Yesterday our local newspaper reproduced word for word the article from the Times that when Prince Charles meets the pope next week, Benedict XVI will give him a bad-taste “luxury facsimile of the 1530 appeal by English peers to Pope Clement VII asking for the annulment of Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon”. The author, Richard Owen, could hardly contain himself at having uncovered yet another pontifical faux-pas.

The story lacks factual basis and the Vatican has asked for a retraction.

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(image source)

Richard Own used some careful footwork in his subsequent article in which, rather than acknowledge he had got it wrong, he has “The Vatican distanced the Pope from plans to give the Prince of Wales a copy of an historic document relating to the divorce of Henry VIII when the pair meet on Monday.” I cannot spot our local newspaper’s retraction – but it could be in very small print somewhere.

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