It's been a couple of decades since a Pope has visited the United Kingdom (the last was Pope John Paul II in 1982). Pope Benedict XVI has kicked off a four-day visit that started in Scotland with a visit with the Queen at The Palace of Holyrood House. After that the Pope took part in a parade and a mass in Glasgow. Along the way he has been answering questions about the Catholic Church's response to the claims of child abuse by priests. AOL News reports that many groups are planning "Protest the Pope" demonstrations.
Pope Benedict XVI will fly to London on Thursday night and will meet with religious and political leaders, including prime minister David Cameron. On Saturday he will take part in a vigil at London's Hyde Park with a beatification Mass in honor of 19th century cardinal John Henry Newman to follow in Birmingham on Sunday.
The visit will cost over £12 million not including security. The Daily Mail reported that Vatican officials who will accompany the Pope will stay in a luxury hotel where rooms cost up to £900 a night which will be paid by the UK government. The 11 members of Pope Benedict XVI's entourage will also have a daily spending allowance of £150 for the trip.Some have questioned why the government is paying these expenses instead of the Roman Catholic Church. The hotel has not been identified but a chapel will be set up in its private dining room to accommodate the spiritual needs of the group. The Pope himself will stay in the Papal Nuncio's residence at Wimbledon. A special website has been set up with details on the visit, providing Twitter updates, Flickr shots and livestreaming of key events.