CARDINAL ASKS FOR PRAYERS FOR POPE
In a message to the Catholic community of Scotland, Cardinal Keith O Brien has asked for ongoing prayers for Pope John Paul II.
Speaking earlier today, Cardinal O'Brien said;
All who saw the Pope in Lourdes, whether in person or on television, could not fail to be moved at the sight of the ailing Pontiff struggling to kneel in prayer before the Shrine to Our Blessed Lady. His determination to express his own words of encouragement to the sick around him and to the sick of the world was remarkable
Before the pilgrimage to Lourdes, one of the Pope s aides, Bishop Renato Boccardo, indicated I can exclude that the Pope is going to ask for healing while at Lourdes . The Bishop added: He sees his physical condition as part of his ministry. He is confident that his suffering has a mysterious fruitfulness for the universal Church. Instead of asking for healing, the Pope will praise God for his great works, one of which was Mary the Mother of God .
Cardinal O'Brien continued:
Pope John Paul II continues to inspire us by his words and his actions. At this time when we realise his weakness, I ask the Catholics of Scotland and all peoples of goodwill to pray that the Holy Father will indeed continue to ˜praise God for his great works, one of which was Mary according to God s will for him .
Notes to Editors
1. Cardinal O'Brien is Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh and President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland
2. This Sunday, 22 August 2004, at 11.30 am Cardinal O Brien will be celebrating a civic Mass in St Mary s Cathedral, Edinburgh, marking the opening of the Edinburgh International Festival. The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Right Honourable Lesley Hinds, and councillors from all parties will be present with the High Constables of Edinburgh in attendance. Prayers will be said at this Mass for the Pope. On the afternoon of the same day, at 3.00 pm in St Cuthbert s Church, Edinburgh, when the Lourdes pilgrims from his Archdiocese give thanks for their recent pilgrimage to Lourdes at the beginning of July, the Cardinal will lead prayers of thanksgiving, following on the success of their own pilgrimage to Lourdes and that of Pope John Paul II.
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168