Pope Benedict's address at the significantly named Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh is now posted on the Vatican website. This seems to be the governing theme of the trip and, indeed, of his pontificate:
Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regimes attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a reductive vision of the person and his destiny."
Update:It is always worth following the commentary of Austen Ivereigh on the America blog -- all the more during the papal visit where he is reporting on the spot. Here's a portion, with an envy-inducing revelation at the end:
The mood among Catholics here is buoyant. The message is fierce, but the messenger is humble. Atheists and secularists are outraged; it's the end of Day One, but we already have what Catholics have long wanted: a national debate on the role of faith in public life.Tomorrow begins at a university college in south-west London when Pope Benedict conducts a dialogue with educators, young people and leaders of faith. In the afternoon comes what is reckoned, from a political point of view, to be the heart of his visit -- an address in Westminster Hall, in the same room where St Thomas More was sentenced to death for refusing to accept the doctrine of the state.It is a momentous place from which to make the philosophical case underpinning his opposition to the "closed secularism" chilling public life. I am fortunate to be among the 1,000 "civic leaders" -- including, of course, parliamentarians -- invited to hear him.