My Dear People of the Diocese of Dunkeld,
As you know, some months ago, our Holy Father Pope Francis, with his special letter ‘Misericordiae Vultus’, the ‘Face of Mercy’ promulgated an Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. The Title of his letter refers to the face of Christ which reveals to us the Merciful Heavenly Father. This Holy Year begins on 8th December, 2015 and end on the Feast of Christ the King, 20th November, 2016.
A Jubilee, of course, accords us a very special time of reflection in the life of the Church. This particular Jubilee focuses on the Theme of Mercy which lies both at the heart of the teaching of the Old Testament and is central to the ministry of Jesus, as described in the Gospels of the New Testament. The teaching of St Paul in his letters also, and the teaching of St John the Evangelist in his letters speak constantly of mercy. Divine Mercy is the Father’s bountiful and faithful love for us as communicated to us in the love of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
During this Holy Year there will be many opportunities to express our faith as a Catholic people. Every month there will be an opportunity to celebrate the Holy Year with various groups from our Diocese, echoing the Church’s celebrations happening centrally in the Holy City of Rome, presided over by the Holy Father.
There will be regular updates of these Jubilee celebrations in our Diocese from me, your Bishop, in the coming months.
There will also be a heightened sense of Holy Year as we celebrate the various Pilgrimages that many of our fellow parishioners will take part in during this Year of Mercy. Therefore, Lourdes will be a special time of prayer and celebration this Year in July of next year. Also in July, there will be a World Youth Day Pilgrimage for many of our young people in Krakow, Poland, when they will meet the Holy Father, Pope Francis. In September, there will be a Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome where we can celebrate the Mercy of the Lord, visit the threshold of the Tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and visit the Holy Father.
Also, there will be a Diocesan celebration Pilgrimage in the month of June culminating with a procession in honour of Our Lady in the grounds of Kilgraston School, Bridge of Earn.
The first of these great celebrations of the Holy Year will take place in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Dundee on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady on Tuesday, 8th December, 2015 at 7pm. On the evening of this day we shall bless and open the Holy Door which will remain open for our journey during the entire Holy Year. As we pass through it we will be able to pray the devotions and prayers which remind us of our Pilgrimage through Life that the Holy Door symbolises for us.
There will also be a number of designated Churches in the Diocese which will remind us of our links with our Cathedral Church and with the Holy Father in Rome. In these special places we will be encouraged to pray the prayers of the Holy Year to gain the Plenary Indulgence promulgated by Pope Francis.
These churches are St John the Baptist, Perth; St Thomas’, Arbroath; St Mungo’s, Alloa; Holy Family, Dunblane; St Mary’s Forebank, Dundee and St Andrew’s Cathedral in Dundee
I would hope that prayer, penance and reconciliation will be the hallmark of renewal in our Diocese during this coming Holy Year.
With every blessing
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Bishop of Dunkeld
The McLellan Report
PASTORAL LETTER READ OUT AT ALL MASSES SUNDAY 23rd AUGUST 2015
My Dear People
As you have almost certainly heard already, this week saw the publication of a long awaited Report on the implementation and effectiveness of the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults in the Catholic Church in Scotland.
Almost two years ago now the Bishops of Scotland decided to commission an independent review into the quality of the safeguarding procedures and protocols of the Scottish Catholic Church, with Dr. Andrew McLellan, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to lead the review. The Report is a detailed and substantial document, the product of almost two years’ work by able and committed people. It gives the Catholic Church in Scotland a vision and a programme to follow to strengthen the work of safeguarding and respond to the needs of survivors. The Bishops of Scotland have agreed unanimously to accept the Report’s recommendations in full.
Following on publication of the Report, Archbishop Tartaglia, as President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, issued a public Apology – as recommended in the McLellan Report – to any person who has been harmed by those in the Church who were in positions of trust and authority and who subsequently failed them. To encounter abuse of any kind is surely a shocking experience in a society, family or institution, but above all in the Body of Christ, the family of the Church, it is a heinous thing. The ‘Little Ones’ of the Gospel must always be able to come to Jesus and his followers with confidence and love – and we all know what the Gospel says about what will happen to those who despise or harm these ‘Little Ones’.
At the same time, by accepting the Recommendations of the McLellan Commission in full, as the Bishops are committed to do, the Church can now move on to remedy the shortcomings in our practice of safeguarding and the areas which need renewal and improvement.
Today at this Mass you will receive a leaflet, prepared on behalf of the Bishops, to help you understand where we fell short and to point out the direction in which we will need to proceed if we are to make our Church a safe, loving, compassionate and healing place for all. Please take it home and read it carefully.
Learning from our shortcomings, omissions and ineffectiveness will be a painful exercise for the Church in years to come. But learn we must. Above all we must be transparent in our dealings and accountable for our mistakes and, yes, incompetence in the past.
With every good wish and blessing to you all
+ Stephen Robson
Bishop of Dunkeld
|WELCOME TO OUR DIOCESEWelcome to the website of the Diocese of Dunkeld, one of the eight Roman Catholic Dioceses in Scotland. The diocese comprises 35 parishes of 43,000 Catholics from a total population of 400,000 (10.8%) served by 35 priests and 4 deacons. In area the diocese is 8,495 square kilometres (3,280 sq. miles).It is thought that the diocese was constituted as far back as the middle of the ninth century. The first occupant was styled Bishop of Fortriu, the name by which the kingdom of the northern Picts was then known. This bishop was also styled Abbot of Dunkeld, perhaps holding jurisdiction, formerly enjoyed by Iona, over the other Columban monasteries in Scotland. The new bishopric appears to have included a great part of what afterwards became the Diocese of Argyll, and retained its jurisdiction over various churches representing old Columban foundations. There were thirty‐five bishops of Dunkeld from its foundation until the suppression of the Catholic hierarchy during the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century.||The pre‐Reformation cathedral, situated in the Perthshire town of Dunkeld, was erected between 1220 and 1500. After the Reformation the cathedral fell partly into ruins, although the choir is used for Presbyterian worship. The Catholic Church restored the diocese on 4 March 1878, by decree of Pope Leo XIII. Dunkeld is one of the suffragan sees in the archiepiscopal province of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and includes the counties of Perth, Angus, Clackmannan, Kinross, and the northern part of Fife.Today the diocesan cathedral is dedicated to Saint Andrew and is located in Dundee rather than Dunkeld, Dundee being the residence of the majority of the Catholics of the diocese and the largest centre of population. The cathedral chapter, erected in 1895, consists of a Provost and seven canons. Bishop Stephen Robson is the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Dunkeld. We hope you find the site informative and that it will bring you up to date with all the events happening in our diocese. You will also find links to the wider Church community, not only in Scotland, but worldwide.|