Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 13:36 UK

Priest training college to close

Priests at a mass in the Vatican
Students training to be priests will complete their studies in Rome

Catholic priests will no longer be trained in Scotland after Scottish bishops decided to close the country's only seminary.

Scotus College in Bearsden will shut down at the end of the summer and students will transfer to Rome.

There are currently nine students training to be priests in Scotland and 11 at the Scots College in Rome.

The Catholic Church said it would reassess the situation if more men came forward to train as priests.

There used to be five Catholic seminaries in Scotland.

The Church said priests were needed in the parishes and there were not enough to provide staff for the college as well.

National seminary

A Catholic Church spokesman said: "It is a matter of regret that the Catholic Church will no longer train priests in Scotland.

"The Bishops' Conference is grateful to all those who have contributed to Scotus College over the years including lay employees whose statutory rights will be upheld

He added: "Combining with the Scots College in Rome allows for the creation of a fully resourced national seminary and reduces the demands currently made on priests in Scotland."

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