In 1982 Pope John Paul II came to York which of course has great historical significance for the English Church. It was a mid-way point where the Catholics of Yorkshire and the North East could go to share in the papal visit. It would be understandable, given his advanced age, if Pope Benedict makes a shorter visit to these isles. It is said he will visit London and Birmingham ( and maybe Oxford) but I`ve not been keeping up with the latest proposals. However the local Newcastle paper, the Evening Chronicle, had a poll on whether people would like to see the Pope come to Tyneside. When I last looked there was just over 50% in favour and 49% against. The poll seems to have gone but the article is here.
So is there still a virulent No Popery movement in the North East? I`ve never met much of it although I was directed recently to a blog by an Anglican cleric who works a few miles away which is somewhat less than keen on Pope Benedict.
Well it`s all very exciting and gives us something to look forward to. I`m sure many of us will be prepared to travel, even if it means crossing the border into Scotland if that is the nearest the papal visit comes. Roll on 2010!