The arrest of six terrorist suspects in London has made a significant contribution to the historic speech of Pope Benedict XVI. at Westminster Hall on Saturday stole the headlines from the British press. The left-liberal Guardian and the politically centrist Times both headlined the possible "plot" against the pope.
The tabloid "Daily Mirror" wrote in large letters "Blow up the Pope" on page one, but in the inside section praised the "man for all religions". Only the liberal "Independent" distanced itself from the Pope's visit, headlining the start of the Liberal Democrat party conference with a large photo of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.
Almost all media repeatedly described Friday as a "historic day". For the first time, a pope has celebrated a service with an archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey, and for the first time, a pope has addressed civil society representatives in Protestant Britain at the tradition-rich Westminster Hall.
The tabloid "Daily Mail" called the address on the importance of Christian faith in society a "Pope's battle to save Christmas". The quality press took a more differentiated view. The pope has "put religion back in the spotlight," the Daily Telegraph wrote, and his message "did not fall on deaf ears"."Finally, it touches Catholics and Anglicans alike: "Members of the Church of England and smaller Protestant churches share the feeling of Catholics that Christians are an easy target for liberal politicians and celebrities who dare not criticize Islam." They would be publicly mobbed if they "wear a cross at work" or had "unfashionable opinions on homosexuality or contraception". That is why "tolerance" is so important.
The Times also called the pope a "shining example" and stressed that the Catholic Church has long ceased to be the "repressive monolith" that its critics like to conjure up. And even Andrew Brown in the "Guardian" stressed that Catholics in England are no longer "the other", "sometimes violent terrorists and rebels", sometimes "dirty immigrants".
It is no longer "unthinkable" that a pope stands in Westminster Hall to praise St. Thomas More, who died "to defend the sovereignty of the pope against that of the king (Henry VIII).) to defend."
Overall, it was apparently a good day for ecumenism, even if the "public discourse" lacked "reverence" during this papal visit, according to the Times. The Pope's reference to Nazi "atheist extremism" was as superfluous as the harsh attacks by protesters against his visit. The Daily Mail notes that the arrest of the six terror suspects has put the "strident protests" in a new light: "Suddenly they seemed rather trivial."