Vatican: British arrests of terrorist suspects won’t affect pope’s trip

LONDON – The Vatican said the arrest of five suspected terrorists in London would not affect Pope Benedict XVI’s schedule of events in the city and said the pope remained “calm” and happy with the visit.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters that the Vatican had been informed of the early-morning arrests of five men Sept. 17 as the pontiff was presiding over events a few hours later with schoolchildren and interreligious leaders in Twickenham, a London suburb.

Father Lombardi said the pope had been informed of the news.

“We have complete confidence in the police,” Father Lombardi said. “It is not necessary to change the program. The police are taking the necessary measures, and the situation is not particularly dangerous.

“We don’t have any particular concern – we are calm,” he added.

British authorities did not immediately release details of the operation. The arrests took place in various parts of the city.

The pope was making an official state visit to Great Britain and was scheduled to meet with Anglican leaders and deliver a major address to political and cultural leaders later the same day.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.