Scottish Bishops welcome Pope's document on liturgy

 Scotland's Catholic Bishops issued the following statement on Saturday, following the publication in Rome by Pope Benedict XVI of an Apostolic Letter on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. "The publication of the document on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970 reflects the pastoral concern of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for those who find themselves drawn to that form of the Eucharistic celebration a pastoral concern which the Bishops of Scotland share The Bishops of Scotland also share Pope Benedict XVI's concern about the unity of the Church. In both his writings and his statements the Pope has reminded us of the centrality of the Eucharist as the source of unity in the life of the Church. Writing earlier this year in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis the Holy Father said: "The fact that the one Eucharist is celebrated in each Diocese around its own Bishop helps us see how those particular Churches subsist in and from the Church." (15). In thanking the Holy Father for this most recent document, the Bishops of Scotland wish to note that since 1970 Catholics in Scotland have embraced the reform of the liturgy, with the same openness of heart as they had already begun to accept the other decisions of the Second Vatican Council. The Holy Father,s decision to issue this document is motivated above all by his desire to mend divisions where they have occurred and to prevent future divisions by helping to bring about "an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Echoing what the Holy Father says, the Bishops wish to point out that there is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal (1962 and 1970) and that they in fact demonstrate that in the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress but no rupture. Having consulted widely throughout the Church before issuing this document and the norms it sets down, the Pope reminds bishops that each of them is moderator of the liturgy in his own diocese and has the responsibility to be watchful to ensure that all is done in peace and serenity. Bishops are invited to monitor the effect of the norms so that the whole Church can be involved in an evaluation of them in three years time. The Bishops of Scotland acknowledge this responsibility and intend to study the Holy Father,s document thoroughly to ensure that that its provisions are fully available to those Catholics in Scotland who may wish to encounter the mystery of the Eucharist through the form of celebration set out in the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal. The Bishops of Scotland pray that God will continue to bless our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI in his ministry of love and reconciliation. We ask that the Blessed Virgin Mary will intercede with her Divine Son on behalf of the Church so that together with our Holy Father the Pope we will all be faithful and obedient sons and daughters of God as we carry out his will." Source: SCMO

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