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Wednesday, 21 February, 2001, 09:09 GMT
Moderator meets the Pope
Pope John Paul II
The Pope met the Moderator at the Vatican
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has spoken of his "great pleasure" at meeting the Pope.

The Right Reverend Andrew McLellan was granted a short private audience with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican on Saturday.

The moderator spent three days in Rome for a number of engagements, including a meeting with Mark Pellew, the British Ambassador.

On Sunday Mr McLellan took the morning service at St Andrew's Church - the Church of Scotland has had a presence in Rome since 1885.

Mr Andrew McLellan
MrMcLellan undertook a number of engagements
After the visit, Mr McLellan said: "The Pope has a great affection for Scotland.

"We recollected his visit in 1982 and he was anxious to learn of the relationship between the churches in Scotland today.

"I told him of the happy friendship which I enjoyed with Cardinal Winning (leader of Scotland's Catholic community) and Archbishop O'Brien (Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh).

'Good wishes'

"He was very pleased to hear that some Church of Scotland young people had been in Rome with the Scottish Roman Catholic party which attended the huge youth event for Holy Year last autumn.

"In his statement the Pope expressed his appreciation of the Church of Scotland in its commitment to reconciliation.

"It was a great pleasure to bring the greetings of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to the Pope.

"What mattered to me was the opportunity to express the warmest good wishes in a context which recognised the very significant differences which exist between us."

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31 Dec 00 | Scotland
Moderator to visit Lockerbie prison
04 Dec 00 | Scotland
McLeish meets pontiff
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