Today’s Guardian reports on the race row stoked up by Cardinal Walter Kasper, a senior advisor to the Pope, on the day he landed in Edinburgh for a four day visit to the UK .
As if the Roman Catholic Church wasn’t already negotiating through a cloud of controversy Casper compared landing at Heathrow airport recently to a third world country.
The official Church response has been to withdraw the Cardinal from the Pope’s official entourage. They have also published a clarification that Cardinal Kasper ‘was only talking about Britain’s multicultural diversity’ which has only worsened matters.
OBV Director, Simon Woolley is quoted in the Guardian piece describing the comments as “shocking and ignorant”:
“If he’s complaining about Britain being multicultural, it’s ignorant because of Britain’s slave and colonial past. In reality, most black people are here because Britain was there,” said Woolley. “It’s shocking because it’s so disparaging. The remarks are really unhelpful.”
The Pope will travel from Edinburgh down to Glasgow, as well as visiting Birmingham and London. He will travel with an entourage of 30, the obligatory press pack and the infamous popemobile. The last visit by a pope was 28 years ago by John Paul II. This is the first State visit by a Pope to the UK.