Stuart George

Posts Tagged ‘Pope John Paul’

Pope discord

In Uncategorized on September 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

Very discreetly – it is not part of his “official” itinerary – the Pope will today visit St Peter’s Residence in the deeply unglamorous Meadow Road SW8, all of five minutes walk from my flat.

I am not a church goer or Catholic so I can take or leave his visit. I do like Alexander Pope, though!

Nonetheless, it is historic. I can remember my parents – both C of E and suspicious of Catholicism – being quite excited by Pope John Paul II’s visit to the UK in 1982. I saw his Easter Mass in Rome in 2002 when I was backpacking around Europe.

This week I read a highly amusing story about the how the Popemobile was developed after the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul in 1981. The Vatican commissioned a local firm to modify a Toyota, with the design to include Kevlar bodywork and bullet-proof glass but also, at the front, mountings for a couple of machine guns.

These were eventually dropped because, a  company spokesman admitted many years later, “it was decided it wouldn’t look good for the Pope to fight back.”