Vatican City. Of the Pope’s travels in 2010, it attracted the greatest attention to Britain. The trip was made in mid-September and was the first papal visit ever in the United Kingdoms. According to COUNTRYAAH, Vatican City has a population of 825. The Pope visited Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Birmingham – the Archbishopric seat of the Catholic Church in the otherwise predominantly Anglican Britain. During his visit, the Pope met church leaders and among politicians, he had lunch with British Foreign Minister William Hague. In October, Pope visited Santiago de Compostela in Spain, one of the Catholic Church’s most important pilgrimage sites alongside Rome. Once in Spain, the pope also visited Barcelona where he led his first mass in Antoni Gaudí’s still unfinished church La Sagrada Familia. A salvation of Gaudí was said to be imminent in connection with the Pope’s visit.
During the year Australia received its first female saint. It is Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) who founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart where they devoted themselves to helping the poor and the sick. At MacKillop’s death, there was a network of 750 nuns operating as “Josephites”. During the year, Pope Pius XII (1876–1958) was placed on the list of possible future saints. It caused various Jewish groups to react negatively because they had long held the view that Pius XII, who was a pope during World War II, did not do what was in his power to prevent the extent of the Holocaust.
The scandal within the Catholic Church with sex offenses against children that became public in the United States in 2002 continued in 2010 with seemingly unabated strength. At the end of December, the pope said that the scandal during the year “reached an extent we cannot imagine”. During the year, countless cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in countries such as Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands emerged. It prompted the pope to say: “We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible of the injustice that has been inflicted on the victims.”
The issue within the Catholic Church that attracted the most attention during the year concerned the use of condoms. In an interview book – “Licht der Welt” – with the German journalist Peter Seewald, the Pope said that condoms could be allowed in individual cases. “For example, when a prostitute uses a condom to avoid spreading diseases”, but that this should not be seen as “any real or moral solution”. However, the pope did not in any way approve of condoms being used for child-restraining purposes.