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What does Pope Benedict XVI's UK visit mean to you?

00:01 UK time, Thursday, 16 September 2010

Thousands of people have gathered to witness the Pope's beatification of 19th Century theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman on the final day of his four-day state visit to the UK. .

The event, in Birmingham, is the first beatification by the Pope himself.

After the Mass in Cofton Park, the Pope will meet men studying for the priesthood, before returning to Rome.

PM David Cameron will thank the Pope for challenging the UK to "sit up and think".

What's your reaction to the Pope's visit so far? How are you marking the visit of Pope Benedict XVI? Are you attending any of the events?

We are also debating the impact of the Pope's visit - join that debate here.

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 35

  • Comment number 1.

    Nothing at all.
    Man dressed in white visits UK - (scoop ?)

  • Comment number 2.

    To be quite honest nothing at all.

    Although I do find it quite funny there are a lot of spare tickets to see him. It just goes to show how the UK is growing apart from religion.

  • Comment number 3.

    "What's does Pope Benedict XVI's UK visit mean to you?"

    the appeasement of the leader of an unethical organisation which has criminal charges pending against them.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Travel chaos and feeling out of pocket to the tune of £20M and avi maria.

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    A further waste of MY/OUR money in times of supposed hardship, and the spread of something I personally would eradicate.

  • Comment number 8.

    Absolutely nothing.

  • Comment number 9.

    Send him home!

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    This visit means nothing to me at all. He is only the head of an organisation which a lot of their senior members are being investigated for serious criminal activities. That said Cardinal Walter Kasper's comments about the UK being a third world country are absolutely correct and will remain correct until we and our gutless politicians do something about it.

  • Comment number 12.

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  • Comment number 13.


    It is quite amazing that there is a linage today of a person who has been physically blessed all the way back to Peter who had his feet washed by Christ.

    I have heard some pretty strange things may be going on behind the scenes at the vatican so I can't really judge, only God knows the heart of each person, its best to place your faith in God and Christ, perfect Holiness, rather than in any man on earth as we are not perfect.

    If you place your hopes in mankind you will be disappointed again and again, I dont think its right to worship any person, as Jesus himself said he who is the greatest is the least and a servant of all, so I dont think the whole papal hierarchy veneration of a man is right. (Matthew 23:9)

    All focus should be on God and Christ who was Gods Spirit incarnate.

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    Ratzinger is trying to convert another third world country to Christianity. His visit can do nothing but harm and it is salt in the wounds of those directly affected by his church's behaviour over the last few decades.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Very little really. I am not religious and do not live in the areas he will be visiting. I suppose I will see him on the news, but thats about it.

  • Comment number 18.

    If he passes this way I'll go to look, otherwise nothing. Money is being spent, but it should be going to UK businesses so not that bad.

    I don't agree with his beliefs or beliefs such as those of GoldFiligree above, but then we're both free to hold whatever beliefs we have. As long as Britain remains fair and does not give religious belief any special privilege merely for being religious that's fine.

    I see it as a bit sad the way some religious people throw around insults just because we don't all kow-tow to their organisation. This country takes a middle road on abortion and contraception which I think most agree is acceptable. Late term abortion is illegal, but also we don't force rape victims to carry the child and we won't put a small girl through a twin pregnancy that may kill her and the babies merely for ideological reasons. I think we have it right.

  • Comment number 19.

    A missed opportunity to arrest somebody who faces some rather serious allegations.

  • Comment number 20.

    He should be made welcome and respected,like any other VIP,what has happened in this country,when we are supposed to respect all faiths,There is good and bad in every religion.But the public has been like a dog at a bone with the Catholic Church.I would love to see the Pope

  • Comment number 21.

    Oh look, it's our daily dose of Catholic bashing, I think you need to change the record BBC

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Another desperate move by another religious establishment to counter science and atheism as well as showing it is still alive in this this day and age, sorry too late!

  • Comment number 24.

