Edinburgh, Scotland (CNN) – Pope Benedict XVI received a warm welcome at the beginning of his historic state visit to Britain, despite the efforts of a colorful array of protesters in Scotland's capital to remind him of the Church's woes.
After the formal grandeur of his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at her Holyrood Palace residence in Edinburgh, the pontiff was cheered by thousands of well-wishers along Princes Street, the city's main thoroughfare, as he was shuttled along in the distinctive "popemobile."
But on the opposite side of the castle, where Edinburgh's Georgian New Town gives away to its medieval Old Town, a familiar foe of the Catholic Church arrived at an austere church close to the Grassmarket - where criminals were once publicly hanged - to make his feelings known.
For Ian Paisley, the firebrand politician and staunchly protestant founder of the Free Presbyterian church in Northern Ireland, the meeting place was a statement in itself. The Magdalen Chapel is the headquarters of the
Scottish Reformation Society where John Knox once preached against Catholicism. Knox is widely thought of as the founding father of the Protestant Reformation