1. Is this the most challenging trip of Benedict's papacy?
2. Overall, what do you expect?
3. Will the sex abuse crisis overshadow the trip?
4. What's Benedict's agenda for the trip?
He puts his remarks in context of the build-up to visit and the nature of the British press:
Press culture in the U.K. is extremely competitive, so when there's no actual news to report it has to be manufactured. Here's a recent case in point vis-à-vis the papal trip: Not long ago, local organizers put out a "pilgrim's guide" for people attending the big events. It included tips on stuff not to bring, such as booze, BBQs, and open flames. Also on the list were musical instruments, which prompted a reporter from the Daily Telegraph to call the bishops' conference to ask: "Does that include the vuvuzela?" (That, of course, is the god-awful horn made famous by the South African World Cup.) The person on the other end of the line said something on the order of, "Well, yes, I suppose it would."
The next-day headline, which predictably became a mini-sensation in "News of the Weird" columns all over the world: "Pope Bans Vuvuzela."
It was great fun, even if each of the three words in that header was misleading. (The pope didn't do anything; this was more of a suggestion than a ban; and nobody specifically nixed vuvuzelas. Though, to be honest, Benedict probably ought to be grateful -- this is one instance in which the media made up something that probably helped his reputation.)