A Birmingham park has been effectively sealed off by a huge Berlin Wall-style barrier ahead of the Pope’s visit this month.
The 12ft-high metal fence is part of security measures at Cofton Park, where more than 70,000 people are expected to attend an open-air mass on September 19.
Only an area for dog-walkers has been left free.
Tight security has been blamed for some pilgrims returning passes to the event.
The Catholic Church’s Birmingham spokesman Peter Jennings called the safety measures “draconian” and off-putting for elderly visitors who had purchased a pass for the Papal visit.
And the Government has still to make a decision on whether the Popemobile will be used to transport the Holy Father while he is in Birmingham.
Catholic Church leaders have urged the Government to make a decision after the Cabinet Office confirmed he would use the iconic white vehicle to tour the streets of Glasgow and London, other stops on his UK visit.
Mr Jennings said: “They are dragging their feet, in my opinion. Vatican officials have said they are very keen to see the Popemobile used.
“It strikes me that this is probably a cost issue linked to the extra security that they would need.
“It’s a legitimate aspiration because numbers are limited and there are a lot of people from other faiths who would want to see His Holiness but won’t be at Cofton Park.”
A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “Talks are ongoing between the Vatican and West Midlands Police who are negotiating what, if any, route could best suit the needs of the visitors.”