Half-naked male models greet Pope’s visit to Twickenham
Pope Benedict XVI visited Twickenham, west London, as part of his tour of the UK today.
He was visiting St Mary’s University College where a small number of protesters angry at his teachings on homosexuality had gathered.
They held placards accusing the Catholic Church of covering up child abuse and being against gay rights and were joined by three scantily-clad male models dressed as angels.
The models were hired by Gaydar, which is based in Twickenham, and stood alongside protesters from Richmond LGBT Forum and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.
Italian gay group Circolo di Cultura Omosessuale Mario Mieli also attended the event.
Five men were arrested in central London early this morning over fears of a plot to harm the Pope, although his security arrangements are not thought to have been changed.
The suspects, said to be of “Arabic origin”, were arrested by Scotland Yard at a business premises and are being questioned by counter-terror detectives.
The Pope is expected to meet the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace this afternoon before giving a speech in the House of Commons at 5pm.
Yesterday, he met the Queen in Edinburgh and warned of the dangers of “aggressive forms of secularism”.
Thousands of people are now expected to join tomorrow’s march against the state-funded visit.
The protest will start at 1pm at Hyde Park Corner and end outside Downing Street, where speakers such as Peter Tatchell and Richard Dawkin will address the crowds.