92 days to go until Pope Benedict XVI visits England and Scotland

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The sixth weekly audio update from the desk of the Papal Visit Co-ordinator, Mgr Andrew Summersgill, looks at the new Papal Visit publications which will be distributed to parishes.

You can listen to the audio by clicking on the MP3 player below:


Monsignor Andrew, could you tell us about the Papal Visit publications which are coming out this week?

Mgr Andrew Summersgill: Yes, there are two publications which are coming out this week. The first one is a publication to do with parish resources. It really builds on something that Pope Benedict himself said to the bishops when they were in Rome at the beginning of the year. He said “encourage your people to pray that it will be a time of grace for the whole Catholic community”, talking about his Visit.

So what is coming out this week is a pack for parishes quite simply to help people in parishes, those who will be going to things with the Pope and those who won’t, on preparing for the Papal Visit. Preparing in terms of prayer, in terms of how we might tell people what the Pope’s going to be doing, on looking at participating in some of the different parts of the Visit. And then on how people might celebrate during the time of the Visit even though they may not be going to some things, but how people at home can be able to be part of it.

So that’s coming out, and then the other thing that will be coming out this week is much more of a detailed introduction to the Pope’s Visit. It will, in a series of articles, just talk about some of the very different parts of the forthcoming Visit. So it will try to answer a few basic questions. So for example, why is the Pope meeting the Queen? Why will Pope Benedict be meeting with leaders of other faiths? What is the contribution of the Church to society both in this country and internationally? What about Catholic schools and colleges? And of course what is there that we want to say about Cardinal Newman? And then of course again some questions about our spiritual lives, about prayer, and about how we meet with and encounter God.

This is probably aimed at a much wider audience than perhaps the parish resources. The parish resources are quite specifically focused on parishes and the people who work as catechists, and animating parishes, and parish priests. The second one, which also launches the logo for the Visit, is aimed at a much wider audience and to be much more informative.

Have you met Lord Patten yet?

Mgr AS: I have met Lord Patten, yes. We had a very good meeting with Lord Patten last week. Archbishop Nichols and I and Lord Patten with some of his officials, and the plan is that we will be meeting regularly between now and the Pope’s Visit.