BY Daniel Harkins | September 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Pope Francis and Scottish bishops discuss nuclear disarmament in Vatican meeting

Scotland’s bishops spoke to Pope Francis about nuclear disarmament during a one-hour and 40 minute-long meeting on Thursday September 27, at the beginning of their Ad Limina visit to Rome.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said the two-hour meeting ‘left all the Bishops grateful to him for his fraternal and fatherly support.’

“The Bishops introduced a wide range of topics which we were able to discuss at length,” he added. “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.”

The archbishop also presented the Holy Father with a copy of the Church in Scotland’s safeguarding document In God’s Image, which he said was 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,” he said. “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.”

“He encouraged us to share our experiences as pastors and leaders and took a close interest in all that we had to say,” he added.

The Scottish bishops are currently on their Ad Limina visit to Rome in order to meet with Pope Francis and submit reports on their dioceses to Vatican departments.

The term Ad Limina refers to the Latin phrase ‘ad limina apostolorum’ meaning ‘to the threshold of the apostles,’ a reference to the pilgrimage to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome which is required of every bishop. The visits usually take place every five years, though the Scottish bishops’ last visit was in 2013.



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