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Catholic Voices to debate with Protest the Pope

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

A group of Catholics formed to put the Church's case during Pope Benedict's visit will later this week oppose the 'Protest the Pope' coalition at a debate organised by the Central London Humanist Group and the British Humanist Association.
Catholic Voices will oppose the motion:  'The papal visit should not be a state visit' during a debate chaired by Polly Toynbee on Wednesday 1 September at 6.30pm at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL.
The motion will be proposed by the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and the philosopher AC Grayling. It will be opposed by the patron of Catholic Voices, Fr Christopher Jamison OSB, and its coordinator, Dr Austen Ivereigh.
'Protest the Pope' is backed by the National Secular Society and a number of humanist associations, as well as the gay rights group Outrage!
Catholic Voices is an "authoritative but unofficial" team of 20 speakers who have been preparing for the papal visit with media skills training and briefings on issues likely to be discussed during the 16-19 September visit to the UK of Pope Benedict XVI. The project was profiled on yesterday's BBC R4's 'Sunday' programme, which also featured a curtain-raiser debate between Tatchell and Ivereigh.
The following evening, 2 September, Catholic Voices will be officially launched to the media at a press  reception.
Austen Ivereigh said: "Catholic Voices was created to ensure the Church's case was put across authoritatively and effectively in the media and other public forums. We are grateful to Protest the Pope for its invitation to speak at Wednesday's debate to put the case for why Benedict XVI's visit is in the national interest . Both sides feel passionately, and the argument will no doubt be vigorous - but also, we hope, enlightening."
For more information see: Protest the Pope:  www.protest-the-pope.org.uk
Catholic Voices:   www.catholicvoices.org.uk