Pope Benedict's Address at Holyrood Palace

HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE EMBARGO  
until speech delivered  
check against delivery  
1  
EDINBURGH - 16.09.2010 - 11.45  
Holyroodhouse (Park)  
Meeting with the Authorities  
Original text  
Your Majesty,  
Thank you for your gracious invitation to make an official visit to the United Kingdom and for your warm words  
of greeting on behalf of the British people.   In thanking Your Majesty, allow me to extend my own greetings to all the people  
of the United Kingdom and to hold out a hand of friendship to each one.  
It is a great pleasure for me to start my journey by saluting the members of the Royal Family, thanking in
particular His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh for his kind welcome to me at Edinburgh Airport.   I express my  
gratitude to Your Majesty s present and previous Governments and to all those who worked with them to make this  
occasion possible, including Lord Patten and former Secretary of State Murphy. I would also like to acknowledge with deep  
appreciation the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Holy See, which has contributed greatly to  
strengthening the friendly relations existing between the Holy See and the United Kingdom.  
As I begin my visit to the United Kingdom in Scotland s historic capital city, I greet in a special way First Minister  
Salmond and the representatives of the Scottish Parliament.   Just like the Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies, may  
the Scottish Parliament grow to be an expression of the fine traditions and distinct culture of the Scots and strive to serve  
their best interests in a spirit of solidarity and concern for the common good.  
The name of Holyroodhouse, Your Majesty s official residence in Scotland, recalls the Holy Cross and points to  
the deep Christian roots that are still present in every layer of British life.   The monarchs of England and Scotland have  
been Christians from very early times and include outstanding saints like Edward the Confessor and Margaret of Scotland.  
As you know, many of them consciously exercised their sovereign duty in the light of the Gospel, and in this way shaped the  
nation for good at the deepest level.   As a result, the Christian message has been an integral part of the language, thought  
and culture of the peoples of these islands for more than a thousand years.   Your forefathers respect for truth and justice,  
for mercy and charity come to you from a faith that remains a mighty force for good in your kingdom, to the great benefit  
of Christians and non-Christians alike.  
We find many examples of this force for good throughout Britain s long history.   Even in comparatively recent  
times, due to figures like William Wilberforce and David Livingstone, Britain intervened directly to stop the international  
slave trade.   Inspired by faith, women like Florence Nightingale served the poor and the sick and set new standards in  
healthcare that were subsequently copied everywhere.   John Henry Newman, whose beatification I will celebrate shortly,  
was one of many British Christians of his age whose goodness, eloquence and action were a credit to their countrymen and  
women.   These, and many people like them, were inspired by a deep faith born and nurtured in these islands.  
Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to  
eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.  
I also recall the regime s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid  
for that opposition with their lives.   As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century,  
let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of  
man and of society and thus to a reductive vision of the person and his destiny (Caritas in Veritate, 29).  
Sixty-five years ago, Britain played an essential role in forging the post-war international consensus which favoured  
the establishment of the United Nations and ushered in a hitherto unknown period of peace and prosperity in Europe.   In  
more recent years, the international community has followed closely events in Northern Ireland which have led to the  
signing of the Good Friday Agreement and the devolution of powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly.   Your Majesty s  
Government and the Government of Ireland, together with the political, religious and civil leaders of Northern Ireland, have  
helped give birth to a peaceful resolution of the conflict there.   I encourage everyone involved to continue to walk  
courageously together on the path marked out for them towards a just and lasting peace.  
Looking abroad, the United Kingdom remains a key figure politically and economically on the international stage.
HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE 1/2  
Your Government and people are the shapers of ideas that still have an impact far beyond the British Isles.   This places  
upon them a particular duty to act wisely for the common good.   Similarly, because their opinions reach such a wide  
audience, the British media have a graver responsibility than most and a greater opportunity to promote the peace of  
nations, the integral development of peoples and the spread of authentic human rights.   May all Britons continue to live by  
the values of honesty, respect and fair-mindedness that have won them the esteem and admiration of many.  
Today, the United Kingdom strives to be a modern and multicultural society.   In this challenging enterprise, may  
it always maintain its respect for those traditional values and cultural expressions that more aggressive forms of secularism  
no longer value or even tolerate.   Let it not obscure the Christian foundation that underpins its freedoms; and may that  
patrimony, which has always served the nation well, constantly inform the example your Government and people set before  
the two billion members of the Commonwealth and the great family of English-speaking nations throughout the world.  
May God bless Your Majesty and all the people of your realm. Thank you.  
________________________

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 163 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Scottish Bishops offer support to Catholic Church in Ireland

| 28th April 2021 | Blogging

Scottish Bishops offer support to Catholic Church in Ireland   28 April 2021   Commenting on the recent decision by the Irish Government to enact restrictions which do not allow public worship, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has issued the following statement:   “As the Catholic Church in Scotland this year celebrates the 1500th Anniversary of the birth of St Columba who brought the faith from Ireland to Scotland in the 6th century, the thoughts and prayers of the Church in Scotland are now directed to our brothers and sisters in Ireland.”   “Recent developments that penalise the celebration of Holy Mass have been disturbing not only to the Irish Bishops’ Conference but also to the Bishops of Scotland. We all recognise the need for restrictions to protect the common good of all people in a pandemic but to enact legislation that criminalises those who gather to celebrate Holy Mass is indeed extreme and unjust.”   “May the strong bonds between the Catholic Church in Ireland and Scotland established by St Patrick, St Columba, the Celtic saints and the faith of our forebears reassure our brothers and sisters in Ireland that they are not alone and are always in our prayers.”   ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org      ...

Blairs Museum reopens

| 27th April 2021 | Blogging

Blairs Museum reopens     The Blairs Museum in Aberdeen will reopen on Friday 30th April 2021, after an extended period of closure arising from the COVID pandemic. Blairs Museum offers a unique insight into Scotland's Catholic history and heritage with spectacular collections spanning more than 500 years it is located on South Deeside Road, Blairs, Aberdeen, housed in part of the former national junior seminary.   A special exhibition this year is titled ‘Capparoni and the Papal Court’. It comprises a fascinating set of hand coloured engravings by the artist Guiseppe Capparoni depicting the people of the Papal Court and the religious orders in Rome between 1823 and 1846 (the year in which Pope Pius IX was elected). These colourful images all clearly depict real individuals and give a lively impression of life in Rome at this time.   Commenting on the reopening, Museum Curator, Elinor Vickers said:   “We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum this year and hope that they find our new exhibition, on the artist Capparoni, is of interest. It is exciting to be developing our new website which should let everyone, no matter where, enjoy the museum and its collections.” Elinor Vickers added;   “Guiseppe Capparoni (1800-1879) is an artist who deserves to be better known, whose speciality was his illustrations for a massive series of books on regional and local costumes of the world. The museum holds a large selection of his illustrations of the people of Rome. He also worked on paintings in the churches of Rome, including various Stations of the Cross and ‘The Holy Family’ and ‘The Marriage of the Virgin’ at the basilica church of Sant’ Andrea delle Fratte. This church later became the titular church of Thomas Joseph Cardinal Winning.”   A selection of the relics and unusual liturgical items held by the museum are also newly exhibited this year. The museum will also be displaying all the treasures from the Permanent Collection, such as the world famous Memorial Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, the Blairs Jewel, the vestment collection and the Jacobite portraits. As well as the cloth of silver vestments of Henry Benedict; Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brother.   This museum has recieved a significant Recovery and Resilience Grant from Museums and Galleries Scotland to develop a new website. This will enable visitors to see the museum in 3D walkthroughs if they are currently unable to visit. The website we also bring together information on all the collections belonging to the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collections Trust, not just at the museum, but also those at the University of Aberdeen; and draw attention also to the Scottish Catholic Archive at Columba House in Edinburgh.   The new website will also host online retail and an online schools programme as well as providing a portal to visitor information and booking and online events.   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors:   Museum visiting information can be found at www.blairsmuseum.org.uk   The curators can be contacted at curator@blairsmuseum.org.uk   Images of some of the drawings by Capparoni can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157719029073183        ...

