A meeting took place this morning between Archbishop Peter Smith and organisers of the Protest the Pope campaign. Concerns had been raised over the intentions of some of the protesters. A small group has set up a public Facebook page for campaigners planning, among other things, to throw eggs at the 83 year-old pontiff.
In a statement after the meeting Archbishop Smith said: "This morning's meeting took place at the suggestion of the police. At the outset of the meeting we were given a very clear assurance that those seeking to 'Protest the Pope' have no intention of disrupting any of the events during the Papal Visit.
"We had an open and frank discussion on the issues of child abuse, homosexuality and the status of Pope Benedict's visit as a state visit. I undertook to report back to my fellow bishops the particular concerns raised. I am extremely grateful to DCI Chris Lundrigan and his staff for hosting and facilitating a candid meeting."
Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “We have now discovered that there is no real prospect of a prosecution being made against the Pope. Until the status of the Vatican is really sorted out, whether it’s a state or not, the Pope is safe from any kind of legal challenge.”