Pope Francis' secretary of state, Cardinal Parolin, will head Vatican delegation.
A papal trip to Glasgow for COP26 had not been confirmed by the Vatican, but word on the street, and even among the Scottish bishops, was that the Pope would be part of the climate meeting.
However, a message from Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, on October 8, informed that the Pope will not make the trip.
“In response to journalists’ questions regarding the participation of the Holy See in the COP26 session to be held in Glasgow from October 31 to November 12, I can specify that the delegation will be led by His Eminence, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of His Holiness,” wrote the director of the newsroom in a statement.
Without ever being officially confirmed by the Holy See, this trip had been announced by the Scottish bishops last July. “The Pope will be in Scotland for a very short period of time, most of which will be devoted to COP 26,” the communications service of the Catholic Church in Scotland had announced.
The Pope himself had mentioned the trip in an interview with the Spanish radio station Cope on September 1. Asked twice about a presence in Glasgow at the beginning of November, the Pope replied: “Yes, in principle, the plan is for me to go.” But he added: “It all depends on how I feel at the time. But in reality, my speech is already being prepared, and the plan is to be there.”
Yesterday and earlier this week, the Holy Father joined with leaders of world religions to reiterate his call to governments and all people of good will, to be better stewards of the environment, as a gift entrusted us by the Creator.
It is also possible that care for our common home will be the theme of a meeting – only the second – of the Pontiff with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.