Cop26: New Catholic magazine set to launch in Scotland ahead of Pope Francis visit

A new Catholic magazine is to launch in Scotland ahead of Pope Francis’ visit for the Cop26 climate conference.
Canon Paul Gargaro during a service at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Anderston, Glasgow.Canon Paul Gargaro during a service at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Anderston, Glasgow.
Canon Paul Gargaro during a service at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Anderston, Glasgow.

The Scottish Catholic will print bi-weekly, with its first edition coming two weeks before the pope joins global leaders in Glasgow to discuss the environment.

The magazine launch follows the collapse of Scotland’s only independent Catholic newspaper, the 135-year-old Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO), during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Former SCO-editor Ian Dunn will helm the magazine alongside co-owners Mary and Dan McGinty.

Mr Dunn, the managing editor, said: “People are quick to write off Catholicism and quick to write-off print journalism, but there’s still plenty of people in church on Sunday and plenty of people who want to read stories about their faith and their community.”

He said the Catholic Church has “taken a hit during the pandemic” but that with “Pope Francis coming to Scotland next month for Cop26 it’s an ideal time to launch a Catholic magazine”.

Mr Dunn edited the SCO from 2016-2018.

The newspaper was sold mainly through churches and was shuttered in 2020 by its parent company, the London-based Catholic Herald, amid the pandemic.

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“What happened to the Observer was extremely sad but these things happen for a reason,” Mr Dunn added.

“This seemed like a fantastic opportunity to take the best of that paper and put it into a fresh new package.

“Our community needs a voice, to help us talk to each other and the wider world, and we will be that voice.”

The new magazine, which will be independent of the church, was welcomed by Scotland’s Catholic bishops.

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A spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said it “wishes its founders every success in their mission to create a place where the voice of the Catholic community in Scotland can be heard”.

He added: “An increasingly secular mainstream media often leads to superficial coverage of the Church and its teachings, making the role of the Catholic media very important.

“We hope the Scottish Catholic will promote the values of the Gospels, proudly present the teachings of the Church and reflect Scottish Catholic life across our country.”

The magazine will launch on October 15 and will cost £2, with the first edition free.

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