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Dublin: 5°C Thursday 21 January 2021

Vatican tells UK: Don't bring guitars, candles or cutlery

Pilgrims hoping to see the Pope on his British visit are issued a list of do’s and don’ts.

Stonemason Neil Reid works on an altar that will be used by Pope Benedict on his visit to the UK.
Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

PILGRIMS HOPING TO see Pope Benedict at one of his public events when he visits England and Scotland next month have been asked not to bring musical instruments or steel cutlery – or candles – to his engagements.

An extensive list of do’s and don’ts have been added to the official website of his visit, advising potential pilgrims on what is considered acceptable at the various events taking place in London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Visitors are told they are allowed to bring banners and flags, blankets and deckchairs, but are given a comprehensive list of prohibited items, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Gazebos
  • Canopies
  • BBQs
  • Animals (except guide dogs)
  • Open flames, including candles
  • Musical instruments [presumably, we assume, the vuvuzela]
  • Whistles
  • Bicycles
  • Standing platforms
  • Glass items of any type
  • Compressed gas cylinders and other fuel containers

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend Benedict’s various appointments, thought the crowds are not likely to exceed the one million people who watched his predecessor, John Paul II, give Mass in the Phoenix Park in 1979.

Benedict’s visit will also see him beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, the founder of the Catholic University of Ireland – later UCD – at a service in Birmingham, leaving Newman just one step away from full sainthood.

Numerous protests are planned for his visit, including one by atheist author Richard Dawkins who hopes to place him under citizen’s arrest for his alleged complicit behaviour in clerical sexual abuse – leading to a prospective change in UK law.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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