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POPE VISIT BILL SOARS TO pounds 12M; Holy tour costs rise by third.

Byline: Torcuil Crichton

THE Pope's visit in September could cost as much as pounds 12mi l l i o n , i t emerged yesterday.

That's pounds 4million higher than the original budget.

The total bill for the historic four-day state visit - tak ing into account security costs - could be as much as pounds 24million, with the di f ference being pa id by the Catholic Church.

The visit begins on September 16 w h e n P o p e B e n e d i c t X V I flies into Scotland t o me e t t h e Q u e e n i n Edinburgh.

T h e s e c u r i t y nightmare comes when he t ravel s along Princes Street in the Popemobile and on to a huge open-air public Mass in Glasgow.

A f t e r t he Ma s s i n Bellahouston Park, the P o p e w i l l mo v e t o London and will make a speech to representatives from the worlds of politics, culture and business at Westminster Hall.

Appeal He wi l l a l so hold a Mass in Birmingham to beat i f y Cardinal John Henry Newman.

Lord Patten, who is the government organiser for the visit, said that the total cost of security could not be estimated.

The Church recent ly raised pounds 1.1mi l lion in a Pentacost Sunday parish appeal and have pounds 4million from private donations.

Yesterday, Archbishop of Wes tmins ter Vinc ent Nichols said: "We know we have got some way to go."

This trip will be the first official Papal visit to the UK. Pope John Paul II made a purely pastoral visit in 1982 but Benedict's trip will combine both pastoral events and formal state business.

The visit could run into controversy following the child abuse scandal.

Archbishop Nichols said it should be up to the Vatican to decide whether the Pope should meet some of those who had suffered abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.

He added: "It's easy for people to call for some great public gesture, such as meeting victims, but that in itself is a difficult process for someone who has suffered abuse.

"And we must not use those who have suffered abuse for some kind of public agenda.

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MASS APPEAL: Benedict
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 6, 2010
Words:404
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