scmo_banner_news.jpg


Friday 5 February 2010

Pope Benedict XVI confirms he will visit Scotland.

Addressing Scotland's Catholic Bishops in Rome today, the Pope has confirmed he will travel to Scotland later this year as part of his UK visit. Responding to an address by Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the Pope said; "Later this year, I shall have the joy of being present with you and the Catholics of Scotland on your native soil."

In his remarks, Pope Benedict spoke against euthanasia and sectarianism and gave vocal support to Scotland's catholic schools saying; "Faith schools are a powerful force for social cohesion"

Referring to the Reformation 450 years ago which he described as a "great rupture with Scotland s Catholic past" the Pope stressed the need for ongoing ecumenical dialogue, to ensure that "the work of rebuilding unity among the followers of Christ is carried forward with constancy and commitment."

The Pope concluded by imparting his Apostolic Blessing on the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Reacting to the address, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said; "Together with my brother Bishops, I am filled with joy at the news that the Holy Father will visit Scotland, since he has confirmed his intention to visit us we in turn will now begin our preparations for his visit in earnest."  

The Scottish Bishops met the Pope in a private audience this morning, during which Cardinal Keith O'Brien thanked the Pope for his teaching and promised him a "heartfelt welcome" to Scotland later this year, saying "we are thrilled that your visit will include Scotland"

The Cardinal who is President of the Bishops' Conference added; "As Scots Catholics we are proud of our nation s long relationship with the Holy See."
He stressed the Church's long commitment to education from earliest times, citing; "the foundation by Papal authority of three of our great Scottish universities at St. Andrews in 1413, Glasgow in 1451, and Aberdeen in 1495"
And adding, "Catholic schools at primary and secondary level continue this fine tradition of Catholic education as a service not just to the Catholic community but to the wider Scottish society."

Cardinal O'Brien concluded by asking the Pope for his Apostolic Blessing "for us, for our priests and our people, and for Scotland."

ENDS

The full text of Cardinal O'Brien's address is shown below followed by Pope Benedict's reply.

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org
Notes to Editors:

1. Pope Benedict XVI presented each of the Scottish Bishops with a Pectoral cross as a personal gift.

2. A photograph of the Scottish Bishops with the Pope will be available on request.

3. Scotland s Catholic Bishops are in Rome from 3 “ 10 February 2010 for their Ad Limina , five-yearly visit to the Holy See.

4. The 11 members of the Bishops Conference of Scotland visiting the Holy See are:
Cardinal Keith O Brien, Archbishop of St. Andrew s & Edinburgh, President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland
Archbishop Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow and Vice President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland
Bishop Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley and Episcopal Secretary of the Bishops Conference of Scotland
Bishop Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell
Bishop Vincent Logan, Bishop of Dunkeld
Bishop Peter Moran, Bishop of Aberdeen
Bishop John Cunningham, Bishop of Galloway
Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles
Bishop John Mone, Bishop Emeritus of Paisley
Bishop Ian Murray, Bishop Emeritus of Argyll and the Isles
Fr. Paul Conroy, General Secretary to the Bishops Conference of Scotland

5. A copy of Cardinal O'Brien's text is also available in Italian.



AD LIMINA VISIT OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF SCOTLAND

5th FEBRUARY 2010

ADDRESS BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN,

PRESIDENT OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF SCOTLAND

TO HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI

Most Holy Father,

Greeting

The Bishops Conference of Scotland is honoured to be received by Your
Holiness on the occasion of our visit Ad Limina Apostolorum. We bring you
the prayers and love of the Catholics of Scotland, and the good wishes of
the whole Scottish people.

Each year, together with the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, we
solemnly celebrate the anniversary of your election as Bishop of Rome and
Pastor of the Universal Church. We are pleased to take that special annual
opportunity to bring the Petrine Ministry of the Pope before the people of
Scotland and their representatives, and to offer prayers that God may
bless and protect you.

When in 1878 Pope Leo XIII re-established the Scottish hierarchy the Holy
See acknowledged Scotland as a distinct nation, albeit within a Kingdom
formed from the union of the Scottish and English crowns subsequent to the
Reformation. As Scots Catholics we are proud of our nation s long
relationship with the Holy See.

It has been a feature of Your Holiness teaching to remind Europe of its
Christian roots and culture. In the same way, we as bishops have drawn the
attention of the Scottish people to the fact that the human and democratic
values of a modern and diverse Scotland can only be enhanced by continuing
to draw upon its Christian foundation as the nation explores its own
identity and charts a new future

Your Holiness has let it be known that you will visit Great Britain in the
autumn, and we are thrilled that your visit will include Scotland. We
remember with joy the visit of your venerable predecessor, Pope John Paul
II, in 1982. We are certain that the Scottish people will give Your
Holiness a heartfelt welcome. We hope that your visit to Scotland later
this year will bring us renewed encouragement, vigour and joy as we seek
to serve Christ in the circumstances of the present day.


Education

Providentially, Your Holiness will visit Scotland in mid-September around
the time of the feast of St. Ninian. St. Ninian, ordained a bishop in
Rome, was the first to teach the message of Christ in Scotland and to
begin to bind the Scottish people to the See of Peter. The relationship
between the Catholic Church and education in Scotland was given an even
more profound significance a thousand years later in the foundation by
papal authority of three of our great Scottish universities at St. Andrews
in 1413, Glasgow in 1451, and Aberdeen in 1495. Then, due to the arduous
circumstances created by the Scottish Reformation, your predecessor, Pope
Clement VIII established the Pontifical Scots College here in Rome in 1600
as a centre of education for young Scottish Catholic men. This college
quickly became a house of formation for priests and has continued to serve
the Catholic Church in Scotland as a seminary for more than 400 years.
Vocations to the priesthood and the formation of our seminarians together
constitute a priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland. In terms of
Scotland s young people as a whole, Catholic schools at primary and
secondary level continue this fine tradition of Catholic education as a
service not just to the Catholic community but to the wider Scottish
society. As part of the public provision of education Catholic schools
represent a special locus wherein the Catholic Church and the State are
full partners.

Teaching

Your Holiness, we have been inspired and enriched by the transparency and
the profundity of your teaching, which has in turn inspired us in our duty
as teachers of the faith. We note that many people of other Christian
denominations and representatives of other faith traditions in our country
actually look to our Church for leadership in the great religious, moral
and ethical issues of the time. They too welcome the prospect of a visit
to our land from Your Holiness in the hope that they may gain a deeper
appreciation of Jesus Christ and of the way in which faith and reason come
together to shed God s light on the questions which both fascinate and
trouble the human spirit. What does it mean to be a human person who is
open to the transcendent mystery of God? How is this transcendence
mediated definitively by Jesus Christ? How is human transcendence
expressed in the moral and ethical choices we make about how we live and
how we die?

Ecumenism

In your pontificate you have insisted on the importance of continuing to
seek the unity for which Christ prayed. You yourself have offered the
Church a particularly eloquent example of ecumenical openness by
responding in such a singular way to certain Anglican groups who wish full
communion with the See of Peter. For many reasons this period in history
may be seen as a challenging time on the journey of Christian Unity.
Nonetheless we are committed to the ecumenical dimension of the life of
the Catholic Church in Scotland, not least through our membership of the
ecumenical instrument known as Action of Churches Together in Scotland, or
simply as ACTS. Later this year we will share in the centenary
celebrations of the Edinburgh Missionary Congress of 1910 which is
regarded as the beginning of the modern ecumenical movement. This year
also marks the 450th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in
Scotland. The Reformers insisted upon the primacy of the Sacred
Scriptures. It is more important now than ever that Christians allow
themselves to be renewed by the Word of God as indispensable for the unity
of the Church. Ecumenical engagement must also extend to ensuring that the
Christian tradition of faith and morals is articulated, promoted and
defended.

Conclusion

Your Holiness, we once again

thank you for receiving us today. With respectful anticipation we await
your message, hoping for your guidance for our ministry as bishops. Holy
Father, we ask your Apostolic Blessing for us, for our priests and our
people, and for Scotland.




ADDRESS BY POPE BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF SCOTLAND

Ë VISITA AD LIMINA APOSTOLORUM DEI PRESULI DELLA CONFERENZA  
EPISCOPALE DI SCOZIA  
 
Dear Brother Bishops,  
I extend a warm welcome to all of you on your ad Limina visit to Rome.   I thank you for the kind words that Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien has addressed to me on your behalf, and I assure you of my constant prayers for you and for the faithful entrusted to your care.   Your presence here expresses a reality that lies at the heart of every Catholic diocese “ its relationship of communio with the See of Peter, and hence with the universal Church.   Pastoral initiatives that take due account of this essential dimension bring authentic renewal: when the bonds of communion with the universal Church, and in particular with Rome, are accepted joyfully and lived fully, the people s faith can grow freely and yield a harvest of good works.  

It is a happy coincidence that the Year for Priests, which the whole Church is currently celebrating, marks the four hundredth anniversary of the priestly ordination of the great Scottish martyr Saint John Ogilvie.   Rightly venerated as a faithful servant of the Gospel, he was truly outstanding in his dedication to a difficult and dangerous pastoral ministry, to the point of laying down his life.   Hold him up as an example for your priests today.   I am glad to know of the

emphasis you place on continuing formation for your clergy, especially through the initiative Priests for Scotland .   The witness of priests who are genuinely committed to prayer and joyful in their ministry bears fruit not only in the spiritual lives of the faithful, but also in new vocations.   Remember, though, that your commendable initiatives to promote vocations must be accompanied by sustained catechesis among the faithful about the true meaning of priesthood.
 
Emphasize the indispensable role of the priest in the Church s life, above all in providing the Eucharist by which the Church herself receives life.   And encourage those entrusted with the formation of seminarians to do all they can to prepare a new generation of committed and zealous priests, well equipped humanly, academically and spiritually for the task of ministry in the twenty-first century.
 
Hand in hand with a proper appreciation of the priest s role is a correct understanding of the specific vocation of the laity.   Sometimes a tendency to confuse lay apostolate with lay ministry has led to an inward-looking concept of their ecclesial role.   Yet the Second Vatican Council s vision is that wherever the lay faithful live out their baptismal vocation “ in the family, at home, at work “ they are actively participating in the Church s mission to sanctify the world.  

A renewed focus on lay apostolate will help to clarify the roles of clergy and laity and so give   strong impetus to the task of evangelizing society.  
That task requires a readiness to grapple firmly with the challenges presented by the increasing tide of secularism in your country.   Support for euthanasia strikes at the very heart of the Christian understanding of the dignity of human life.   Recent developments in medical ethics and some of the practices advocated in the field of embryology give cause for great concern.   If the Church s teaching is compromised, even slightly, in one such area, then it becomes hard to defend the fullness of Catholic doctrine in an integral manner.   Pastors of the Church, therefore, must continually call the faithful to complete fidelity to the Church s Magisterium, while at the same time upholding and defending the Church s right to live freely in society according to her beliefs.  

The Church offers the world a positive and inspiring vision of human life, the beauty of marriage and the joy of parenthood.   It is rooted in God s infinite, transforming and ennobling love for all of us, which opens our eyes to recognize and love his image in our neighbour (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 10-11 et passim).   Be sure to present this teaching in such a way that it is recognized for the message of hope that it is.   All too often the Church s doctrine is perceived as a series of prohibitions and retrograde positions, whereas the reality, as we know, is that it is creative and life-giving, and it is directed towards the fullest possible realization of the great potential for good and for happiness that God has implanted within every one of us.  

The Church in your country, like many in Northern Europe, has suffered the tragedy of division.   It is sobering to recall the great rupture with Scotland s Catholic past that occurred four hundred and fifty years ago.   I give thanks to God for the progress that has been made in healing the wounds that were the legacy of that period, especially the sectarianism that has continued to rear its head even in recent times.   Through your participation in Action of Churches Together in Scotland, see that the work of rebuilding unity among the followers of Christ is carried forward with constancy and commitment.   While resisting any pressure to dilute the Christian message, set your sights on the goal of full, visible unity, for nothing less can respond to the will of Christ.  

You can be proud of the contribution made by Scotland s Catholic schools in overcoming sectarianism and building good relations between communities.   Faith schools are a powerful force for social cohesion, and when the occasion arises, you do well to underline this point.   As you encourage Catholic teachers in their work, place special emphasis on the quality and depth of religious education, so as to prepare an articulate and well-informed Catholic laity, able and willing to carry out its mission   by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God (Christifideles Laici, 15).   A strong Catholic presence in the media, local and national politics, the judiciary, the professions and the universities can only serve to enrich Scotland s national life, as people of faith bear witness to the truth, especially when that truth is called into question.  

Later this year, I shall have the joy of being present with you and the Catholics of Scotland on your native soil.  
As you prepare for the Apostolic Visit, encourage your people to pray that it will be a time of grace for the whole Catholic community.   Take the opportunity to deepen their faith and to rekindle their commitment to bear witness to the Gospel.   Like the monks from Iona who spread the Christian message throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, let them be beacons of faith and holiness for the Scottish people today.  
With these thoughts, I commend your apostolic labours to the intercession of Our Lady, Saint Andrew, Saint Margaret and all the saints of Scotland.   To all of you, and to your clergy, religious and lay faithful I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 119 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

‹ 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

Bishop calls on UK Government to sign and ratify Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

| 25th May 2018 | Blogging

25 May 2018   Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, will tomorrow (Saturday 26 May) at 12 noon join other Church leaders and campaigners in calling for the Secretary of State to sign and ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.   Taking part in the Pentecost Witness at Faslane Naval Base alongside representatives of the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Nolan will call on the Secretary of State to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the Treaty.   Commenting ahead of the event tomorrow, Bishop Nolan said:   “We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against God’s creation.”   The Treaty opened for signature at the United Nations on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, it will make the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Notes to Editors: 1. Full text of the letter sent to the Secretary of State is copied below 2. An image of Bishop Nolan is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/25508101134/in/album- 72157666531058155/ Full text of Letter Dear Secretary of State, As you are aware, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at the UN on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, this treaty will make the possession use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law. We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being and that nuclear weapons violate that dignity and threaten that life. It is evident that the use of nuclear weapons would have indiscriminate and devastating humanitarian consequences that would extend beyond the borders of any single nation state. The World Council of Churches has stated ‘that as long as such weapons exist, they pose a threat to humanity and to creation’. Pope Francis has condemned not just the threat of use, but the possession of nuclear arms as they serve to create a culture of fear for all humankind and consume vast amounts of human and financial resources that could be better used for human development. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against creation. Those signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons agreed not to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer or receive nuclear weapons. The 122 governments so far who have signed the Treaty recognise along with countless numbers of people throughout the world that we have lived with these weapons for far too long and that they must now be outlawed and eliminated. Successive governments of both major parties have affirmed their commitment to multilateral disarmament for the last 50 years, however the decision by Parliament to spend billions of pounds renewing the UK’s arsenal of mass destruction in times of austerity is not a commitment to peacebuilding and is contrary to our commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The British Government, by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, would be taking a positive step towards fulfilling those commitments. We, the undersigned, ask you to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity. We pledge to continue to do our part to realise a world without nuclear weapons. Bishop William Nolan President of the Scottish Catholic Bishops’ Justice and ...