    Nothing. It's not because I don't want to it's because I just moved here and you need to travel to the events as part of a parish. When the Pope came to the US tickets were help at the diocese's to be given out and people were allowed to travel to the events on their own. So I was able to attend the service at Yankee Stadium. I don't understand why the UK is doing it differently and this is probably one of the main reasons events aren't being "sold out." If I knew how to get those extra tickets you bet I would be on my way.

  • Comment number 25.

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  • Comment number 26.

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  • Comment number 27.

    Basically it doesn't mean a thing to me - I'm not a Catholic. Not that I'm against the visit - there are thousands, perhaps millions, of Catholics in this country who will welcome him with open arms, and it is good for them to see their spiritual leader on their "home" soil.

    What I do object to however, is pretending that it's a state visit so the taxpayer has to foot part of the bill. If the Catholic church wants him to visit, then they should foot the total bill.

  • Comment number 28.

    The Pope's aid commented that arriving in London was like landing in the third world. What could he have meant? Could have meant that Labour's open door immigration policies have made London and large parts of the UK like a non-European country? Surely this is the truth of the matter. Walter Kasper could have gone on to say that apart from losing our European identity we have also lost our ability to speak openly and honestly in the face of aggressive multiculturalism.

  • Comment number 29.

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  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

    If Britain is Third World in the eyes of Senior Clerics,then,what is Africa? Many third world countries have corrupt dictatorships; is that how Britain is seen in the eyes of the clerics? If so,why are they coming to Britain?

  • Comment number 33.

    The Pope is simply a dictator of a spurious state

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

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  • Comment number 36.

    With regard to the Pope's visit, I am saddened by the biassed coverage given by the BBC. The Reformation is spoken of as if it were one great big mistake, whereas our religious freedoms at that time were fought for at great cost. The coverage of the Pope's visit on the 7am news whilst the contributer made mention of Catholics being burnt on the Royal Mile, no mention was made of the horrific also cruelties meted out by Mary 1st in defence of Catholicism. It should not be forgotten that Sir Thomas More, now canonised, was the instrumental cause William Tyndale's martyrdom all because he wanted the English ploughboy to have the Bible in his own language, something the church at that time forbad.

  • Comment number 37.

    If God can watch us 'from a distance' then so can Ratzinger. Send him back to Rome. If the UK Government can ignore the Dalai Lama during his 2004 Uk visit then why is it spending millions rolling out the red carpet for the Pope?

  • Comment number 38.

    Yes the visit means alot.The Successor of Saint Peter, the Holy Apostle, who Jesus Christ Himself apppointed to Head His Church, Pope Benedict XVI is coming to England and Scotland to renew our faith in Jesus Christ.
    Britain is virtually a pagan / heathen country with millions living a life as though there is no God. We need to be re-evangelised and converted to Christianity as our ancestors were.

  • Comment number 39.

    If anybody else led an organisation, which knowingly harboured (or covered up for) sex offenders, they would be questioned by the police when they arrived in the UK.
    Will the same apply here? I'm willing to bet that child security comes second place to that of upsetting those of the Catholic faith. Also, will the usual laws regarding homophobic behaviour apply?

  • Comment number 40.

    13. At 07:13am on 16 Sep 2010, GoldFiligree wrote:


    It is quite amazing that there is a linage today of a person who has been physically blessed all the way back to Peter who had his feet washed by Christ.

    //////////////////////////////////////

    Are you serious????

  • Comment number 41.

    £20 tickets, bullet proof cars...where is the faith?

  • Comment number 42.

    In your glossary of terms you omitted a few useful terms the catholic church is familiar with:

    Third world country - "country in which many human realities of the most diverse provenances and conditions meet and mingle; a crucible of today's humanity, with its diversity and problems".

    Aggressive atheists - "certain well-known authors who put themselves forward particularly aggressively and dress themselves up in scientific and cultural arguments, but who do not in fact have the value they show off" (sic)

    Aggressive secularism - upsetting people by thrusting your private views down other people's throats

    Health reasons - making bigoted comments in public instead of in private

    Paedophile - ...well, everyone knows what that means in the context of the Catholic Church

  • Comment number 43.

    it means leaving for work a wee bit earlier but it turned out i didnt need to. ho hum.

    other than that it means a vague sense of sadness that humanity hasnt grown out of this type of flouncy god-bothering nonsense yet.

