UPDATE 1-Pope's Security in Spotlight after London Arrests

Friday, 17 Sep 2010 09:20 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

* Not clear when attack was to have taken place

* Vatican says trip unchanged

* First substantial protest of trip to Britain

(Recasts with arrests during papal visit, Vatican statement)

By Philip Pullella and Matt Falloon

LONDON, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict's security was in the spotlight on Friday after London police arrested five men on suspicion of preparing an attack in Britain.

It was not clear if the planned attack was related to the pope's visit or when it was to have taken place, but it prompted police to take another look at security for the pontiff, who was on the second day of his visit to Britain.

The Vatican said the trip would go on unchanged. Police said they had reviewed their arrangements for the visit and concluded that their plan "remains appropriate".

The arrests were made by anti-terrorism police, who were searching a business in central London and homes in the north and east of the city but had not uncovered dangerous materials.

The five men, aged between 26 and 50, who were not named, were arrested around 5:45 a.m. (0445 GMT), police said in a statement.

The Pope has been heavily protected during his four-day visit to Britain, travelling in a custom-built bulletproof car surrounded by security officials.

Four young British Islamists killed 52 people and wounded hundreds when they set off suicide bombs on three underground trains and a bus on in July 2005.

The Vatican was told of the arrests as the pope was arriving at a Catholic university in southwest London.

"We are totally confident in police and there are no plans to change the programme," said Father Federico Lombardi. He said the pope was calm and looking forward to the rest of the visit.

At the university, Benedict reminded his church, reeling from evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children by priests, that its first priority was to provide a safe environment for children.

"Our responsibility towards those entrusted to us for their Christian formation demands nothing less," he told a gathering of Catholic schoolteachers and administrators.

In the first substantial protest of his delicate visit to Britain, several hundred people whistled and shouted "Pope must resign!" and "Shame!" as the papal motorcade entered a nearby Catholic school complex.

They held placards reading "Hypocrisy and lies" and "Catholic paedophile cover up".

The sex abuse scandal, in which priests who abused children were moved from parish to parish instead of turned over to police, has hounded Benedict's five-year-old papacy, even though most of the abuse took place decades ago.

On Thursday, the pope told reporters aboard the plane from Rome that he was shocked by what he called a "perversion" of the priesthood and acknowledged that the Church had not been sufficiently vigilant and decisive in dealing with the scandal. (additional reporting by Avril Ormsby and Maria Golovnina; Editing by Kevin Liffey) (For more on faith and ethics, see the Reuters religion blog FaithWorld at http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Oscar de La Renta, Designer for First Ladies, Celebrities, Dies at 82

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 22:01 PM

Oscar de la Renta, the worldly gentleman designer who shaped the wardrobe of socialites, first ladies, and Hollywood sta . . .

CEO of French Oil Giant Total Killed in Moscow Plane Crash

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 22:44 PM

The CEO of French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie, died in a plane crash at a Moscow airport after his private . . .

Obama to Sharpton: Dems in Key Races Support Me

Monday, 20 Oct 2014 22:31 PM

Some Democrats running for re-election or challenging Republican incumbents in next month's midterm elections have dista . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved