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Thursday 16 September 2010 Released 2.05pm

Speaking after the Pope's arrival in Edinburgh today, Cardinal Keith O'Brien and four of Scotland's bishops have made the following comments: (Audio downloads available see below for links) Cardinal O'Brien said; "It has in deed been very very exciting, the Pope seems in excellent form, as did Her Majesty, and of course they both appear to be extremely happy in one another's company. Along Princes Street I really felt so proud. You could look to one side and see the backcloth of the Castle and the ramparts and so on, and on the other side a sea of faces, and just welcoming Pope Benedict XVI to our country. The Pope is a wonderful warm friendly character, radiating a certain calm and a certain peace from him, and the respect which was being shown him, and just the love that was radiating to him from the people who were lining along Princes Street. Yes, well I think that he's aware of all that has been done to make him so welcome from everybody in our country, from the First Minister in the Scottish Government down to the smallest school child." Bishop John Cunnigham ­ Bishop of Galloway said; "I feel it's something important for me. It's quite different when it's in your own country and specific to your own people and your own language. To have it there face to face is a wonderful experience. All the hard work that had to go in advance, it becomes worthwhile when you actually see it coming to fruition." Bishop Joe Toal ­ Bishop of Argyle and the Isles said: "I'm delighted to have him here and to make him feel that this is a country which appreciates his presence, appreciates the effort he has made as an elderly man to come to us and to be and to give us such a an opportunity to celebrate together our Catholic faith and our Christian heritage." Bishop Peter Moran ­ Bishop of Aberdeen said: "One of the problems, obviously is, that we are a country where Catholics are very much in the minority. And in the Diocese of Aberdeen that's even more obvious than in most of the other areas of Scotland. The problem is how to be Christian in a country which is secular. I ¹m sure the Pope will have something to say on that." Bishop Joe Devine ­ Bishop of Motherwell said; "Great, I never thought this would happen. Given his age and the fact that he's got to be very careful in marshalling his energy, I mean the man is well into his eighties now, it's a kind of miracle that he has decided to make this visit. And the most astonishing thing of all is he actually arrives in Scotland on the Feast of St Ninian, today the Feast of Ninian our prime Apostle. So it's absolutely wonderful that he is coming at this time." ENDS

Note audio files of these comments are available via the following links:

http://scmo.org/recordings/bishop-toal-as-live.mp3

http://scmo.org/recordings/Bishop-Cunningham-as-live.mp3

http://scmo.org/recordings/bishop-devine-as-live.mp3

http://scmo.org/recordings/Cardinal-O-Brien-as-live.mp3

 

Peter Kearney Director

Catholic Media Office

5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow

G1 2DH

0141 221 1168 07968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org

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