  • Comment number 44.

    Wasn't he once a member of the Hitler Youth Movement? The boy's done good!

  • Comment number 45.

    It doesn't mean much to me or most people in the UK. I think the Pope's assistant [who mercifully isn't coming with him] probably summed up the Catholic Church's hostile view of people in Britain.But to be honest,I don't care. I am proud of being a citizen of one of the most secular societies on the planet,which is on the whole,decent,polite,honest and moral.Perhaps we have more sense than we are often credited with after all.

  • Comment number 46.

    I feel very sorry for this pope and especially the apparent hatred that the British seem to have for him (at least following from press reports).

    I remember when he was elected pope, there was such disgust from the world visual media; yet if most practising Catholics had been asked, they would have said how happy they were.

    On issues of abortion, contraception, etc. - this is the faith of the Catholic church and Pope Benedict is required to teach it by our faith. It has always be done and it doesn't matter how much noise anyone will make, it will always be done.

    About the child abuse; that is sad - but the man has said sorry and he is trying to the best of his ability to sort out what he can - no one will listen. What the world is looking for is a rock star pope and I don't think that will be happening any time soon.

    What does the Pope's visit to the UK mean to me? I look at it from a faith based and religious point of view. The break that took place about 500 years ago was sad for all of us and it is my hope that this will help bring the Anglican church and Catholic church closer together. It gives me hope. I also hope that more Britons will get to know Newmann and the Catholic church.

    I am sure it will be successful.

  • Comment number 47.

    20. At 07:29am on 16 Sep 2010, spillman6 wrote:
    He should be made welcome and respected,like any other VIP,what has happened in this country,when we are supposed to respect all faiths,There is good and bad in every religion.But the public has been like a dog at a bone with the Catholic Church.I would love to see the Pope
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Yes, the publis are outraged at the Catholic Church. Note, I say the church NOT Catholics.

    There is a good reason for that: The organisation has been caught aiding and abetting paedophiles, which is a criminal offense. One they are entirely unapologetic about, they even go so far as to criticise those that point out their crimes.

    Just imagine of that was a large non-religious corporation. What would your reaction be?

  • Comment number 48.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 49.

    It means that the UK still welcomes dictators when the circumstances suit us.

  • Comment number 50.

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  • Comment number 51.

    Absolutely nothing!

  • Comment number 52.

    Why here why now? They probably believe if they can crack the UK with no real controversy a money spinning world tour is just round the corner like Madonna. I wonder how many catholic parents had to wrestle with the idea of taking the kids?

  • Comment number 53.

    10. At 07:05am on 16 Sep 2010, GoldFiligree wrote:
    The catholic church is right about abortion and homosexuality - I hope it does not bend to worldly fashion and trends as some other denominations have.

    ********
    There have always been, and alway will be, homosexuals. Its a normal variant just like ginger hair. Therefore it is god-given.

    It's clear to any rational person that homophobia as preached by the church is distinctly immoral, as it is fundamentally based on bigotry rather than truth.

  • Comment number 54.

    Not a thing.
    Absolutley nothing at all.

  • Comment number 55.

    49. At 08:09am on 16 Sep 2010, Wheelies wrote:
    It means that the UK still welcomes dictators when the circumstances suit us.

    ---------------------

    we've had our own fair share of dictators, look at Blair. And we can't even get him done for war crimes after the failed finding of WMDs.

  • Comment number 56.

    The deluded leading the deluded. I don't believe in any of this stuff. I'm getting a bit fed up of it taking so much of the news time up.

  • Comment number 57.

    More of the same really. Paying tax to support the bigoted views of yet another millionaire!

  • Comment number 58.

    I'll tell you exactly waht it means to me and thats a downright annoyence why should i have his visit RAMMED down my throat every time the news comes on?

