Pope Benedict XVI departs from UK

Monday, September 20, 2010

File photo of Pope Benedict XVI from 2007.
Image: Tadeusz Górny.

Pope Benedict XVI concluded a journey to the United Kingdom on Sunday. During the four-day tour, the Pope presided over Mass in Westminster, London, performed the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in Birmingham, and spoke with UK Prime Minister David Cameron. Speaking about the sex abuse cases which have brought criticism on the Catholic Church, Benedict XVI described his "deep sorrow" at the "unspeakable crimes" that had caused "shame and humiliation" onto him and his church.

As the Pope departed from Birmingham International Airport on Sunday night, he pledged better diplomatic relations between Vatican City and the UK. Cameron said the Pope had "really challenged the whole country to sit up and think, and that can only be a good thing." The Pope thanked the UK for hosting him before departing without his Popemobiles, which are to follow over land.

During his last speech in the United Kingdom, the Pope proclaimed: "As I take my leave of you, let me assure you once again of my good wishes and prayers for the peace and prosperity of Great Britain. Thank you very much and God bless you all." He then proceeded to take an aeroplane ride back to Rome.