Scottish bishops brief on Pope’s visit to climate summit

  Scottish bishops brief on Pope's visit to climate summit

A spokesman for the Scottish Bishops’ Conference has given further details about a planned papal visit to the climate summit in Glasgow in early November. Therefore the Scottish bishops did not plan public gatherings with the Pope.

A spokesman for the private Catholic media network “Catholic News Agency” (CNA/EWTN) said on Tuesday that he expected only a very short meeting with the head of the church. The Pope is arriving as a guest of the British government and will likely “only have a few hours to attend the COP26 conference in Scotland”.

Predecessors celebrated large open-air church services

British media had previously speculated about a potentially large open-air service with Pope Francis in Glasgow’s Belhouston Park. There, in 2010 and 1982, his two predecessors, Benedict XVI. And John Paul II held a mass celebration.

A spokesman for the Scottish bishops announced earlier in July that the pope would come but would remain in Scotland “only for a very short time”. The Vatican has yet to make a statement about Francis’ visit to Glasgow.

How does Francis participate?

For some time there has been speculation about the 84-year-old’s visit to Glasgow, the 26th conference of member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the “Conference of the Parties” – COP26 – for short. US Climate Protection Commissioner John Kerry said in mid-May – without details – after Francis’ visit that the Pope wanted to participate. A video message from the Pope to the participants of the conference will also be possible.

The COP26 conference, which was already planned for 2020, was postponed due to the pandemic. Now the plan is from 1 to 12 November.

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