    He's the leader of the biggest con to ever hit the human race.

  • Comment number 59.

    13. At 07:13am on 16 Sep 2010, GoldFiligree wrote:


    It is quite amazing that there is a linage today of a person who has been physically blessed all the way back to Peter who had his feet washed by Christ.
    ----------

    Lineage?? Related?? No. So What?

    As someone who regrets being brought up a catholic (suppose I cant regret what wasnt my choice) I can see all that is wrong with this "leader" encouraging people in poor countries to reproduce just to keep the faith, when their children are starving. If he cared about people he would allow contraception, what was that about cutting your cloth?


    sadly the vatican gives christianity a bad name, which is a great sin.

    The media will continue to pick at the catholics until the churches are empty and become mosques or takeaways.

    I hope that the media and the demonstrators will be as vocal when other faith leaders do a UK tour as its time all of them took a lon hard look past their worldly influence.

  • Comment number 60.

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  • Comment number 61.

    It means nothing to me. It's a hypocritical person costing me the taxpayer lots of money which we can't afford!!!

  • Comment number 62.

    If the criminal sex offenders in the Catholic Church get the same treatment as anyone else on this world for their offences, then I will start respecting the Pope. This rubbish of telling people to pray for the offenders instead incarcerating them is simply a nasty joke on the thousands of children who have been abused by a faith that proffesses to be helping people and working for society. The history of many churches and religions that have used their power to kill and abuse in the name of god is disgusting.

  • Comment number 63.

    The visit means nothing to me but as a counry we should have the courtesy to welcome representatives of other countries and faiths to our own.

    Ok so it costs a bit but there are a lot of catholics in the UK and europe and we all need to get along.

    Be nice it's good for your soul.

  • Comment number 64.

    To me, the Pope's visit means a DISGUSTING waste of public money. If the Catholics (or any other religious group) want visits from their leader, let THEM pay for it. The extent of the BBC coverage is an insult to other license payers.

  • Comment number 65.

    Absolutely nothing!
    I agree with the atheistic/agnostic commentary that this guy would just turn round and go home!
    Apart from committing large UK taxpayers money on security and police (which I personally object to) the Catholic Church is shot to pieces by recent scandals let alone the very dubious background of this Pope.
    In any case this country is NOT a "Catholic" country but now very diverse in religion and cultures - this is the last thing that we need here right now. The comment about Heathrow may have a ring of truth about it in that we have a diverse culture here - that's a positive, not a negative and we are better off for it I believe!

  • Comment number 66.

    Im delighted His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is coming here.
    We need to be reminded and re-converted to Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world.
    Pope Benedict XVI is the Successor of St Peter, who Jesus Christ Himself while physically present on earth, appointed to Head His Church.
    Many are living a Godless life and need to be called out of their pride, lust and materialism to return to spiritual values and true joy.
    The visit is a great blessing for England and Scotland and a wake up call to the Heathen / "secular" society.

  • Comment number 67.

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  • Comment number 68.

    Who's visit?

  • Comment number 69.

    It leaves me cold.

  • Comment number 70.

    10. At 07:05am on 16 Sep 2010, GoldFiligree wrote:

    The catholic church is right about abortion and homosexuality - I hope it does not bend to worldly fashion and trends as some other denominations have.

    The highest objective Holy teaching, guidance, laws came 2000 years ago from Christ and thousands of years prior to that in the OT ten commands - thousands of years later these fundamental laws of morality are still recognised as the core essence of morality and right and wrong - and even today thousands of years later mankind struggles to live up to the level of purity and integrity elucidated thousands of years ago and echoed in the God given conscience.

    when mankind acknowledges conscience, right and wrong, integrity, morality - they are acknowledging God, there is no natural reason for these qualities as they rail against the animal instinct

    -----------

    The last point is incorrect. The human is a co-operative animal that functions in nested social groups. A sense of right and wrong and basic rules of social behaviour are entirely in line with that animal instinct, in fact the animal would not have been successful without them.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    The Catholic Church has many faults, in particular its stance on abortion and homosexuality and it has done itself no favours by failing to take action on those among its number guilty of sexual abuse.

