Just over a week from now Pope Benedict will flying from Rome to Scotland to begin his Apostolic Journey to the United Kingdom.
Organizers have been posting weekly audio updates on the official Papal Visit website
. The updates are short, and the page also has a transcription of the audio. It provides some nice background into the trip. For example, the August 31st edition
features an interview with Lord Chris Patten. He's the British government representative overseeing the Holy Father's visit. In his interview, Lord Patten said that this visit deserves the description "historic," adding "the first state visit of a Pope to the United Kingdom is a moment of very great significance."
A Catholic, Lord Patten also noted that the trip is significant not just for Britain:
It’s worth remembering that this is not only a great British event but a great European Commonwealth event, 40% of Canadians are Catholic, 25% of Australians, and a great global event. When the Pope went to Sydney for World Youth Day I think more people went to Sydney for that than went to Sydney for the Olympics. We would expect a huge amount of global attention for his visit here. So I think this visit will be hugely interesting, hugely successful, and the one thing we can't hand-on-heart guarantee is the weather, but we hope it will be more like Rome than Oslo.
Now I'm not sure what the weather is like in Oslo these days, but I agree that when the Holy Father visits a country what he says is far reaching. Yes, it is often tailored to the specific country he is in, but his words are for the universal Church.
You can check out the audio updates, here
And don't forget to tune into Salt + Light's coverage of the Holy Father's Apostolic Journey to the United Kingdom. For more details, visit here