Pontiff's visit 'did Birmingham proud'

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Organisers of the Pope's historic visit to Birmingham say it was a great success.

Father Richard Duffield said the Pope blessed the Oratory's cat during his visit

Pope Benedict XVI lead Mass at Cofton Park on Sunday at the culmination of his four-day UK state visit.

More than 50,000 people at the event witnessed the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, of Birmingham City Council, said putting on such a large event had "done the city proud".

Peter Jennings, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: "The whole visit itself has been a huge boost for everybody It's given new confidence to the Catholic Church and also to our relations with the Church of England and other churches."

Oratory cat

About 2,000 officers from West Midlands Police and other forces were on duty for one of the area's biggest security operations.

The Popemobile travelled from Cofton Park, near Longbridge, along Hagley Road, Edgbaston, to the Oratory, which was founded by Cardinal Newman.

Father Richard Duffield, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, said the Pope met a group of parishioners there and also thanked workers at the Oratory.

He added the Pontiff had also given a blessing to the Oratory's cat.

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