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September 15th, 2010
06:25 PM ET

Why is Benedict coming to Britain?

London, England (CNN) - As the United Kingdom braces to receive one of the best-known and most controversial figures on the planet, Pope Benedict XVI, a question hangs over the state visit: Why is he coming?

The leader of the world's 1 billion-plus Catholics does not particularly like to travel, Benedict biographer David Gibson says.

Since a high-profile visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories nearly a year-and-a-half ago, he's gone only to a handful of small countries not far from Rome - racking up nothing like the number of air miles logged by his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

And the United Kingdom is not a Catholic country. On the contrary, Britain's break from Rome in the 16th century echoes, if faintly, to the present day, with laws on the books forbidding the heir to the British throne from marrying a Catholic.

Read the full story here.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Britain • Catholic Church • Europe • Pope Benedict XVI

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. frank carter

    What gets me is that most of the child abuse priest were British their own people they were not Italian or Mexican etc. People now and then go astray, a priest joins a holy order not a military order where you are told how to clean your bottom. for every priest that violated his vows and the trust of his parishioners there will someday be a reckoning...true the head always suffers for his members that go astray.....but the Brits don't understand the Catholic church if they think that we are going to accept practicing man and females gays into the priesthood and except the pope to issue condoms for the prevention of AID they got something else coming.....If the Brits want to live in a perverse society where every thing goes that their moral problem !!

    September 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Many are tired of living their faith as 'once encompassing Truth even though not to the fullest' and watching it dwindle down to even less Truth....no wonder they invited to Pope to visit.

      September 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  2. CatholicMom

    Tz2u,
    Tune in to get the answers!

    September 16, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • Tz2u

      Now you're teasing me! How do you think I found out what the letters EWTN stood for?

      September 16, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  3. CatholicMom

    The Pope’s visit will be covered live on EWTN! This is where you get full coverage, not just snippets! Raymond Arroyo will host much of it.
    I had posted the Pope's schedule but it is being moderated.

    September 16, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • Tz2u

      "Eternal Word Television Network"? Does that mean they never stop talking? Or are they going for the Guiness Book of World Records for the longest word in the universe?
      😀

      September 16, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  4. Darwi

    So.
    "High-level" meetings between the Church of England and the Catholic Church.
    Does Her Majesty The Queen appear as the Head of the Church of England at this meeting?
    Is England so desperate for money that they will accept restltution instead of justice?
    Or will the meetings have a more complicated and wide-ranging focus?

    I will bet on monetary restltution, at the very least, and maybe some reparations are in order, but I do not envy the Queen her position at such a time and in such a place.

    September 16, 2010 at 1:53 am |
  5. Reality

    B16 like many of us suffers from the Three B Syndrome i.e. he was Bred, Born and Brainwashed in his religion. For this reason, he is unable to think past the shackles put upon him by the likes of Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

    The wishful thinking done by these five scribes approximately 2000 years ago continued the embellishment and fiction tradition of the Jewish scribes. The locals paid for a good story of myth and imminent second coming. There was no money in the truth but now we know the truth and it boils down to two simple statements, Do No Harm and Love Thy Neighbor as yourself.

    September 16, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  6. David Johnson

    From the article, talking about the UK – "In fact, the country is one of the less religious ones in Europe, home to vociferous critics of religion like Richard Dawkins, and those who find belief in a higher power simply unnecessary, like Stephen Hawking."

    My eyes are welling up with tears of joy...

    September 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.