The leader’s of the Catholic Church in Scotland have rejected claims that the hit singer, Susan Boyle’s performance is part of the commercialization of the Pope’s visit to the U.K.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien has denied these claims and insists the performances by runner-up winner of “Britain’s Got Talent”, Susan Boyle, and winner of “Pop Idol” Michelle McManus will help the Pope’s message to resonate beyond those in the Roman Catholic Church.
“If you've got a good message, and I think we have, there's no harm in marketing it in the very best possible way, said Cardinal O’Brien.
“We want to get as many people as possible to listen to the Pope's message, not just specifically members of our Roman Catholic Church.”
He added “You have to do something with them. You can't just have them singing ancient hymns and that sort of thing.”
The Cardinal also defended the $1.55 million cost to the taxpayers saying that the price of the Pope’s visit will be outweighed by the “moral benefits”. He also welcomed Ian Paisley’s plans for a protest in Edinburgh.
Reverend Ian Paisley, the former Northern Irish First Minister, now Lord Bannside, is leading a delegation from the Free Presbyterian Church to Edinburgh to protest.
Cardinal O’Brien said “If Ian Paisley didn't come, I wouldn't have thought the visit was worthwhile. It just shows how important this visit is that Ian Paisley's coming along to protest.”
Paisley has said that he has been spurred to action over the Cathlic priests’ abuse of children. While Cardinal O’Brien said he did not know if the issue would be addressed by the Pontiff he said he would be “perfectly happy” if it was.
Pope Benedict XVI’s visit will start on Thursday in Edinburgh. There he will be greeted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. He will also be greeted by Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, and leaders of the Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies.
Also on Thursday thousand of Scottish will take to the streets as part of the inaugural St Ninian's Day Parade on Princes Street to mark the feast day of Scotland's first saint.
The Pope will then travel to Glasgow where he will celebrate evening Mass at Bellahouston Park. The congregation is expected to around 85,000 people.