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Pope's Planned UK Trip Stirs Controversy

8 years ago75 views

Some five million Roman Catholic church members in the United Kingdom await the first visit by Pope Benedict in mid September, but several groups are planning protests for the pontiff's trip.

The church's stance on a number of issues has many people opposed to his visit.

Rights groups disagree with how the church addresses sexuality.

[Woman Protester]:
"My personal favorite is 'Get your rosaries off my ovaries,' but it's difficult to get the crowd going."

But the sex abuse scandals that have spread across the globe may have created the greatest opposition to the Vatican.

Some have accused Benedict of covering up cases of sexual abuse during his role as one of the church's top officials before he became pope.

[Grainne MaGuire, Protest the Pope Volunteer]:
"He should be ashamed of himself. There's no sorrow. There's no remorse. There is almost this arrogance that the church is such a mysterious thing that we don't understand."

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood is calling on the Vatican to establish a worldwide database with the names of priests who are abusers.

The visit is estimated to cost between ten to 12 million pounds, not including security.

[Woman Protester]:
"I was abused by a Catholic priest. The day that I was abused I had to go to confession to the same man. And I'll be damned if I enjoy paying taxes for this visit."

The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales says it will be an official visit because the Vatican and the UK government cooperate on projects with one another.

The Vatican has several events planned during the four days the pope will be in the UK, including a visit with the queen and a special service at Westminster Abbey.

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