What Boris said to the Pope and the Pope said to Boris

Boris meets the Pope at Heathrow, Terminal 4

Let others tell you what’s going on in the real world. I’d like to tell you what went on in the Royal Suite at Terminal 4 last night when Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, met Joseph Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome.

“I told the Pope,” said Boris, “that what was wrong with Britain was that the Roman Emperor Honorius told the Brits in 410 AD that Rome was no longer able to protect them.

“From that time,” said Boris to the Pope, “the British have had a sense of desertion, of confusion, of rejection.”

What did the Pope make of that? I asked Boris. “He looked hunted. His eyes flickered around the room.”

Did he saying anything? “Yes”, said Boris. “He said: ‘Very interesting’.”

Boris was accompanied last night by Lara Johnson, his 17-year-old daughter, who is an admirer of Benedict XVI and who speaks pretty good German.

Earlier in the day the Mayor had issued a statement exclusively for readers of the Catholic Herald: “In return for a general absolution,” ran the statement, “I have granted the Popemobile an exemption from the congestion charge.”