Pope's British Divisions, The

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20100909Mark Dowd explores how British Catholicism has changed since the last Papal visit in 1982.|As British Catholics prepare to welcome Pope Benedict XVI, Mark Dowd investigates the UK's biggest religious minority and asks - is it becoming more conservative?|Twenty-eight years have passed since the last Papal visit and the Catholic landscape in Britain has changed dramatically.|The Church's standing has been badly damaged by clerical sex abuse; parishes are facing an unprecedented shortage of priests and - in a country where The God Delusion was a best-seller - to be a practising Roman Catholic is to be counter-cultural.|Meanwhile, immigration is swelling the Catholic population and transforming congregations as migrants from Poland, Africa and Asia bring with them a tougher, more traditional theology.|And a new generation of young Catholics is emerging which wants a greater emphasis on orthodoxy and tradition.|In The Pope's British Divisions, journalist Mark Dowd investigates the changes in Britain's Catholic community since 1982 and the consequences of these changes for wider society.|He asks if the Church's once-strong liberal wing is becoming a minority as British Catholics heed Benedict's call for a smaller, purer church.|And he examines the influence of the Catholic Church on public life in the UK.|As Mark tests the fault lines of British Catholic identity, he visits a Vatican-approved mass for gay and lesbian Catholics and meets fellow-Catholics who want this special mass to be shut down.|He investigates the new breed of 'Radical Traditionalists' who campaign for traditional Latin church rites and are scathing of modern 'pick and mix' Catholicism; and he talks to their liberal opponents who fear a conservative takeover of their Church.|Mark Dowd is a former Dominican Friar, a documentary maker, a TV presenter and a practising Catholic.