The President and Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland Cardinal Keith O’Brien and Archbishop Mario Conti have issued a message of thanks to all those who made the visit of Pope Benedict XVI “such a happy and memorable day”. In a joint letter sent to organising teams from across Scotland they say:
“To all of the people of our beloved Scotland, who made the successor of Peter an honorary Scot for the day, we say, “Thank you from the bottom of our heart.” The message gives special praise to the broadcast and print media in Scotland saying thanking journalists for their “expertise and commitment in relaying the Pope’s message to the people of Scotland”.
The full text of the letter is shown below.
On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, we wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to all who made the visit of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to our country such a happy and memorable day. Months of preparation and hard work involved countless agencies and thousands of individuals. To each and every one of you our sincere thanks are due for the contribution you made to the resounding success of the day.
In a special way we wish to express our gratitude to Her Majesty the Queen who received the Holy Father so graciously as soon as he arrived in Scotland. We wish also to put on record our deep appreciation of the support of the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and Glasgow City Council for their warm support and co-operation in the planning and delivery of a “day of days” which allowed 200,000 people to see the Holy Father in person during his day in Scotland.
Special thanks are also due to the police, fire and ambulance services, the NHS, the travel companies, Strathclyde Passenger Transport, Scotrail and Stagecoach, who co-ordinated the travel plan, as well as DF Concerts our event managers in Bellahouston Park.
We wish to acknowledge too, the very positive coverage given to the Holy Father’s time in Scotland by the broadcast and print media. Their expertise and commitment in relaying the Pope’s message to the people of Scotland was greatly appreciated.
To all the priests, deacons, religious and lay people who helped plan and support the visit, to parish pilgrim leaders who worked so hard to bring pilgrims from every corner of our land to Edinburgh and Glasgow and guide them safely home; to the teachers who planned lessons and accompanied pupils on the big day; to those who took part in the pre and post-event schedule in Glasgow or the St Ninian’s Day Parade in Edinburgh; to those who volunteered to work on the day of the visit as helpers and stewards either in Edinburgh or Glasgow and to all those who followed the events either in person or via radio, television or the internet, we wish to express our thanks and appreciation. In a special way we wish to thank the members of other churches and faith communities who joined us in welcoming the Holy Father to Scotland.
The planning, preparation and forethought which went into each step on this Apostolic journey were quite immense and it is thanks to the contributions of so many that the day was such a resounding success. The success of the visit is a success of which all Scotland can be proud. Scotland enjoyed a day in the sun last Thursday, we showed a spectacularly welcoming face to the Pope and the world and reminded all those watching that the Catholic faith in Scotland lives and flourishes even in these often faithless times.
To all of the people of our beloved Scotland, who made the successor of Peter an honorary Scot for the day, we say, “Thank you from the bottom of our heart.”
+Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.
+Mario Joseph Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow, Vice President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.