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Leaked memo will not affect Pope`s Britain visit: Vatican

The Vatican has said there will be no changes to Pope Benedict XVI`s visit to Britain in September despite an embarrassing memo that has apparently mocked the pontiff.



Vatican City: The Vatican has said there will be no changes to Pope Benedict XVI`s visit to Britain in September despite an embarrassing memo that has apparently mocked the pontiff.

Britain`s Foreign Office apologised to the Pope over the memo published in The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, which said the Pope could bless a gay marriage or open an abortion clinic during his visit.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Sunday the Pope had accepted an apology from the Foreign Office and despite speculation in the British media, there would be no changes to the papal visit.

"For us the case is closed," he said. "There is nothing further to add."

Lombardi said the incident would have "absolutely" no impact on the Pope`s September 16-19 visit.

The Foreign Office has stressed the internal memo by a junior civil servant containing "naive and disrespectful" ideas for marking the visit did not reflect its views.

The document also suggested that the visit could be marked by special "Benedict" condoms and the Pope could show his concern for clerical sex abuse allegations by "sacking dodgy bishops" and launching a helpline for abused children.

The memo provoked a storm of protest in the Catholic Church in Britain and prompted Britain`s ambassador to the Holy See Francis Campbell to meet senior officials at the Vatican on Saturday to express the government`s regret.

Pope Benedict XVI`s visit is expected to take in Birmingham, as part of the planned beatification of Cardinal John Newman, as well as Scotland.

It will be the first papal visit in Britain since John Paul II`s visit in 1982.

IANS

From Zee News

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