The Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster formally launched the Official Record of the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK at a special Mass in Westminster Cathedral on the Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman, 9 October.
Before he gave the final blessing at the Mass of Thanksgiving for the Visit, Archbishop Nichols held up a copy of the book: Benedict XVI and Blessed John Henry Newman, The State Visit – The Official Record.
The Archbishop, President of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, expressed his delight and gratitude. He said: “It is my great pleasure to present to you this Official Record of the Papal Visit. It is a very beautiful production.
“I am grateful to The Catholic Truth Society and to its author Mr Peter Jennings for the work that they have done at great speed but with great care, to produce a really outstanding Official Record of the visit of Pope Benedict.”
Archbishop Vincent Nichols added: “I thank those who have produced the book and I commend it to you all as a worthy record of a most memorable Papal Visit.”
Following Mass in the Cathedral, packed to capacity for the Saturday morning occasion, Archbishop Nichols visited the CTS Bookshop in the Piazza where he signed more than 200 copies of the book for customers in less than a hour. More than 5,000 copies of the first impression of the book have already been pre-ordered.
Earlier Archbishop Nichols had been presented with the first copy of the book by its editor Peter Jennings, at Archbishop’s House.
In Birmingham the following day, Sunday 10 October, Peter Jennings presented a copy of the book to the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham.
Archbishop Longley said: “This beautifully and skilfully produced Official Record of the Papal Visit will bring to mind the most vivid memories of a remarkable four days for the Catholic Church in Scotland, England and Wales.
“The series of thoughtful and insightful reflections will help us deepen our understanding of the lasting importance of Pope Benedict’s Visit and Cardinal Newman’s Beatification.”
“I add my thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in preparing and publishing the Official Record so soon after the Holy Father’s visit to us.”