Today is the final day of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain. I was eager to catch a glimpse of him, so early this morning I drove to the Apostolic Nunciature, Wimbledon, where he was staying. He was due to leave the embassy of the Holy See at 8am and head to Birmingham for the final leg of his tour.
There was a moderate crowd of people already there when I arrived, waiting patiently. More people came as time passed. I saw the faces of people from many different parts of the world, and there wasn't a single protestor in sight - just the Catholic faithful.
At 8.17am, slightly behind schedule, Pope Benedict finally emerged to the delight of the crowd. The Pope was dressed in his familiar white cassock, white zucchetto and red shoes. He raised his hands and greeted the faithful. There was a real buzz in the crowd who enthusiastically cheered, waved and sang even more.