THE SCOTTISH co-ordinating council, set up to monitor preparations for the Pope's visit to Scotland in 1982, has recently issued the first of its monthly progress report bulletins.
The council. chaired by Bishop Francis Thomson of Motherwell, has responsibility for supervising the work of the eleven committees set up to organise the event.
The bulletin has been published in order to involve Catholics at all levels in the visit. If "waving a flag" or cheering wildly at the appearance of a Pope in our country "is the extent of our participation, then the Papal visit will have been a total failure." Bishop Thomson writes. The bulletin covers both the spiritual and practical sides of the preparation for the visit. The spiritual theme chosen for Scotland is "To Follow Christ", which divides into three parts. "Yes to God". "Yes to each other" and "Yes to life".
These topics will be covered in the bulletin throughout the coming months.
On the practical level, Fr Daniel Hart, executive director on the council. describes the stages by which the Papal itinerary will be decided.
Now that the Pope has confirmed his intention to, visit Scotland, the next step will be for a representative of the Secretariat of State to visit Great Britain and discuss with the bishops of England, Wales and Scotland their proposed itineraries.
These will then be discussed in Rome and agreement reached in principle on the programme. A detailed itinerary will then he drawn up.
Also revealed in the bulletin is the estimated cost of John Paul II's one-day visit to Scotland over El million.