    As a humanist I believe that we can be good without the need to believe in chocolate teapots and the like, however I do share numerous moral values with those of a religious inclination. Whereas the church offers a moral code it requires a belief in the supernatural, today’s aggressive atheist attacks religion but offers no moral code in its place for fear of being seen as the very thing they are attacking.

    Quite shamelessly, many Brits now see fit to attack the multi-million pound cost of the Papal visit to the taxpayer (mouthing the opinions fed to them by the media) yet doubtless many of those are the very same people who during the boom, out of greed, ego and lack of personal integrity lied to borrow vast amounts money lavishing material success upon themselves to live a parasitic lifestyle and whose collective folly now leaves the country in severe financial jeopardy. One has to wonder if these fools are not merely atheists but unwitting Satanists?

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Comment number 73.

    With the calls for a greater role for religion in the state we seem to be calling for an end to democracy.
    Why should someone effectively get two votes because they believe in a god?
    Can I have two votes if I say I do when, like many religious conmen, I don't?

  • Comment number 74.

    What does this visit mean to me?

    I find it deeply depressing that in the 21st century, there are still people in this country, some of them posting here, that are willing to suspend their intelligence and ignore the fact that there is not a single shred of evidence that supports any of the ridiculous notions promulgated by religion.

    The Leader of a sky god cult that has caused death and misery throughout its history is in Britain at our expense – disgusting.

    Thankfully I’ll be out of the country for most of the time he’s here, at my own expense.

  • Comment number 75.

    What does his visit mean to me?

    It means we have an opportunity to arrest the head of an organisation that abuses children. The organisation has even admitted it.

    Unfortunately for the children, we won't take the opportunity and he and his minions will continue to be feted and fawned over.

    It sickens me.

  • Comment number 76.

    Nothing at all.

    BTW The Cardinal who spoke of arriving at Heathrow as being "third world" is absolutely correct.

    Britain is a 3rd world country just look at:

    + T5 a grey concrete block with walkways from the aricraft too narrow ro pass a wheelchair - very soviet very incompetent
    + Then when you get out look at the dirt and grime and traffic - very Niarobi
    + In London see the beggars and the dirt with filthy fast food outlets

    This man is right Britain is very 3rd world. It is about time we woke up and recognised the reality and did something about it.

  • Comment number 77.

    He'll pass right outside my house tomorrow but I couldn't even bring myself to look out the window.

  • Comment number 78.

    Disrupted road and transport network, can't get to and from work as well!

  • Comment number 79.

    I am looking very forward to the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. He is a man of prayer and a the humble shepherd of the Roman Catholic Church. May his visit bring great blessings to the UK and all its inhabitants. May people be encouraged to follow Jesus and the freedom of the Christian faith.
    GOD BLESS THE POPE - praying for him.

  • Comment number 80.

    The man is 83 years old and like a leader of all religions he surrounds himself with power, pomp and plenty whilst the bulk of believers live in extreme poverty and hope of a better life. His church employs abusers and ex mass murderers who bought their way into the church with blood money.He oversees a dying mythology and the sooner its gone the better.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    Petrus wrote;
    "Many are living a Godless life and need to be called out of their pride, lust and materialism to return to spiritual values and true joy."

    Hmm, just what kind of lust & materialism are you talking about?

    Paedophile priests lusting over children?

    Look at the wealth of the catholic church/vatican bank, or as it prefers to be called the institute for works of religion. Isn't it being investigated for money laundering to the tune of $218million US? Now there's materialism.

  • Comment number 83.

    A tax-funded state visit of the leader of a corrupt cult? In this supposed age of austerity? It's a disgrace. On a personal note, it is causing major disruption to my day due to road closures. I live not far from Bellahouston Park and getting home from work today is going to be a nightmare.

  • Comment number 84.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 85.

