Pope Benedict XVI begins a state visit of his homeland Germany on Thursday amid plans by left-wing politicians to boycott a speech to parliament.
One hundred opposition MPs from the Greens, the Social Democrats and Die Linke will not take their seats when the German-born pontiff addresses the Bundestag this afternoon.
Barbara Höll, a legislator from Die Linke, or the Left party, said she disapproved of the pope’s views on women and his attitude towards homosexuals.
A number of anti-Pope protests are set to be held during Benedict’s four-day tour of Germany with demonstrators expecting twenty thousand to turn out in Berlin alone.
The pope will meet the city’s gay mayor, Klaus Wowereit, German President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Benedict will hold an open-air mass in the capital’s Olympic Stadium before moving south to other parts of the country.