Bishop Tartaglia’s Communications Sunday message

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Pope Benedict XVI will be here in September.  We hope many thousands of Catholics will gather in Bellahouston Park on Thursday 16th September, the Feast of St Ninian, for Mass with the Holy Father.  We are all hoping and praying for a joyful and happy day.

However, no matter how many gather on the day for the vast majority of people in Scotland and around the world their experience of the Papal Visit will be through television, newspapers, and via the electronic media.  The media coverage will play a huge part in deciding how the Papal Visit to Scotland and England is assessed throughout the world.

The media implications and requirements for the Pope’s visit are massive.  An officially accredited media delegation of 70 journalists travels with the Pope wherever he goes.  Hundreds of TV, radio and print journalists from home and abroad will gather in Scotland for the Pope’s visit here.  These journalists need to be looked after, briefed and given as much background information on the Pope, on the Catholic Church and Catholic community in Scotland past, present and future, on Scotland’s links with the papacy over the centuries, and any other relevant information.  These media briefings will have print, sound, visual and digital forms.  This material will be created and disseminated by the staff of our Catholic Media Office.  The Media Office will also need to handle hundreds and eventually thousands of enquiries about media-related matters regarding the Pope’s visit.

Media preparation for the Pope’s visit has been underway for some time now.  But, as you can imagine, the Scottish Catholic Media Office will require a surge of resources, both human and material, in order to meet the exceptional requirements of the Pope’s visit in a professional and efficient way.

On Communications Sunday, I usually ask you for a donation for the Scottish Catholic Media Office.  This year, I am asking you to be especially generous so that our Media Office will be able to meet the media challenges of the Papal Visit on behalf of the Catholics of Scotland and in so doing to promote the church in Scotland to the rest of the world.  Thank you for listening to this message and for any response you are able to make.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley

President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland

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