Rome, Italy, Aug 5, 2010 / 19:32 pm
According to the U.K. ambassador to the Holy See, Britain is "very proud" of its shared relationship with the Catholic Church. Despite critique and controversy, he told CNA in an interview that there is great interest in the Pope's visit this coming fall, and if people listen to his words closely, they might find that the Catholic Church is a "force for good."
Ambassador Francis Campbell, a practicing Catholic, has been the lead British diplomat at the Vatican since 2005. His time in Rome would likely have been limited to just four years if not for his commitment to the papal trip from Sept. 16-19, he explained as he met for an interview with CNA.
Commenting on the positive impact of the Pope's pending visit, Campbell said much can be accomplished for the U.K. "The figure of the Pope represents 17.5 percent of the world's population, it's a huge opportunity for Britain to say something to a huge section of the world community (with which), actually, historically there have been tensions.
"The fact that a Pope is coming to Britain on a state visit also speaks volumes about how far we have come in the United Kingdom," he added, noting that "the world is very different positively and negatively than when Pope John Paul II was there" in 1982.