds of faith in our country, it is my hope that a new generation will be revitalized and strengthened in bearing witness to the message of the Gospels.»

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