State Visit

Pope Arrives in U.K.

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United Kingdom Thursday for his state visit, as thousands of fans lined up in Edinburgh to meet him and protesters readied. This is the first papal visit to the U.K. since John Paul II visited in 1982. But this visit comes amid much controversy over the Catholic Church’s child abuse scandal, which the pope said had come as a personal shock. He said he hoped to offer victims "material, psychological, and spiritual" help. He was met by the Duke of Edinburgh, church leaders, and a Royal Regiment of Scotland honor guard. The pope then went to Holyrood House, where he traded gifts with Queen Elizabeth. The Queen said she wants the visit to strengthen the ties between the Catholic Church and the Churches of England and Scotland, and that the Catholic Church had made a “special contribution” to helping the poor worldwide.