When Pope John Paul II visited Scotland in 1982, I had a real day job and was not able to go and see him. This Papal Visit, I have been invited by our local parish to attend, so I am taking the opportunity to go with them to Bellahouston. In 1982, 300,000 pilgrims attended. Tomorrow, 65,000 are expected. A wake up call for the church - of all denominations?
The media this week have been particularly brutal about this pope. He needs no defense from me. However many of the atrocities cited and corruption exposed were not just the preserve of the Roman catholic church but of many of our institutions entrusted with a duty of care for the vulnerable. The legislation under which we currently toil when we attempt to serve those at risk is testament to the failings of the past and, hopefully, a signal to the present and future that such abuse of power is not possible in a society that is learning harsh lessons from its past. Too late for so many but a necessary sign of hope for generations to come.