GLASGOW, Scotland, JUNE 10, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The Scottish bishops’ conference announced that Benedict XVI will be celebrating an open air Mass in the same place that John Paul II presided over a liturgy in 1982.
The Mass will be held in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park on Sept. 16, during the Pope’s U.K. visit.
“The park provides a wonderful venue for what will be a tremendous event; it is a place that has a great resonance for Scottish Catholics, many of whom remember fondly the wonderful day in 1982 when Pope John Paul II said Mass there,” a conference statement announced Wednesday.
The bishops sent a message to the parishes around Scotland, noting that each would be given an allocation of places in that park for the Mass.
“We expect that over half of the Mass-going population will be able to attend and urge every parish to take up its full allocation to ensure that the Catholic community in Scotland is fully represented on the day,” they stated.
The communiqué noted that “many opportunities will exist for large numbers of people to line the route of the Pope’s motorcade through the City of Edinburgh earlier in the day.”
A St. Ninian’s Day pageant is being planned, which will include parades of schoolchildren and pipe bands ahead of the papal motorcade.
The conference noted “the appointment of Lord Chris Patten as the government’s coordinator for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI,” welcoming “the fact that the government has appointed such a senior figure to liaise with the Church.”
The bishops expressed the hope “to be able to discuss with him as soon as possible the preparations being made by the Catholic Church in Scotland.”