That perpetrator of various misdeeds, His Unholiness The Pope Himself, is shortly to visit the UK. It is not clear why he is visiting other than to carry out some mumbo-jumbo beatifying the corpse of a long-dead Anglican convert of dubious sexuality, but it seems that the British taxpayer is paying for the visit to the tune of £10 million smackers plus policing costs. The Catholic Church in the UK is paying a similar amount which they are raising by selling souvenirs and charging Believers to attend the events. The Vatican doesn't look like it is short of cash so it makes you wonder, especially when not many people seem all that bothered about His Presence Being Among Us. A poll conducted by ComRes for the Theos theology 'Thinktank' indicates most of us are generally apathetic about the visit and object to paying for it. Another poll by Ipsos MORI, on behalf of the Catholic magazine The Tablet, confirms the general level of apathy although Catholics, unsurprisingly, seem to be in favour.
I presume the justification is that the visit is being treated as an 'Official State Occasion' rather than a Pastoral visit but I fail to see what benefit the taxpayer will get from shelling out £10 million quids at a time when public services are being cut back somewhat arbitrarily and ruthlessly.