Pope's Britain beatification mass to attract 70,000: church

23rd July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Up to 70,000 people are expected to attend a special mass in Britain when Pope Benedict XVI beatifies a 19th century theologian in September, the church said Friday.

The mass in Birmingham, central England on September 19 will come at the end of the pope's four-day visit to Britain which will also include a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II.

It will mark the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, a Protestant who converted to Catholicism and died in 1890.

Benedict XVI will be only the second pope to visit Britain since King Henry VIII split with Rome in 1534, leading to the formation of the Anglican church.

Pope John Paul II visited Britain, where over four million of some 61 million inhabitants are Catholic, in 1982.

© 2010 AFP

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