News / Europe

Pope Wraps Up Historic Visit to Britain

Multimedia

Jennifer Glasse

On a four-day trip to Britain, Pope Benedict warned against aggressive secularism, and expressed sorrow for child-abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict's mission in Britain appeared to revitalize his Church, but he acknowledged the challenges it faces.  He said the child abuse scandals had damaged the credibility of the Catholic Church.  During his visit he met in private with five abuse victims and expressed his shame and deep sorrow for their suffering.

He publicly proclaimed his sadness at a Mass in London's Catholic Cathedral. "Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes," he said.

But for abuse victims like Lucy Duckworth, his words are not enough.  She was abused at the age of 6, 22 years ago. "My abuser is still a priest, practicing priest with unfettered access to children.  I am still struggling with my past," she said.

Duckworth was part of a protest of about 12,000 people who did not want the pope to visit Britain . They object for a number of reasons. "From child abuse, to homophobia to opposing abortion, opposing stem cell research a not equal rights for women, the list goes on and in my opinion he has no place in our society today and certainly not my taxpayers money," she said.

Catholics turned out in the tens of thousands for services led by the pope in Scotland, London and Central England.   Mary Thorn was at the evening vigil in London's Hyde Park. "It has been amazing, a wonderful experience, very privileged to be here and be part of it," she said.

Rachel Moran was also thrilled. "It has been very, very important to me.  I am obviously a young Catholic.  I have never seen the pope before, and it is such a great witness," she said.

This is the first state visit by a pope to Britain since Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church in the 16th Century.

Pope Benedict made public acts of reconciliation with the main figures in the Anglican Church, Queen Elizabeth II, its head, and the Archbishop of Canterbury.  He beatified one of Britain's most prominent Catholics, Cardinal John Newman, the first beatification in Britain.  During his visit he warned against aggressive secularism and called for Christians to embrace their faith.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs