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27 September 2018

 

 

Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops met Pope Francis in the Vatican this morning ( 27 September 2018) at the beginning of their Ad Limina (five-yearly) visit to Rome and thanked him for his support and prayers. After saying Mass at the tomb of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Bishops met Pope Francis for a 1 hour 40 minute private audience. Speaking after the audience, the President of the Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said;

 

 

“Our meeting with the Pope lasted almost two hours and left all the Bishops grateful to him for his fraternal and fatherly support. He encouraged us to share our experiences as pastors and leaders and took a close interest in all that we had to say.”

 

 

“The Bishops introduced a wide range of topics which we were able to discuss at length. We updated the Pope on the ecumenical work being done in Scotland to ensure that friendship, prayer and common witness among Christians will grow and flourish and he encouraged us in that work.”

 

 

“We also discussed Nuclear Disarmament and explained that the issue of Nuclear weapons had a special relevance in Scotland and was of particular concern to the church. I was able to present Pope Francis with a copy of “In God’s Image” the Church’s new Safeguarding document and the culmination of two years’ work designed to create a robust set of safeguarding procedures and protocols. The Pope thanked us for this work and urged us to continue with it.”

 

 

“Pope Francis encouraged us all in our vocations and reminded us that as bishops, we must be; close to God, close to our priests and close to our people. All of the bishops found his words uplifting and affirming and in thanking him we assured him of our prayers that he may bear the heavy responsibility which rests on his shoulders.”

 

 

After the private audience, the Bishop of Paisley, Bishop John Keenan presented Pope Francis with “Mungo” the Prayer Bear of St. Charles’ Primary School in Paisley - see photo - https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/44035549845/  

 

 

The Bishops and the Scottish students studying for the priesthood in Rome are being followed by a film crew from Solus Productions who are making a documentary on the Scots College in Rome for the BBC. Solus Producer Jim Webster said;

 

 

“Filming the Scots Bishops and students has given a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the Catholic church at the highest level. We’ve been honoured to have such privileged access to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican and we are acutely conscious that this is the first time an ‘Ad Limina’ visit has ever been filmed.”

 

 

Jim Webster added;

 

 

“Apart from the sense of scale and occasion, we’ve been struck by the human stories of the students themselves. We were able to film one student as he took a bottle of whisky in to the Papal audience as a gift for the Pope, after the Pope told the students who’d served Mass for him last year, that he loved Scotch whisky.”

 

 

ENDS

 

 

Peter Kearney
Director
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168
07968 122291
Note to Editors:
The Ad Limina visit required by church law, obliges the Bishops of each country to travel to Rome, meet the Pope and in acknowledging his universal jurisdiction, make a report to him of the state of each diocese in Scotland. The following members of the Bishops' Conference will travel to Rome from 26 September until 4 October:
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland and Archbishop of Glasgow, Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, Bishop Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld, Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Bishop of Aberdeen, Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway. Monsignor Hugh Bradley, General Secretary, Bishops' Conference of Scotland.

 

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