Pope Benedict set to meet the Queen in Scotland

November 16, 2009

Exclusive: Pope Benedict set to meet the Queen in Scotland during September visit
Nov 15 2009 Mark Aitken, Sunday Mail
THE Pope will meet the Queen when he visits Scotland in September, we can reveal.
Pope Benedict will also hold an open-air Mass north of the Border during his four-day state visit to Britain.
It is believed he will spend three days in England and one day in Scotland.
Pope Benedict XVI is expected to meet the Queen, who will be on holiday in Scotland, and hold a Mass in the west of Scotland.
Hampden Park in Glasgow is already being considered as a possible venue.
It’s thought that the Pope will stay as a guest of honour with the Queen at Holyrood Castle.
He is also expected to visit St Andrews University to recognise its 600th anniversary.
The Pope’s entire British visit is being organised by Scots Secretary Jim Murphy.
He travelled last month to Rome with Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, to meet the Pope.
Last week, he met Archbishop Vincent Nichols, leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Murphy said last night: “This is a fantastic honour and an enormous responsibility. A papal visit would be a historic event and I am delighted that Gordon Brown has asked me to work on this.”
The Scots Secretary revealed: “We have already been inundated with invites for places for the Pope to visit and people to meet.
“I know that across Britain, people of all faiths would give the Pope a wonderful welcome.”
He added: “It is for the Vatican to announce any details but it would be a visit to remember for a very long time.”
Pope Benedict will be only the second pontiff ever to visit Scotland.
Pope John Paul II said Mass in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park and at Murrayfield in Edinburgh during his historic 1982 visit.
More than 250,000 worshippers flocked to Bellahouston to listen to Pope John Paul II.
Meanwhile, the Pope will demand international action to ease the plight of one billion people enduring hunger around the world at a summit in Rome tomorrow.
He will address the World Summit on Food Security which aims to give new “momentum to the fight against hunger and malnutrition.”
m.aitken@sundaymail.co.uk

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