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CARDINAL O'BRIEN RETURNS HOME  

Cardinal Keith O'Brien will arrive in Edinburgh Airport today (Thursday) at 18.35, at the domestic arrivals area, he will hold a short press conference at 19.00 in the 'Prayer Room' of the airport, situated on the ground floor adjacent to the International Arrivals area.  

The Cardinal arrives back in Scotland having attended the funeral earlier this month of Pope John Paul II and participated in the subsequent conclave, to elect his successor Pope Benedict XVI.  

Cardinal O'Brien has released the following statement to coincide with his return to Scotland:  

ENDS  

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  

STATEMENT FROM CARDINAL O BRIEN ON RETURNING FROM ROME, THURSDAY 28 APRIL 2005:  

"It is a pleasure to be back home in Scotland after the Conclave to elect our new Pope, Benedict XVI. My time in Rome was an intensely spiritual experience, an opportunity for deep prayer in the company of my brother Cardinals as we discussed God s will under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  

I share with you two insights on our new Pope; after his election when asked what name he would choose, he said without hesitation ˜Benedict and gave these reasons:  

Benedict was the name of a predecessor who died of a broken heart in 1922 after having suffered the traumas of the First World War “ the new Benedict would work for peace;  

Benedict is the name of one of the Patron Saints of Europe “ the new Benedict would try to bring Europe back to its Christian roots;  

Benedict the Abbot wrote in his Rule for monks: Prefer nothing whatever to Christ “ the new Benedict would place Christ at the centre of all his endeavours.  

The second insight comes from his words at the concelebrated Mass with his Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel on the morning of the day after his election. He stressed, above all:  

His reliance on Christ:  
His desire for collaboration:  
His commitment to the Second Vatican Council:  
His strength in the Eucharist and his regard for priests:  
His commitment to Ecumenism:  
His vocation as Pope centred on Christ:  

I intend to celebrate the Principal Mass in our Cathedral on Sunday 1st May at 11.30am for the Pope and his Intentions and I ask the Catholic community of this Archdiocese to pray for the Pope in the days and months which lie ahead as we go forward ˜Together in Hope .  


The hope of Benedict XVI that Europe will return to its Christian roots is one I share deeply. I rededicate myself to the task of reminding Scotland of its long Christian heritage and remind the Catholic community that one week from today we will have the opportunity to be informed and guided by our Christian faith when we cast our votes in the General Election.  

This week the Bishops of Scotland in a statement to all parishes will stress the importance of the election and highlight several key issues as being of fundamental importance:  

THE RIGHT TO LIFE:  

FREEDOM FROM POVERTY:  

PROMOTION OF EUROPEAN HARMONY  

Marriage and the Family.  

Social Justice  

PEACE  

(Full text of Election Statement: www.rcpolitics.org.uk)  

In recent weeks we have witnessed an overwhelming outpouring of emotion following the death of Pope John Paul II and an unprecedented level of interest in the Catholic Church as one pontificate ended and another began.  

Thanks to the tremendous work of the global media coverage of these events has been available to us all “ we have seen churches fill and many people wrestling perhaps for the first time with profound questions about God, themselves, and the meaning and purpose of human existence.  

The challenge for the church is to build on this renewed interest in faith and belief and to strive to make the Christian message available to all.  

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