Read the full itinerary of Benedict XVI’s official state visit to the UK in Septmeber and how the trip will be an opportunity will be an opportunity to present the beauty of the Christian faith and the Catholic Church.

Itinerary Published for Benedict XVI’s U.K. Trip

Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit to the United Kingdom will include a visit with the queen, a meeting with other religious leaders, and a beatification ceremony.

Today the Vatican publicized the itinerary for the Pope’s Sept. 16-19 apostolic journey.

Sept 16

He will leave Rome at 8:10 a.m. and arrive at the international airport of Edinburgh, Scotland, at 10:30.

Shortly after, the Pontiff will attend a welcoming ceremony at the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, where he will make a courtesy visit to Queen Elizabeth II.

At 11:40, the Holy Father will address the authorities in the park of the palace, after which he will depart for lunch in the archbishop’s residence in that same city.

That evening, Benedict XVI will celebrate an open air Mass at 5:15 p.m. in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, Scotland. After the Mass, he will depart by plane from Glasgow to London.

Sept. 17

The next day, Sept. 17, the Pope will say a private Mass at the apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon.

At 10:00 a.m. he will give an address to leaders from the world of Catholic education at an event in the sports field of St. Mary’s University College in Twickenham.

After this, the Pontiff will meet with leaders of other religions in the Waldegrave Drawing Room of that same college.

He will pay a special courtesy visit to the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in Lambeth Palace. The Holy Father will give an address in the presence of the other Anglican bishops as well as the Catholic prelates of England and Wales.

At 5:10 p.m., Benedict XVI is scheduled to go to Westminster Hall to address representatives of the civil society, as part of his State visit. He will meet with civil leaders from the worlds of academics, culture and business, with the diplomatic corps, and with other religious leaders.

The Pope will conclude that day by participating in an ecumenical celebration in Westminster Abbey along with the archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders.

Sept. 18

On Saturday, Sept. 18, the Pontiff will begin his itinerary with a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron and other government leaders in the archbishop’s palace.

At 10:00 a.m., the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in the Cathedral of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, also known as Westminster Cathedral, where he will greet the people of Wales.

Young people will gather in the plaza outside the cathedral to greet Benedict XVI after the Mass.

The Pope will visit St. Peter’s residential home for the elderly in the evening to greet those who are unable to travel to see him, and will then participate in a prayer vigil in Hyde Park.

Sept. 19

On Sunday, Sept. 19, the Pontiff will leave Wimbledon by helicopter for Birmingham, where he will arrive at 9:30 a.m.

At 10:00, he will celebrate Mass and the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Cofton Park of Rednal in Birmingham. The Holy Father will give the homily and, after Mass, will recite the Angelus with the pilgrims gathered there.

He will make a private visit to the oratory of St. Philip Neri, where he will be the first person to pray at the new shrine for Cardinal Newman, who will at that time be beatified.

Benedict XVI will conclude his visit with a meeting with the bishops of Scotland, England and Wales, and will depart Birmingham by plane for Rome at 6:45 p.m.

The Pope will arrive in Rome at 10:30.

Director of Vatican Press office ion Papal state visit to UK

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office,  said Benedict XVI’s trip to the United Kingdom next month will be an opportunity to effectively present a secularized society with the positive contribution and beauty of the Christian faith and the Catholic Church.

He said that the Pope’s first-day meeting with the queen is “awaited with great intensity and emotion,” as is the Scotland leg of the trip.

“I would like to remind, moreover, that the day the Pope will be in Scotland is the feast of St. Ninian, who is the patron, the evangelizer of Scotland,” Father Lombardi noted. “Hence it is a very important day for the Scots.”

Then there will be “the Pope’s great address in Westminster Hall, the meeting with society, with the world of culture, with all the most active and authoritative components of English society,” he continued. “This will certainly be a moment watched with great attention.”

Unity-seekers

Father Lombardi added that the ecumenical dimension of the trip should not be discounted. That element includes a meeting between the Pope and the leader of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop of Canterbury.

“The ecumenical celebration certainly has great significance,” Father Lombardi contended. “We also know that it is a delicate moment for Anglicanism, because of the internal debates. And it is a delicate moment also for relations with the Catholic Church, because the internal debates are reflected also in the relationship between the Anglicans and the Catholics.”

Newman connection

Father Lombardi classified the closing vigil in Hyde Park and the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman as the “spiritual heart of this visit.”

He mentioned the bond that unites the Holy Father to Cardinal Newman, a poet and Anglican pastor, subsequently received in the Catholic Church and made a cardinal by Pope Leo XIII.

This bond, explained the Vatican spokesman, is visible in the “profound synthesis between faith and reason” and “in living Christian witness in today’s world, in the modern world, giving all the reasons of the Christian faith for those who ask for them, giving reason for our hope in today’s world.”

In regard to the question of the so-called tickets to participate in some of the events, as for example the vigil in Hyde Park, Father Lombardi clarified that the costs and organization of a papal visit fall to the inviting nation.

“It isn’t the Pope who organizes a trip for himself in England,” he said. “Hence, the first thing: the Vatican has not established any of this.”

The spokesman said that the need to ask for a contribution to participate in the three main public events stems from the fact that people will use organized means of transportation; hence the ecclesial authorities have had to issue “a pass, a specific passport to each of the faithful that participates” and “a small service kit — also pastoral and logistical.”

State visit

In reference to the novelty of this visit, compared to that of Pope John Paul II 30 years ago, Father Lombardi stressed that much has changed, particularly elements such as “the approach of the visit itself, which has the aspect of a state visit with an official invitation from the queen and the government, whereas that of John Paul II was more specifically pastoral.”

“I would say that what is expected, what can be desired, truly hoped for from this visit is the fact of making it understood, of presenting the service of the Christian faith and the service of the Catholic Church for a very developed but also a very secularized society, such as that of the United Kingdom,” he said. “A reality, where perhaps many persons wonder about the value of Christian witness and Catholic witness in society.

“Hence, to make it understood that this is a gift for society, a richness that is offered with its service of spiritual inspiration but also of commitment in the educational field, in the field of health, of charity is something very important.

“We hope that this trip will also be a manifestation of the beauty, of the positiveness of the Holy Father’s service in society, much more so in times in which we also have had moments of controversy.”

ROME, AUG. 18, 2010 (Zenit.org)