The Pope will not visit Birmingham city centre when he arrives in the UK later this year.

While he is expected to visit the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, as part of the planned beatification of Cardinal John Newman, that is either likely to be Birmingham International Airport or Coventry.

Although Roman Catholics are thrilled at his visit, they are likely to be disappointed that the papal visit will not take in the city centre.

Peter Jennings, press secretary for the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: “The Pope is not coming to Birmingham.

“The closest he will get to the city is the airport or Coventry for the beatification on September 19 which is being speculated at the moment.

He was speaking after a petition protesting against the Pope’s visit to England was submitted to Downing Street. The National Secular Society is calling on Gordon Brown to exempt taxpayers from funding the visit by Pope Benedict XVI. It will be the first papal visit to the UK since John Paul II in 1982.

Mr Jennings said: “Catholics are thrilled that the Holy Pope is coming to the Archdiocese of Birmingham but he is not coming to the city as such.”

The Pope was formally invited to visit the UK by the Prime Minister last February. Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy also invited him to visit Scotland.