Ad Limina Visit
From 25th September until 5th October, Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, along with the other seven Bishops of Scotland, attended the Ad Limina Visit in Rome.
Each Bishops Conference must attend the Ad Limina Visit every five years during which they meet with the Pope and give a report on the state of the Catholic Church in their Diocese.
This year was the first Ad Limina visit that the Bishops Conference of Scotland have had with the present Holy Father, Pope Francis. During their time in Rome, the Bishops met the Holy Father who spoke with them for over an hour.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, president of the Bishops Conference of Scotland reported:
“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.”
Below are some photographs from the Ad Limina of the Bishops meeting Pope Francis as well as the students from the Pontifical Scots College who also got to visit the Vatican and meet the Holy Father for the third time in as many years.