Although neither the Holy See nor the British government have yet officially confirmed a visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Britain in 2010, a statement issued today by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, head of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, is being interpreted by many as confirmation of the tripThere is no mention in the article what part the Archbishop of Canterbury would play in the upcoming Papal visit but we have to assume he won't be ignored. It's a pity the Church of England is roiled in such controversy these days and it is beyond this blogger's ken just what, if any, salutary (or ill) effect the Pope's visit will have on it. Nevertheless, the idea of the Pope addressing Parliament in Westminster Hall and perhaps meeting with the Queen fairly staggers the mine and is marvelous to behold. That, along with the recent buzz of rapprochement and possible reunification with the Eastern Church, suggests these are interesting times indeed for Holy Mother Church.
The visit will most likely take place next September and also coincide with the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
“Here you have the first-ever state visit by a pontiff, coming as a guest of the queen, and probably also to beatify Cardinal Newman,” said a source. “It’s the ultimate rapprochement between Rome and London.”
Sources predict the most poignant part of the trip will be when Benedict becomes the first pope to address both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall, the site where St. Thomas More was tried and convicted.
(Thanks to Fr. R)