Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Guardian: Archbishop of Southwark to meet anti-pope protesters

An archbishop is to meet leading campaigners against the pope this week to tell them to "show respect" to Catholics celebrating his visit to London.

Scotland Yard has brokered the meeting between the Archbishop of Southwark, Peter Smith, a senior figure in the Catholic church, and the organisers of a campaign against Pope Benedict XVI's visit.

Smith said today he had no intention of infringing the rights of those intending to protest against the papal visit. But he said he planned to use the encounter to encourage them not to become overly confrontational.

"I've always said, thank God in this country we have free speech," he said. "They are perfectly entitled to protest. What I would ask of all of them is to do so in a dignified way, which does not disrupt the joy of the Catholic community in welcoming the pope. I hope they would show respect to those of us who do have [religious] convictions." Read more

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