Scottish poll shows opposition to Papal visit evaporating

Opposition to next month’s Papal Visit to Scotland seems to be dramatically smaller than predicted, according to a new poll out today. The survey suggests that a few as 2% of Scots say they’re “strongly opposed” to the visit with over fifteen times as many people saying they’re in favour of it.

The survey, carried out by Opinion Research Business  and surveying over 1000 adults across Scotland, finds that only 2% of Scots say they “strongly object” to the visit whilst another 3% say they “object”.

Commenting on the findings, Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien said: “I am greatly heartened by the results of this poll as it again confirms that the vast majority of Scots are warm hearted and welcoming of all people. Next month’s Papal Visit is going to be a truly historic occasion for our country and one which I hope all Scots will share in and enjoy.”

The visit of Benedict XVI will be the first ever state visit by a Pope to the UK. It begins on 16 September, the Feast Day of St Ninian, when the Holy Father will arrive in Edinburgh where he will be welcomed by the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse before going on to greet crowds in the Popemobile along Princes Street. Later in the afternoon, he will travel onto Glasgow where he will offer Mass before a crowd of 100,000 at Bellahouston Park. There the Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle will fulfil her “lifetime ambition” of performing for the Holy Father.  It’s estimated that the worldwide television audience for the Papal Visit to Scotland could top one billion.  

Today’s poll also shows that 70% of Scots consider themselves Christian, up on the last census of 2001, and that nearly half of all Scots said they go to church at least once a month.

It also emerged today the London-based secularist campaign group “Protest the Pope” have ditched plans to hold protests against the Pope in Scotland. Instead the group will now hold only one march in London. Commenting on these developments, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland Peter Kearney said: “It’s now clear to everybody that this tiny minority of secularists speak for nobody but themselves. Most Scots will be delighted to hear that they’ve given up their attempt to spoil what promises to be a very exciting day for all Scots.”

Source: SCMO

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