Smaller crowds anticipated in UK for the papal visit

September 15th, 2010 - 8:29 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Vatican City, Sep 15 (THAINDIAN NEWS) The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England has announced that they now expect only 55,000 worshipers to gather for the beatification of Cardinal Newman Sunday at Birmingham when the Pope visits Britain. The figure is less than the 80,000 worshipers that the church initially estimated. 

The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI is set to visit Britain from Thursday. Pope John Paul II visited Great Britain in 1982 and the number of worshipers that converged to meet him is far bigger than the expected one. 

However organizers say the drop in the number of expected worshipers does not represent loss of interest but they blame it on lack of space on the park where the event is expected to take place. The Church however says that though they don’t expect the “uncountable” number that the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982 generated, they will concentrate on quality of the worshipers and the spiritual quality of those that will attend. 

“I think one of the problems is that quite a lot of the trees in the park have grown since then, which is a tendency which trees have, which has altered the sight lines,” according to Lord Chris Patten, who is looking after the government’s part of the papal visit.

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