Vatican City, Feb 5, 2010 / 11:19 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI met with bishops from Scotland Friday morning on the occasion of their “ad Limina” visit to the Holy See. Not only did he confirm that he will be visiting their nation this year, but he addressed a variety of issues relevant to the Scottish Church, including the need to defend Church teaching in the face of secularism.
In his message to the bishops, Benedict XVI commended them for their "Priests for Scotland" initiative, which addresses significant issues being dealt with by the Scottish clergy. The Pope remarked that “the witness of priests who are genuinely committed to prayer and joyful in their ministry bears fruit not only in the spiritual lives of the faithful, but also in new vocations.”
Initiatives of this sort, he said, must be offered along with catechesis to remind the lay community of the “indispensable” nature of the priesthood to the life of the Church, especially in providing the Eucharist.
A “renewed focus” on the role of the “lay apostolate” is also needed as it is sometimes confused with “lay ministry,” the Pope said, noting that through the clarification of the roles of clergy and laity a “strong impetus” will be given to the evangelization of society.
The task of evangelization, Benedict XVI continued, “requires a readiness to grapple firmly with the challenges presented by the increasing tide of secularism in (your) country” especially in regard to the important issues of euthanasia and medical ethics.
From Zenit, "Benedict XVI's Address to Scottish Bishops: 'People of Faith Bear Witness to the Truth'"
From Catholic News Service, "Catholic teaching is not a list of 'no's,' pope tells Scottish bishops"
From Asia News, "Pope: Church cannot accept any compromise on euthanasia"
From Catholic World News, "Combat 'rising tide of secularism,' Pope urges Scottish bishops" and "Pope confirms he will visit Scotland"
From AFP via Yahoo! Canada News, "Pope speaks out against euthanasia in Scotland"
From BBC News, "Pope confirms visit to Scotland"
From The Scotsman, "Pope's "joy" as visit to Scotland is confirmed"
And from YouTube-Vatican's Channel:
Benedict XVI: Create a better society
February 5, 2010