Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Benedictus, Qui Venit"

First buzzed last fall, the dates reported in January, this morning finally saw the formal announcement that B16 will visit the UK from 16-19 September and, with it, the launch of a PopeTrip webpage.

Likewise well-circulated in advance, the four-day pilgrimage to England and Scotland will arguably be headlined by the pontiff's first beatification ceremony that he'll preside over himself -- a West Midlands rite elevating Cardinal John Henry Newman to the penultimate step before sainthood, a move Benedict (himself a Newman devotee) approved last July.

The full itinerary still to be announced, the broad strokes of the trek were sketched out in a morning release:

Her Majesty The Queen announced earlier today that the visit will take place from 16-19 September. It will be the first ever official Papal Visit to the UK – the visit by Pope John Paul II in 1982 was a pastoral visit only.

The Pope will be received at the Palace of Holyroodhouse [Edinburgh] by Her Majesty The Queen. His Holiness will give a major speech to British civil society at Westminster Hall. He will also visit the West Midlands to beatify the nineteenth century theologian and educationalist Cardinal John Henry Newman at a public mass in Coventry.

Other key elements of the visit will include a public mass in Glasgow, a prayer vigil in London and an event focusing on education. Relations between the Christian Churches will be a theme of the visit as will the relations between the major faiths. The Pope will visit the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace and pray with other Church leaders at Westminster Abbey.

PHOTO: Reuters