Joint statement calls for an end to war in the Holy Land

Archbishop Bill Nolan of Glasgow and the Moderator of the Church of Scotland have signed a joint statement calling for an end to war in the Middle East.

Rt Rev Sally Foster-Fulton and the Archbishop pray that people in positions of power end the "senseless violence" and have the courage and wisdom to pursue the path of justice and peace for all who call the Holy Land home.

The two religious leaders said "enough is enough" and spoke out after Gaza's only Catholic priest, Father Gabriel Romanelli, visited Glasgow last Friday (main image).

He shared the plight of his Holy Family Parish congregation, said people are "living in hell" and called for a ceasefire, describing it as a necessary step to restart dialogue between all parties.

The Moderator, the Archbishop and other ecumenical partner representatives attended the event, organised by the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) and Justice and Peace Scotland at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The statement

On the occasion of Fr Gabriel Romanelli's visit to Glasgow on 26 April 2024, we, the undersigned, express our solidarity with the people of the Holy Family Parish in Gaza, the Christian community of the Holy Land and people of all faiths and none across the region tormented by war.

In recent months, millions of innocent people have suffered the consequences of violence and war.

Families and communities have been devastated.

Many have lost hope for a peaceful future.

Men, women and children have been robbed of their innate human dignity and their right to survive and thrive.

Our cry is "Enough is enough".

Today we cry out to all people in positions of power to end this senseless violence.

We pray to Almighty God that their hearts may be turned towards compassion, and that they may have the courage and wisdom to pursue the path of justice and peace for all who call the Holy Land home.

This article is adapted from the Church of Scotland article here.  Title image of Father Gabriel Romanelli by James Cave, SCIAF.

Tributes paid following death of Archbishop Mario Conti

Tributes have been paid to Archbishop Mario Conti, Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, who has died.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and Bishop of Aberdeen said: “It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti.

"His presence as a bishop has been a constant for so long, it is difficult to remember a time when he wasn’t an active or retired member of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

"As the current Bishop of Aberdeen I have many fond memories of him during his 25 years as Bishop of Aberdeen.

"Although he became Archbishop of Glasgow in 2002 his ties to the North East of Scotland remained strong.

"His interest in and knowledge of Scotland’s Catholic history was well known and his commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of the church was unwavering.

"In his retirement, he was a source of great wisdom and pastoral support to his successors both in Glasgow and Aberdeen.

"His work in ecumenism and interfaith matters as well as his affection for the Italian community in Scotland were among his defining characteristics. On behalf of the Bishops of Scotland, we commend his soul into the hands of God and pray that he may enjoy eternal rest.”

Archbishop Conti died on Tuesday evening after a short illness, at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

He was 88 years old. He had been a priest for 64 years and a bishop for 45 years.

He was one of the last surviving bishops in the world to have been appointed by Pope (now saint) Paul VI.

After 25 years in Aberdeen as Bishop he was named as successor to Cardinal Tom Winning as Archbishop of Glasgow in 2002, serving for 10 years.