Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pope will visit the United Kingdom next year, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the United Kingdom next year, marking the first time in over 25 years a pontiff will make this trip. This comes after an invitation by Gordon Brown, the prime minister of England, and is being looked forward to by the Catholic bishops of the country, as well as the Anglican's top man, the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

I read this article on the BBC, and the response seems rather upbeat and positive. Usually when British mainstream media, including the BBC, report on issues related to the Catholic Church it's 10% positive and 90% negative. Even if the article is on a good topic, they find some way to screw it up. For example, they may write an article that goes along the lines of "Catholic Church donates millions to orphanages, so why are they not paying enough for sex abuse cases?" or "Pope condemns all violence and leads vigil for victims of the Holocaust, BUT there are hundreds of critics who say the Vatican didn't do enough to defeat Hitler". The only place you hear this is with the Catholic Church and/or the Vatican. Can you imagine this article: "Brad Pitt donates to UN, but many say he is a poor moral voice because he committed adultery with his first wife!" or how about "The German Chancellor says violence is not the answer and we must renew our commitment to peace. However, many critics say this is too little, too late, given Germany's role in the Holocaust." It's not acceptable in those cases, so it shouldn't be with the Catholic Church.

In this particular article about the pope's visit to England, the response was very good from the user comments. One user said he would schedule his vacation around the pope's visit. Others praised this action. The article did however make clear that there would be protests surrounding his visit by certain groups. Of course, you'll get your typical protest groups at such events. I do not think it's bad for the media to report on opposition to things, but I think everything should be put into perspective. The same standards should apply in all cases. If opposition is shown, it should be relevant and timely. For example, to protest something from this pope because Pope Pius XII alledgely didn't "do enough" during the Holocaust is ridiculous.

To go back to the topic, I think it's really wonderful that the Pope will be visiting the UK next year. I think this is a very good time for this visit given the current affairs of the Anglican church. Many in that church are disillusioned by moral liberalization taking place. The Anglican church has historically been seen as one of the closest relatives of the Catholic Church, save perhaps the Orthodox, in terms of liturgy and beliefs. That started to change in 1930 when the Anglican church became the first to advocate the possibility for couples to use contraception. Then around fifteen years ago, the Anglican church started to ordain women. This caused a major rift between Catholic - Anglican relations. Then a few years ago, Anglicans accepted an openly gay bishop. And most recently, the Anglican church has said it will perform marriage for gay couples. Beyond a miracle, this rift has become an insurmoutable chasm. The Church sees this as a new opportunity for evangelization. Many Anglicans are seeking true Christian teaching, and the Catholic Church is in a great position to receive many members. Indeed, Anglicans are already converting to Catholicism at a great rate.

With the Pope's visit to England, there will be a great opportunity for evangelization. This may be the first time many Britons have heard the pope unfiltered. Usually they hear about the pope from the mainstream media, but hearing his words directly may have a great effect. I read an article recently about 10 Agnlican nuns coming over to the Church. Also, another story says there are around 40,000 Anglicans who may be welcomed into the Church en masse soon. The Catholic Church already has an Anglican-style liturgy designed for those who are familiar with Anglican services. The only difference is that it is done according to liturgical rules and by a validly ordained priest.

We should all be very grateful for Gordon Brown's invitation. Perhaps he is listening to the pope's message more and more like Tony Blair has (he is now a Catholic convert). My suggestion for the church in the UK is to have lots of priests on hand who can lead people through the conversion process to Christ's Holy Catholic Church.


  1. I have recently come across your blog & I find it very interesting. Re Gordon Brown listening to the Pope - I doubt it very much! His Government has carried on the same immoral, family destroying, anti-Christian policies of Tony Blair. Great Britain is a wonderful country with good people but, sadly, not many of the good people are in Government. As for Tony Blair's conversion read on -'Look, there are many good and great things the Catholic Church does, and there are many fantastic things this Pope stands for, but I think what is interesting is that if you went into any Catholic Church, particularly a well-attended one, on any Sunday here and did a poll of the congregation, you’d be surprised at how liberal-minded people were. ..... On many issues, I think the leaders of the Church and the Church will be in complete agreement. But I think on some of these issues, if you went and asked the congregation, I think you’d find that their faith is not to be found in those types of entrenched attitudes. If you asked “what makes you religious?” and “what does your faith mean to you?” they would immediately go into compassion, solidarity, relieving suffering. I would be really surprised if they went to “actually, it’s to do with believing homosexuality is wrong” or “it’s to do with believing this part of the ritual or doctrine should be done in this particular way”. This was Mr Blair speaking back in April of this year. He also said that the Pope is out of step with the public & it was time for Benedict to rethink his views. Some convert! Around the time Blair's 'conversion' was announced, it was also announced that the Queen's grandson, Peter Phillips, was to marry a Canadian Catholic, Autumn Kelly. But, Miss Kelly would convert to Anglicanism, so that Mr Phillips would not have to give up his place in succession to the throne. A parishioner remarked to our Parish Priest, "The Anglicans got Autumn Kelly and we got Tony Blair. Nobody got very much of a bargain, did they?" Anyway, it will be wonderful if the Holy Father does come and we look forward to it with joy. Keep on blogging and God bless. (I hope this isn't too long!)

  2. Thanks very much for your comments breadgirl. Your comments are coherent and intelligent, which I find rare from commenters sometimes. I receive a lot of attack responses, so yours is sort of a breath of fresh air. That's not to say I don't receive good comments as well! I hope you keep reading. Thanks!