The blog of a group of Filipino Catholics and their frank commentary on anything that affects their lives as a citizen of the Philippines and as a Roman Catholics.
As a state visit, Pope Benedict XVI's visit has an important political dimension aside from the apostolic and ecumenical ones. Unlike in the 1982 visit of Pope JP II, his first stop is Holyrood, the Scottish Buckingham Palace as we can consider it. Now Holyrood means the Holy Crucified Christ and was an Augustinian abbey. JP II first stop was Westminister Cathedral. His visit was apostolic than political.Now we are almost certainly sure that His Holiness will get an idea of what the Queen feels about what is happening and will happen in the Established Church. She has sent signs to her subjects that she isn't amused. But whatever transpires between them in their meeting will not be made public as protocol dictates. The only way we can get to know exactly what transpired is to read the Pope's and the Queen's diaries. We can only do so when they are dead!There won't be ecumenical show stoppers like the visit to Canterbury Cathedral. The Pope's visit to Westminister Abbey for ecumenical prayers, is just that, a prayer. There won't be any reference to the Eucharist as in JP II's visit to Canterbury since all hope of corporate reunion with the Anglican Church is lost. Also more tellingly, the abbey itself is not under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury unlike his cathedral is. The Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, directly under the Queen as Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church. And as we know, the Queen isn't amused with Rowan of Canterbury.If ecumenical conditions were like at JP II's visit to Canterbury, Pope Benedict XVI may have been given permission to celebrate the Mass at Westminister Abbey. The Dean with the Queen's consent has given similar permission to lesser Catholic clerics before.Lastly, the Pope will beatify John Henry Newman. This should have had a significant ecumenical dimension with the Anglicans but sadly that is no longer the case. The beatification is now directed more to the Catholics and to Catholic minded Anglicans who are thinking of joining the Ordinariates. For the liberal Anglican establishment, this is a "good riddance" moment.Sad but that how it is. His Holiness is about to witness not for ecumenism but against a greater evil of Secularism divorced from its moral anchors. The Christian foundations of England and Scotland made their nation great and as an exemplar of liberty to all, including us Filipinos. But that is being lost. Thus more than the Masses he will celebrate, I look forward to the Pope's speech as Westminster Hall, where many of the Catholic martyrs gave their witness.