Pilgrims attending the large public events during Pope Benedict’s visit to England and Scotland next month have been issued a long list of do’s and don’ts, including a ban on musical instruments and steel cutlery.
The list, on the official papal visit website, encouraged worshippers to bring sun block, flags and folding chairs for the events in Glasgow, London and Birmingham, but said alcohol, gazebos and lit candles should be left at home because they could pose a threat.
It did not specifically mention the vuvuzela, so popular among fans at this summer’s South African soccer World Cup, but the noisy monotone trumpet could be considered out of bounds under the category of banned instruments and whistles.
The four-day trip, from September 16 to 19, will be the first papal visit since Pope John Paul II’s pastoral visit in 1982 and is the first-ever official papal visit to Britain.
Various protests are expected, including by secularists critical of the trip’s cost, gay rights groups and those angry at the child-abuse scandal which has spread throughout the Roman Catholic Church globally.
Nevertheless, tens of thousands of the Church’s estimated five million followers in Britain are expected to attend the public events.