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from FaithWorld:

London marchers confront Pope Benedict in biggest protest of any of his trips

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satprotest 1 (Photo: Protest against Pope Benedict in London, 18 Sept 2010/Stefan Wermuth)

Pope Benedict faced the biggest protest of his 17 trips abroad on Saturday when more than 10,000 people marched in London attacking his treatment of the abuse scandal in the Church, women priests and homosexuality. Some of the demonstrators were dressed in costumes, including black leather nuns’ habits and red cardinals’ robes. Posters bore the message: "Pope Go Home."

The pope has faced protests throughout his four-day visit to England and Scotland, often competing for attention with the faithful who are solidly supportive of the trip, only the second by a pope in history.

The loudest and most colourful was on Saturday when secularists, atheists, pro-gay groups and human rights campaigners joined forces in a Protest the Pope march from Hyde Park Corner to Downing Street, the prime minister’s residence.

satprotest 2 (Photo: Protest against Pope Benedict in London, 18 Sept 2010/Stefan Wermuth)

It was the biggest demonstration the pope has faced during the 17 overseas trips in his five-year papacy. Organisers had expected 2,000 people. Many opposed the Vatican’s stance on abortion, gay rights and resistance to the use of condoms in the fight against HIV-AIDS. "Keep your rosaries off our ovaries" one group chanted, with some wearing condoms on their heads. Placards read: "Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers" and "Protect the Children, not the Priests".

Tiny anti-Pope rally draws huge police response

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By Maria Golovnina

Peaking through the iron gates of the Vatican’s residence in London, four people rallied quietly on a rainy afternoon holding photographs of children they said were abused by Catholics priests around the world.

With a week to go before Pope Benedict’s visit to Britain, the low-key rally drew little press and the activists were about to leave when six police cars swooped on the scene flashing warning lights.

Pope’s visit to UK runs into murmurings

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Are preparations for Pope Benedict’s visit to England and Scotland on track? Well, sort of.

The papal visit in September will be the first since Pope John Paul II’s pastoral visit in 1982 and the first ever papal state visit to these shores.

Pope makes it easier for Anglicans to switch to Rome

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ITALYPope Benedict has made it easier for disaffected Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the Anglican Church, and Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, stressed dialogue would continue between the two churches.

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