Of course, British government officials have issued an apology - what else could they do, tell the pope to grow up and get a sense of humour? Well, that might have been an idea!
As a matter of fact, the Foreign Office suggestions make a lot more sense than the pope's typical activities on such visits. How many times does it need to be said? The pope is not some kind of moral leader. If anything, quite the opposite. He is the head of a very large, very wealthy, overly powerful religious cult whose "moral" teachings are based on morbid attitudes to the human mind and body. However much or little Ratzinger may be personally implicated in the cover up of child sex abuse cases within the Church - and I'm not following the detail all that closely - he deserves no particular respect in any event. Certainly not the ludicrous deference that he's accustomed to. He's not anyone's holy father, and the sooner his organisation collapses like a house of cards the better. That's not to deny that there are good, compassionate people in the Church, but they could find a healthier environment outside it.