.- Pope Benedict XVI used the occasion of the Scottish bishops’ “ad Limina” visit to officially announce his intentions to make a visit their country later this year. The declaration comes just days after the Holy Father confirmed his plans to go to England.
“Later this year,” said the Pope, “I shall have the joy of being present with you and the Catholics of Scotland on your native soil.”
No other details have been made official, but the Holy Father told the Scottish clergy that as they prepare for his arrival to “encourage your people to pray that it will be a time of grace for the whole Catholic community.”
The confirmation of a stop in Scotland follows the Pope’s announcement to bishops from England and Wales on Monday of his intention to visit Great Britain later this year. On that occasion, he said that he anticipated the opportunity to be able to witness the faith of Great Britain for himself and "to strengthen and confirm it."
He also asked the bishops of those nations to encourage the faithful in their devotion "and assure them that the Pope constantly remembers them in his prayers and holds them in his heart."
The last time a Pontiff visited the northernmost country in the United Kingdom was when Pope John Paul II was there in 1982.