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Paisley to lead papal protest

By Anthony Neeson

Rev. Ian Paisley is to lead a 60-strong delegation from the Free Presbyterian Church to Scotland this week to protest against the Pope's visit.

Pope Benedict is due to begin his four-day visit to the UK on Thursday.

The founder of the Free Presbyterian Church, Paisley, now Lord Bannside, said he was taking part in the protest to

highlight "concerns."

"This man is coming to this country at a time when his own church is very deeply divided and, rightly so, because of the behavior of many priests within the church and his evident desire not to enter into this matter and deal with it," said the former DUP leader.

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"I have been visited by many Roman Catholic people who are gravely pained by the actions of Rome in regard to the attacks on young children.

"Many of their children have been attacked. I think that I have a right, everybody has a right to make their presence felt on this issue.

"We will be having a meeting in the place where the church of Scotland was formed and was presided over by John Knox. That building will be at our disposal," said Paisley.

"We will unfurl a banner and have a public meeting outside that building, in the Grassmarket.

"What we're doing, we're making a legitimate protest about something that is entirely wrong and I am looking at myself as a person who is prepared to champion those who have been very, very badly treated by these priests of Rome." he said.