The campaign to stop the Pope from visiting the UK on a state
visit in September is lending its support to a group of local residents in
Twickenham, IHEU member the British Humanist Association reports. The local group, “Richmond Coalition against the State Visit”
will be protesting against the planned visit of the Pope to Twickenham on 17th
September, where the pontiff will talk at St Mary’s University College about his views on Education.
An open meeting has been organised in Richmond on
12 August 2010 where speakers from the Protest the Pope campaign will outline the
reasons for protesting against honouring Joseph Ratzinger with a state
visit. After the meeting, local people will have the chance to
discuss plans for a protest in September with representatives of local groups
who have joined the coalition.
Andrew Copson of Protest the Pope said, ‘We were approached
by several people and organisations in Richmond who were concerned that the Pope
plans to come to their area as part of a state visit in September. Although we
agree that the Pope may visit the UK in his capacity as a religious leader, we
are concerned that this visit is being given state recognition; something that
accords honour and public funding to a questionable state which has a dubious
reputation for human rights.
‘The public meeting in Richmond will allow a full discussion
of the issues with local people and will allow those who wish to protest against
his visit to Twickenham a voice.’