UK bishops publish booklet on papal visit – recommended

The logo of the papal visit to the UK, featuring a quotation from Cardinal Newman: "Heart speaks unto heart".

The bishops’ conference of England and Wales and Scotland have published a rather terrific booklet with information on the upcoming papal visit to the UK. It provides answers to questions about what the pope will be doing, what the nature of his visit is and why it is significant that he will be welcomed by the Queen in Edinburgh. But it also goes beyond that, explaining about Catholic social teachings (highlighting the writings of Pope Benedict XVI on that subject), about ecumenism (even why there are different Christian denominations), the Catholic understanding of herself, the role of the Vatican in the world and in Britain, the beatification of Cardinal Newman, the ongoing abuse crisis and comparable wide-ranging topics.

Because if the wide range of topics it covers, I would say that this booklet is not just useful to the Catholics in the United Kingdom, but for Catholics (and non-Catholics) in any western, secularised country. The natural questions that arise in people are generally covered here, and they are very basic questions: why is there a Church, why is there a pope, why the seeming discrepancy between faith and society?

Signed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster and Keith Cardinal O’Brien, archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, the booklet is available online via the Archdiocese of Westminster.

2 thoughts on “UK bishops publish booklet on papal visit – recommended”

    1. Yes, I gathered that from reading various blogs. I think one of the reasons that I can recommend it is that I read it with ‘Dutch eyes’, so to speak.

      Yes, it is not a perfect booklet, of course. But I see it as intended for an audience which knows next to nothing about the Church, the Catholic faith and the pope (which is the vast majority of the Dutch, for example), and as such it is a good first introduction to these subjects.

      I don’t know first hand how the exact situation in Britain is, regarding this, of course. Maybe, hopefully, most people there are far better versed in these matters than they are here. If they are, the value of the booklet diminishes. But for many western secularised countries (chiefly the Netherlands, but also Belgium and Germany) this does work, I think. And that is why I recommend it. Over here, we need to start again at the very beginning to re-educate the people about the faith.

      Still, at least the bishops got round to publishing some information about the visit.

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