Today’s papal visit must-reads: 13/09/10

Benedict XVI delivers the Angelus address yesterday (PA Photos)

At yesterday’s Angelus, Benedict XVI asked the faithful worldwide to accompany him with prayer during his visit to Britain (video).

Some 70 per cent of British Catholics believe that the Pope’s visit will help the Church, a BBC News poll has found.

The long-term decline in weekly Mass attendance in the Church in England and Wales ended in 2005 and the figures have been broadly stable since, a new study has found.

The papal visit will be “serene, positive and constructive“, Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi has said in his weekly reflection.

The Church has released images of a new mosaic that Benedict XVI will bless in Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has predicted that the Pope will warn Britons against “privatising” religion (audio 20:43 to 26:22).

The BBC wonders if immigration has “saved” the Church in Britain.

Oona Stannard offers a preview of the “Big Assembly”, the main educational event of the papal visit (audio).

Christopher Howse explains why Benedict XVI reveres Cardinal Newman.

Fr John McCloskey suggests that Newman’s beatification will boost the quest for Christian unity.

Andrew Brown says that hysterical and abusive attacks on the Pope ahead of the visit discredit secularism.

And the Mail reports on a “cringe-making” official guide to the papal visit which refers to liturgies as “gigs”.