Pope Francis had a meeting with Reverend Derek Browning, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, who greeted the pope with these words.
“Wise people tell us that we must speak the truth and love, but in the first place we must speak together.”
The pope thanked the highest representative of the Scottish Church for the visit, which took place a few months after the celebration of the fifth centenary of the Reformation. Pope Francis emphasized overcoming misgivings between Catholics and Protestants.
“Let us thank the Lord for the great gift of being able to live this year in true fraternity, no longer as rivals, after long centuries of estrangement and conflict.”
The pope recalled that mutual suspicion belongs to the past thanks to the path of communion that is increasingly bearing fruit.
“The mutual purification of memory is one of the most significant fruits of this common journey.”
In the exchange of gifts, the Moderator gave the pope a book on one of the most popular saints in the country, and another original gift.
“Food things and drink things from Scotland which we hope will keep you in good and strong health.”
The pope responded with the three fundamental writings of his pontificate. The Church of Scotland, known as the Kirk, broke in 1560 with Rome and currently has less than half a million followers.