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Top English prelate downplays organizational woes for Pope's trip

Catholic World News - July 06, 2010

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has brushed aside reports that organizational woes have complicated plans for Pope Benedict’s trip to the United Kingdom in September.

In a Vatican Radio interview, the archbishop acknowledged that organizers had scaled back plans for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, moving that ceremony from the Coventry airport to a smaller public park in Birmingham. The move, he suggested, was a bow to practical considerations. He explained that “in an age of safety regulations, security problems, making sure that nothing can possibly go wrong, three major outdoor events in three different locations in three days is a real challenge.”

However, Archbishop Nichols denied that the costs of the trip are becoming an obstacle. Noting that the papal visit is a state evene, he told Vatican Radio that “it is perfectly clear that the British Government is very supportive of this visit, totally committed to its success and ready to meet its share of the costs.” The bishops of England and Wales are also ready to share the costs, he said.

Moreover, the archbishop argued that the costs of the papal visit are relatively modest, “if you compare them to cost of the G20 summit last summer-- which lasted for one day.”

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