Discussions over the possibility of a trip to Glasgow – his first – for a climate change conference are underway at “the highest level”. Scottish bishops have been advised to prepare for the possible upcoming visit in November, The Times reports.
It would make him the first Pope to visit the city since predecessor Benedict XVI, who made the trip in 2010.
The 11-year gap seems small, and shows the rarity of such an occasion, when compared to the previous papal visit.
It was by John Paul II who addressed an estimated 300,000 worshippers at Bellahouston Park in 1982.
A spokesman for the Scottish Catholic Church said about the visit: “Scotland’s Catholic bishops would warmly welcome his presence, however briefly, in this country.”
Earlier this month, in an address to diplomats in the Vatican, the Pope, 84, said it was his “hope that the next United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), will lead to effective agreement in addressing the consequences of climate change.
“Now is the time to act, for we are already feeling the effects of prolonged inaction.”
The COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow in November 2021 will be one of the largest climate conferences since Paris.
The UN led event will “bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris agreement
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In the statement, the Pope said: “Future generations stand to inherit a greatly spoiled world.
“Our children and grandchildren should not have to pay the cost of our generation’s irresponsibility.”