Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols has defended the astronomical cost of the Pope's forthcoming visit to the UK, explaining that Pope Benedict will amongst other things be carrying out essential maintenance work to schools across the country.
'I accept that £12m sounds like a lot, but it's actually very good value when you look at what he'll be doing' argued the Archbishop. 'He'll be single-handedly taking over building work on all the schools that have had their Schools for the Future grants cut, patrolling inner city streets to reduce anti-social behaviour, replacing front-line nursing staff in a number of hospitals and collecting bins for cash-strapped councils.' There is also a rumour that the Pope will be used to replace the Trident nuclear missile system. 'All that for £12m - what's your problem?' he added.
The Vatican has reassured British Catholics that the Pope will make some time in his busy schedule to speak to them.