the day after His Holiness left the UK.
The following text, photo and caption are from the Daily Mail:
A frail voice, but a resounding message.
They said Benedict XVI would be unwelcome in Britain. They claimed he would find little sympathy in our modern, liberal society for moral teachings that have changed little over 2,000 years.
How wrong they were.
In Scotland, London and Birmingham, the Pope has drawn large and joyful crowds, while most non-believers and followers of other faiths have shown him nothing but tolerance and goodwill.
Indeed, in just four days, the Pope has probably done more to stimulate debate on the place of religious values in our society than Archbishops of Canterbury have achieved in as many decades.
This is in spite of the efforts by self-important opponents of the visit, encouraged by the BBC and the Left-wing Press, to drown his message in howls of outrage over the child-abuse scandal and the church’s alleged role in promoting the spread of Aids in Africa.
Yes, as Benedict humbly admits, the ‘unspeakable crimes’ of Catholic priests have brought ‘shame and humiliation’ on the church, while his own handling of the scandal has been lamentable.
And yes, millions find it impossible to accept the Vatican’s continuing opposition to the use of condoms in tackling Aids.
But who can doubt that the Pope’s central theme deserves a hearing in a society increasingly devoted to instant self-gratification?
Britain is a country riven by family breakdown and moving ever closer towards ‘mercy killing’ for the sick and elderly. It’s a nation in which the destruction of unborn human lives is routine — and anti-abortion protesters have been thrown behind bars for holding a banner depicting an aborted foetus.
In the name of ‘multiculturalism’, Christian nurses have been ordered not to pray for their patients, a BA worker has been disciplined for wearing a small crucifix and public authorities have shied away from celebrating Christmas.
Doesn’t the Pope make a timely point when he warns against the march of ‘aggressive secularism’?
Other church leaders should draw courage from the success of his visit.
There’s a hunger in this country for a spiritual dimension in public life — and they should stop being afraid to feed it.
Daily Mail Comment