Pope's UK visit schedule to contain nap breaks
Organisers of the Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain have arranged slots in the Pope’s itinerary to allow him to take a nap.
The full details of the 83-year-old's three day visit from 16-19 September were published online today for the first time and show that his trip will be crammed with official meetings, speeches and three large outdoor masses.
But there is a noticeable gap of three to four hours each afternoon where nothing is officially scheduled.
A source with knowledge of the plans told The Independent that organisers were keen to give the Pontiff time to take a rest should he wish to.
“He’s getting on a bit and may need to take a break,” the source said. Benedict is twenty years older than John Paul II was when he visited Britain in 1982.
It was also announced yesterday that the Pope would hold private meetings with individual political leaders.
David Cameron has been given a 20 minute slot, Nick Clegg has 10 minutes and the Pope will also meet former equalities minister Harriet Harman who is Acting Leader of the Opposition.
Tony Blair, who famously converted to Catholicism after stepping down as Prime Minister and was a key supporter of offering the Pope a state visit, confirmed yesterday that he would be attending Benedict’s speech to civil leaders in Westminster Hall on 16 September.
But a source quoted by the Press Association said there would be “no specific Tony Blair moment” in the itinerary for the former prime minister to hold a private meeting with the Pope.
Organisers may have also deliberately left time free in the afternoon to allow Pope Benedict to meet victims of clerical abuse. Neither the Vatican nor the British Government have confirmed whether such a meeting will take place. But last month Archbishop Vincent Nichols said the Pope was giving “careful consideration” to it.
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Prince Charles ‘burns 1.3 tons of carbon’ in private helicopter after urging public to turn off lights for Earth Hour
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
£18000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Telesales Executive is requir...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Ric...
£22500 - £30000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking for experie...