The Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, Mario Conti, has issued a pastoral letter to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which takes place next week, 18-25 January. The letter was read out in parishes of the archdiocese at the weekend (8-9 January).
The Archbishop recalled Pope Benedict's visit to Glasgow and his specific encouragement to follow a path to greater unity. He urged Catholics throughout the archdiocese to commit to the task of seeking unity
"We have, therefore, already embarked upon this journey. The pathway is one of initial mutual respect and friendship; it makes progress through a sharing and service of the community; it proceeds through a seeking of the truth which we already hold in common; and it gains strength through prayer in common, which cannot be simply committed to one week in the year" wrote the Archbishop.
He thanked the priests, deacons, religious and people, "who are already striving in your parishes and in places of encounter with others to foster that unity".
Referring to the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982 in which he challenged Scottish Catholics to "walk hand in hand" with their fellow Christians, the Archbishop concluded: "Finally, I recall that following those words of Pope John Paul II at Bellahouston, there was a significant qualitative change in our relationships in this very city and elsewhere, manifested when after 28 years another Pope came among us. I have every confidence that this visit also will have its impact on our relationships, and will further the journey towards that full organic unity, that communion, for which Christ prayed."