Former HK governor Patten to run UK papal visit
LONDON (Reuters) - Former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten will take charge of arrangements for Pope Benedict's visit to Britain later this year, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Tuesday.
Pope Benedict will visit from September 16-19, the first time a head of the Roman Catholic Church has come to Britain since John Paul II in 1982. He will visit the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Coventry.
He is likely to face protests over the Vatican's handling of the sexual abuse of children by priests and also over the Church's attitude to homosexuality.
"Lord Patten will, on my behalf, oversee and manage Government preparations for the visit alongside the arrangements being made by the Catholic Bishops Conferences," Cameron said in a statement.
Patten, a former minister under a previous Conservative administration, served as the last governnor of Hong Kong, managing the handover to Chinese control in 1997. He subsequently served as a European Commissioner.
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