New Safeguarding Manual comes into force

| 21st May 2018 | Blogging

In a letter sent to all Catholic parishes over the weekend, Bishop Joseph Toal, who is responsible for Safeguarding on behalf of the Bishops ofScotland,has marked the publication of new national Safeguarding standards which come into force on Monday 21stMay.   In his letter, Bishop Toal commends the publication of ‘In God’s Image’, a new and extensive manual which offers comprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church.   On behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, he writes:   “Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.”   The publication of these new materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been implementing the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in 2015, with rigorous oversight by an Independent Review Group chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell.   Bishop Toal states that engagement with survivors will continue to be an important task for the Church:   “For some years now, each Bishop has been meeting with survivors and will continue to do so. Given the profound and sensitive nature of this issue, such encounters take place discreetly, at times and paces suited to the needs of survivors.”   Adding:   “Through the protection and care we show to all, and through the compassion, healing and justice we offer to those who have survived abuse, we must continue to renew, rebuild and restore faith and hope in the church by offering faith and hope to one another. “   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors:   The new manual can be viewed here:    https://ingodsimage.bcos.org.uk/      Full text of the letter sent to parishes is copied below.   Pastoral Letter for distribution to Congregations on Pentecost Sunday 2018   My Dear People,   I write, on behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, to draw your attention to the publication of our Church’s new Safeguarding materials which come into force on 21stMay 2018.  These include ‘In God’s Image’, the document which offerscomprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding, including compliance with new Safeguarding standards.  This hasbeen shaped by the recent experience and developing expertise of those involved in the front line of Safeguarding in the Church, both in Scotland and internationally.In ratifying this publication, the Bishops have taken the opportunity to repeat and renew apologies made to those who have suffered any form of abuse, at any time, by anyone representing the Church.     Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.  We are most grateful to the teams of Safeguarding personnel in all Dioceses and to over 9,000 trained volunteers who support the work of parishes and religious congregations across Scotland.     The publication of these materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been working quietly, but tirelessly, to implement the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in August 2015.     Since 2013 we have published annual audits of allegations reported to us each year. Last month, we also published a historical review of non-recent cases of abuse, covering the period 1943–2005. The publication of our annual audits, the historical review and our new Safeguarding materials demonstrate our ongoing commitment to openness and transparency.     We recognise, however, that pu...

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia backs ‘journalism of moral integrity’

| 10th May 2018 | Blogging

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, has written to all 500 Catholic parishes this weekend (12/13 May) to mark World Communications Day.     This year, Pope Francis has chosen ‘Truth’ as the theme of his Communications Day message and bemoaned the persistent spread of “fake news”. In his letter, based on the Pope’s theme, Archbishop Tartaglia writes:     “Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good and beautiful.”     Pope Francis has urged Catholics to:     “…contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and of rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.”     Calling on Catholics to be partners in this quest for truth Archbishop Tartaglia says: “Truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather truth involves our whole life…it carries with it the sense of support, solidarity and trust. Journalists are called to be protectors of news and to promote the truth”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org Notes to Editors 1. Full text of Archbishop Targtaglia Letter is copied below. 2. Full text of Pope Francis message for World Communications Day is copied below. My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ In his message for Communications Sunday this year, Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. But he warns us, that when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can distort our ability to communicate. The capacity to twist the truth is a human failing. Today we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. This has caused the Pope to make truth the theme of this year’s communications message, when he urges us to: “contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.” The term “fake news” refers to the spreading of disinformation online or in the traditional media based on non-existent or distorted data designed to deceive and manipulate the reader by mimicking real news. Social networks can allow untrue stories to spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage. Such disinformation can discredit and demonise while fomenting conflict and spreading arrogance and hatred. Preventing and identifying the way disinformation works calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. So how do we defend ourselves? The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather, truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust. We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us, as in the words of the Gospel according to John: "The truth will set you free". To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness. I would like to quote at length from the Pope’s message and urge you to read his text in full which is available on the website of the Catholic Media Office at www.scmo.org. The Pope says; 'The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people...

Archbishop Leo Cushley celebrates first ever Mass in Scottish Parliament

| 28th March 2018 | Blogging

28 March 2018     Today, 28 March, at 12.30pm Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh, will celebrate what is believed to be the first ever Mass in the Scottish Parliament. All MSPs are invited to attend mass, which takes place during Holy Week.     Commenting on the occasion, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:     ‘The celebration of Holy Mass, the summit of Catholic life, is an opportunity to express prayers for the work of our elected representatives and for the common good of society. Of course, Holyrood means Holy Cross, so in that sense, parliament is a most fitting place for this historic celebration.’       Archbishop Leo Cushley said:     "It is a great privilege to be officially invited to offer Holy Mass within the Scottish Parliament, the first such invitation since the parliament's re-establishment 19 years ago. It is a generous gesture which seems to recognise that Catholics are valued participants in the civic life of contemporary Scotland, where we seek to work with others in advancing the common good."      ENDS   Peter Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org       Notes to Editors: 1. Images will be available from Paul McSherry on at paul.mcsherry@ntlworld.com or 07770393960....