ASTATEMENT in support of the Pope's pronouncements in defence of priestly celibacy, issued this week by the Scottish bishops, says: "The Scottish bishops have no reservations on this subject." It was signed on behalf of the bishops by Cardinal Gray, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, president of the Scottish Episcopal Conference.
The statement reads: "Many Catholics will have read in the Press, or heard over the radio, reports of the letter recently addressed to his Secretary of State, Cardinal Villot, by Pope Paul, in which he refers to the controversy current in Holland and elsewhere on the requirement of priestly celibacy in the Church of the Latin Rite.
"The Scottish bishops have no reservations on this subject. They are in complete accord with the Holy Father in his courageous defence of this sacred and treasured tradition in the Catholic priesthood which makes possible that complete and undivided dedication to the service of God which is demanded of the priest.
"They are convinced that their support of the Holy Father in this matter reflects the mind of the overwhelming majority of the priests, religious and laity in Scotland. They ask the faithful to pray earnestly for the Church in Holland in these days of crisis.