    I am from a catholic family, but am myself lapsed for some 15 years. I am pleased that the pope is coming here, as the UK is such a tiny, tiny part of the catholic community worldwide, it is meaningful that he is coming. In the current economy the visit is ill-timed. Ordinarily, I would say that the catholic church should fund the visit, however, it would appear that since he was invited here by our previous prime minister, the government should pay; you don't invite people to your home and then expect them to buy their own towels!

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    Last night there was meeting a run by the City of Edinburgh Council to 'consult' with people of Edinburgh on £90,000,000 of cuts to local services. Yet ,today £20,000,000 (headline figures) is being spent on just one man's four day visit to the UK. £5760 per minute infact !!!

    In the city of Edinburgh alone over 230 road closures , bus services are diverted or cancelled and services for elderly are curtailed. The disruption this short visit to the city is outrages. Disruption to schools and pupils education. I am sure the £20,000,000 figure does not include the lost of working time while folks watch this circus on TV and web

    Can anyone fully justify this cost at this time of economic crisis?

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    71. At 08:31am on 16 Sep 2010, dzine wrote:

    Oh look it's a doddering old fool wearing fancy dress!

    -------

    I find the remarks on here offensive and uncalled for! As a Roman Catholic I feel blessed to see the Pope in my own country as I do not have the money to fly to the Vatican.

    Yes there have been scandals within the Catholic Church recently, but to lay the blame of this on the Pope's feet is naive and ridiculous. Surely if you are going to blame someone, other than the people who carried out the hideous acts, you should blame the Pope who was in charge at that time, not the current one. But then why blame him anyway? He has not abused any children so who are you blaming? The guy at the top? Then surely people should be blaming God as he is ultimately the head of the Catholic Church.

    If you're not religious that's fine, everyone is entitled to believe in what they wish, but don't start slagging us off just because we are different to you!

  • Comment number 90.

    Couldn't give a monkeys to be honest, I'm just annoyed that the UK is footing the bill for some old catholic bloke to visit a protestant country. If he wants to come here then he the Vatican should pay, it's not like they're short of a few quid.

    Got no interest in him being here at all, and his visit benefits the UK by what exactly ???

  • Comment number 91.

    It is the sheer cost of the thing which is so wrong. The Catholic Church, indeed the Pope himself, should have postponed the trip and offered the money to those in desperate need - whatever their beliefs, thus showing the compassion which is supposed to be a major part of Christianity. And as for the worship of this mere mortal - it is bizarre, anachronistic and downright unpleasant.

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    Although I am not a Catholic, I am not against the visit of the Pope to this very secular and atheist country. I have listened to the likes of various media atheist journalists and anti-religion people all week and am sick of their nasty 'there is no God' comments. This is a free country, and everyone has the right to believe what they want. Those who believe in God follow His rules, and those don't make up their own rules, and jolly good luck to them. Those who believe in an afterlife with God will no doubt be with Him in that afterlife, and those who don't, won't (you can't spend time with someone you don't believe in). So would all those atheists who keep ranting on about religion, please just shut up and stop trying to defend your beliefs because we. who do have a faith, are fed up with hearing them.

  • Comment number 94.

    Nothing but a waste of money .... total and utter waste of money.

  • Comment number 95.

    I fail to see what all the fuss is about. The Pope is only the head of the Roman Catholic Church in which I have no interest. Would the same fuss be made in Rome if the head of the Church of England (no interest in him either) were to pay a visit there. I doubt it very much. And why the British Tax Payers should have to fork out for this fuss is disgusting at this time with the financial crisis and when millions will be suffering hardship when the cuts in services and extra taxes that this Government are planning come into force.

  • Comment number 96.

    The story of Cardinal Walter Kasper, one of the Pope's closest advisers, partly overshadows coverage. He said arriving at Heathrow airport was like landing in a "Third World" country and has pulled out of the tour. I wonder how far Jesus or Paul would have got with the same attitude?

  • Comment number 97.

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  • Comment number 98.

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  • Comment number 99.

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  • Comment number 100.

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