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Proposal for papal address to Parliament was raised, rejected before 1982 visit by John Paul II

December 30, 2011

A proposal to have Pope John Paul II address Parliament was scuttled by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during the planning that led up to the historic papal visit in 1982, newly released British government documents show.

The British government was concerned that a papal address to Parliament would anger hard-line Protestants who were already riled by the visit of a Roman Pontiff. Thatcher decided that an invitation to address Parliament—a rare honor—should not be extended to the Pope, since the Anglican faith is the nation’s established religion.


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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 30, 2011 6:04 PM ET USA

    Had the Pope addressed Parliament, the Anglicans might have been energized by fear and loathing into a revival. They were allowed to linger in somnolescence, and the result is that Anglicanism is dying a little every day. Let's pray that they return to the true Communion.