Scotland’s Catholic bishops say they are “delighted to hear” they may meet Pope Francis when he attends the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.
Bishops wrote to the pope “expressing their prayerful support” as he recovers from recent colon surgery ahead of his likely appearance at the key UN summit, said the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.
A spokesman said: “Having written to the Holy Father to assure him of a warm welcome, should he attend the conference, they are delighted to hear that he does hope to attend and would be glad to meet with them in Glasgow.
“The pope will be in Scotland for a very short time, most of which will be spent participating in the COP26 conference.
“While many pastoral, ecumenical and interfaith gatherings would be desirable while he is with us, time constraints sadly mean such a full programme will not be possible.”
The pontiff, 84, greeted crowds on Sunday from a balcony of the Gemelli Hospital in Rome after convalescing from his July 4 operation.
In a tweet on Sunday, Pope Francis said: “In these days of being hospitalized, I have experienced how important good health care is, accessible to all.
“This precious benefit must not be lost which needs everyone’s contribution.”
The pontiff has made environmental appeal a signature of his papacy, calling climate change “one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time” at the United Nations climate action summit in 2019.
In a short video message in April to the US-hosted leaders summit on climate, the pope said the coronavirus pandemic has provided world leaders with an opportunity to ensure the environment is better protected going forward.
He said: “Our concern is to see that the environment is cleaner, more pure and preserved.”