Bishops urge politicians to put human life at centre of Scotland’s political discourse

| 11th April 2021 | Blogging

Sunday 11 April 2021 Bishops urge politicians to put human life at centre of Scotland’s political discourse.   Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have released a pre-election Pastoral letter, urging Catholics to play their part “in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse” and to warn politicians against imposing “unjust restrictions on free speech, free expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion”.   In a 1,000-word letter distributed online and via Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes, the Bishops ask Catholic voters to give consideration to six key areas, when selecting a candidate:   Beginning and end of life Family and Work Poverty, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Environment Free speech, free expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion Catholic schools   Pointing out that “society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish” the bishops add; “government should respond to this reality with policies creating economic and fiscal advantages for families with children.”   Voters are also urged to visit the website rcpolitics.org and to use the resources there to help them consider a range of election issues and to question candidates.     ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Note to Editors:   The Election resources are available here:  https://rcpolitics.org/scottish-parliament-election-2021/   The full text of the Pastoral Letter is shown below:       Scottish Parliament Election 2021 - Putting Human Life and  Dignity at the Centre   A letter from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland   Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,   This election presents us with an opportunity to play our part in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse. As Catholics we have a duty: to share the Gospel and to help form the public conscience on key moral issues. It is a duty of both faith and citizenship.  This election is an opportunity to be the effective witness our Baptism calls us to be.  The new parliament and government will be tasked with leading the recovery from the damage wrought by the current health crisis and to tackle the significant impact it has had on many aspects of life including health care, mental health and wellbeing, religious freedom, and care for the poor. It must also build on the positives arising from the Pandemic, including caring for the most vulnerable, and a renewed sense of respect for human life, human dignity, and the value of community.   These are some of the issues you may want to consider in the forthcoming election:   Beginning and end of life It is the duty of parliamentarians to uphold the most basic and fundamental human right to life. Elected representatives ought to recognise the existence of human life from the moment of conception and be committed to the protection of human life at every stage. Caring for the unborn and their mothers is a fundamental measure of a caring and compassionate society; a society which puts human dignity at the centre.   We ought to be mindful of a further attempt to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, likely to happen in this parliament. Legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia suggests that some lives are not worth living, contrary to the Christian belief that every life has equal dignity and value. It is incumbent upon our parliamentarians to show compassion for the sick and dying. This is not achieved by assisted suicide or euthanasia but by ensuring support is provided through caring and attentive politics, including investment in palliative care.   Family and Work Society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish. The love of man and woman in marriage and openness to new life is th...

Return to Worship in time for Easter

| 01st March 2021 | Blogging

Return to Worship in time for Easter 1 March 2021 Responding to last week’s statement on the reopening of Places of Worship by the First Minister, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland have issued a statement welcoming the move and calling for a removal of the cap, which limits the number of people who can attend. Instead, the bishops maintain congregation size should be calculated in accordance with the size of each church, a system similar to that used in the retail sector, which still maintains social distancing regulations.   The full text of the statement is shown below. ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     As Scotland’s Catholic bishops, we welcome the recent announcement by the First Minister foreseeing a return to our churches for the most important celebration of the liturgical year at Easter. We also welcome the recognition of the status of public worship implicit in this decision. The Catholic Community recognises the seriousness of the pandemic and is committed to working with others to avoid the spreading of infection. At the same time, we anticipate ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding the requirement of a numerical “cap” on the number of worshippers. As we continue to observe social distancing  and the protocols on infection control and hygiene formulated by the Bishops’ Conference working group under the leadership of the former Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns, we maintain that it would be more appropriate for each church building to accommodate a congregation in proportion to its size rather than on the basis of an imposed number. We echo here the timely words Pope Francis addressed to the representatives of countries to the Holy See on the 8th February 2021: Even as we seek ways to protect human lives from the spread of the virus, we cannot view the spiritual and moral dimension of the human person as less important than physical health. The opening of churches is a sign that the sacrifices endured so far are bearing fruit and gives us hope and encouragement to persevere. We pray that the Risen Christ, for whom we long during this holy season of Lent, will bless and bring healing to our nation.  ...