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Pope Benedict visits Brum to respirit local Catholicism
The Pope has been in the UK lately, on a mild-mannered, popstar-style tour of our cities to bring some kind of revival to the Roman Catholic Church in our country. Catholic Christianity has dwindled in popularity lately as it’s had so much negative publicity, especially in the UK, after several allegations of child abuse by active priests. And this country has quite a reputation for negative news & pessimism, so the Pope came here to lift our spirit and generate more positive interest in the Vatican.
The Pope’s tour recently culminated in a “beatification mass” in Cofton Park to make the late Brummie, John Henry Newman, an official Saint within Benedict’s religion.
In a royal-looking letter from Birmingham City Council entitled “Papal Visit to Birmingham” & “Visit by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Birmingham, Sunday 19th September 2010”, Councillor Alan Rudge from the Council’s Equalities and Human Resources department says:
On Sunday 19th September, Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting our city and Cofton Park has been chosen by the Vatican for the beatification mass (part of the process of becoming a saint), because of the long association Cardinal Newman had with Birmingham.
This will undoubtedly be a very exciting time and will bring many thousands of visitors and the world’s media to our city. The mass will be televised live on BBC2 and broadcast across the world. Attendance at the mass is by pilgrim pass only and these are being allocated through the Roman Catholic Church by local parish priests.
The letter from the Council continues, with a section entitled “Papal Visit to the Birmingham Oratory, Hagley Road”…
Following the mass at Cofton Park, His Holiness The Pope will then make a personal pilgrimage to the Birmingham Oratory on Hagley Road, which was home to Cardinal Newman for most of the 45 years he lived and worked in the city. There will be no public access to the Oratory during the time the Pope is visiting.
Councillor Alan Rudge goes on to tell us about road closures & diversions that were set for when His Holiness made a trip down Hagley Road in the Popemobile:
Key agencies including the Catholic Church, Birmingham City Council and West Midlands Police are working in partnership to ensure that any disruption to local people is kept to an absolute minimum.
As far as charity work goes though, we don’t have much to talk about. Maybe the Pope did a lot that didn’t make the major headlines? Or do our Big Society leaders not mix with the poor people on the streets? Comments please.