16th September 2010
Location: Bellahouston Park, Glasgow
The pope will visit Glasgow and celebrate a giant open air mass before a crowd of worshippers at Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park in September.
It will be the first visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland, and he will attend Glasgow as part of the first Papal visit since his predecessor John Paul II who said mass in the same park during a pastoral trip in 1982.
The venue for the service was confirmed following a meeting between Glasgow City Council and the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. But there are fears the occasion could prove too big for the south side park. The visit of Pope John Paul II in 1982 attracted massive crowds to Bellahouston Park, and more than 300,000 people crammed in 28 years ago to hear Pope John Paul II hold mass there.
Organisers believe that many more people will want to see Pope Benedict this year, but strict safety rules now limit the park to a capacity of 220,000. The Bishops expect that more than half of the 185,000 Catholics who attend Sunday services across Scotland will be able to attend the open air mass in Bellahouston Park. The 450 parishes in Scotland will receive a pro-rata allocation of places based on their mass attendance figures.