By the time Mass has ended this Sunday morning, the Catholic Church in the UK hopes the trickle of pounds and pence onto collection plates will have raised £1m towards this year's papal visit. This is a lot of small change to pull together in a single morning, but this is a fraction of the total needed to fund the Pope's state visit to England and Scotland in September. The total bill for the invited visit - without the cost of police and security - is estimated by the Foreign Office to be about £15m. Of this, £7m will come from the Catholic Church, the rest will be shouldered by taxpayers.

The government remains vague on the details of what the final cost will be to the taxpayer. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Policing will be provided by the state and we expect these costs to be met from existing budgets. We cannot confirm the total costs as these will depend on an assessment of the policing required to manage the security threat posed at the time of the visit. The non-policing costs of the papal visit will be in the region of £15m, including both 'state' and pastoral elements.

The last visit by a pope, in 1982, cost between £15m and £16m. According to the Bank of England's inflation calculator, an event costing £16m in 1982 would cost about £42m today.



  1. Well, I was checking out the blog this morning and scrolling down slowly, reading in the process, the ‘toon above came into view I found it genuinely shocking. Shocking because it’s so easy to “get”.

    And that’s tragic, really.

  2. Mightn’t the money be better spent if the UK funded flights for those who would wish to visit the Mother Land (i.e., me)? I would promise to buy a trinket or two whilst there (See! I used the make-believe word “whilst,” thus demonstrating my cultural sensitivity.), patronizing local businesses, spreading my tourist pounds here and yon.

  3. Being unrelentingly hostile to Catholic bishops is, to a Catholic, a form of anti-Catholic bigotry and that is the altar on which you’re sacrificing your ministry.

  4. Yes, but only in the same way as the Nazis must have regarded the bombing of Germany by the Allies as anti-Nazi bigotry. Some people deserve our disgust.

  5. Hi, Anonymous. Here’s something else in that regard: Roman Catholics do not consider our bishops to be bishops. However we DO consider Roman Catholic bishops to be bishops of the Church. And we are just as hard on our own bishops, in case you haven’t noticed. As far as I’m concerned, a bishop is a bishop is a bishop and, as member of the baptized, I feel just as betrayed by the misconduct or inappropriate attitude of a Roman Catholic bishop as I do that of an Anglican bishop. Also, we Anglicans tend to be painted with the same brush as the RCs by the unchurched or by the evangelical Christians so the behavior and pronouncements of RC bishops powerfully affects us including our witness and ministry as well. Therefore, I have just as much right to speak out.

  6. Being unrelentingly hostile to Catholic bishops is, to a Catholic, a form of anti-Catholic bigotry

    Oh really, Anon? To most faithful Roman Catholics *I* know, it’s more like a sign of NOT being brain- (or conscience-)dead.

    I think you must be thinking of Popoids—like yourself. (The ones who enable the Popoid monstrousities, that give true Roman Catholics so much grief). HTH.

  7. Oh, Anon doesn’t give a toss about the pope or catholicism. He’s just a troll boy trying to hurt me by implying I won’t get a job. But, like you JCF, I achieve more in a day than he has in the whole of his miserable and pointless, nasty little life, so he can’t hurt me with that one. Which he knows. And he knows most people have achieved far more than he has. Which is why he has become a troll. It’s like Gollum in Lord of the Rings.

  8. I wonder is the reverse true. Is the unrelenting hostility to Anglican orders anti-Anglicanism? Yup! And at some level both are sin yet both are reasonable. After all, if Rome is right, we are all wrong and if we are right (we are) all that celibacy crap is a waste.


  9. I don’t know for certain, but my guess is that pretending to be a priest is slightly less sinful than wearing all that bling and causing the death of millions of Africans. Of course, I could be wrong… Perhaps, God is a white supremacist who is really strict on apostolic succession.

  10. I’m pretty sure it was Jesus’ sort of bigotry that got him killed, so let that be a lesson to you!