Bishop Robson’s Resignation Accepted

Please find below an excerpt from a letter from Bishop Robson to the priests of the Diocese of Dunkeld as his resignation is accepted by Pope Francis.


28th December 2022               

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Dear brother priests, 

Very recently I received from Archbishop Gugerotti, the Papal Nuncio, a letter from Pope Francis stating that he had accepted my resignation as Bishop of Dunkeld under Canon 401, para 2, on grounds of failing health.  In his own covering letter, the Nuncio states: ‘The Holy Father assures you of his gratitude for your faithful ministry and sends warm greetings and prayerful good wishes for your health and future endeavours’. 

I first wrote my resignation letter to the Holy Father in March 2021, and in November 2021 His Excellency, the Nuncio, told me that the Holy Father had accepted my offer of resignation ‘Nunc pro Tunc’, which means that it was accepted now, but that it would only be promulgated once a Bishop successor was appointed or whenever the pope was to think appropriate. I know that during this past year (2022) rumours have circulated that I was about to retire, and that the process for the selection and appointment by the Holy Father of a new Bishop had already begun.  Unfortunately, though the process is well under way, the nomination of a new Bishop for Dunkeld is not yet completed. However, the Holy Father has now accepted my resignation on grounds of ill health (c. 401, para2; 416), and it was made public today, as you will by now know at 12:00 o’clock GMT in Rome (which is 11 am in the UK). As from this date and time, the Diocese of Dunkeld is now vacant (sede vacante) and I am to be known as the emeritus bishop of Dunkeld.  

Accordingly,  all major Offices in the Diocese cease – including the Episcopal Vicars and Vicars General, but with the exception of Chancellor – and lose authority. The task now falls to the College of Consultors, a sub-set of the Council of Priests, to elect a Diocesan Administrator from among the priests of the diocese who are eligible ‘from those priests who are above 35 years of age and are upright and have strong faith and good prudential judgement‘.  This election ought to be conducted within eight days of the notification that the See of Dunkeld is vacant (and carried out according to CC. 165-178). The Diocesan Administrator once elected is to ensure the smooth overall conduct of diocesan affairs, though during a vacant See there is to be nothing innovated which might affect the patrimony of the diocese (‘sede vacante, nihil innovetur’). The duties of the Diocesan Administrator are outlined in the Codex iuris canonici (1983) cc.416-430). Essentially, the Diocesan Administrator is to keep the diocese ticking over until a new Bishop is appointed. The Code of Canon law outlines how the Diocesan Administrator is to proceed, cautiously and carefully to keep the business of the diocese on an even keel.  Accordingly, within the next eight days, the College of Consultors of the diocese must gather together according to canon Law and must validly elect an  Administrator, whose name must be submitted via the Nuncio to the Holy See. Though all other vicarious offices except the Chancellor will cease, no doubt the Administrator will prudently call on the priests previously involved in those offices to carry on their functions as usual to help him in his task.   Since I came to the diocese in 2013, priests, people, religious and deacons have been very good to me, and I have tried to serve them as best I can. I am now almost 72 years of age and, although three years short of the normal retiring age I am sad to have come to the conclusion that I do not have the strength to carry on effectively shepherding the diocese.  However, I am happy to say that the diocese is in relatively good shape, and I have every confidence that an excellent younger and fitter priest  will be selected by the pope to carry on the work of pastoring and feeding People of God by means of the Word of God and the Sacraments….

Bishop Stephen Robson

Scripture Study – Women in the Torah: Matriarchs and Heroes of Israel

In the near future I am hoping to begin a Scripture study on the above topic of Women in the Torah using the book authored by Stephen J. Binz. I hope to hold the Scripture study on Tuesday evenings after Holy Mass in St. James’, Kinross. We will begin at approximately 7.30p.m. (at least after Holy Mass) and will end around 9.00p.m. Anyone interested in joining the group should e-mail me on I have purchased twelve copies of the book for the use of those who would like to join the group which will centre around a prayerful study and reflection on the sacred texts. Should the interest be great enough I am happy to obtain more copies. Below I give a taste of the nature of the Scripture study and the author and, if you look online at the website (from which this information is taken) you can have a look inside the book itself. God bless, Fr. Martin

Ancient-Future Bible Study incorporates contemporary study of the Bible with an experience of the church’s most ancient way of reading Scripture, lectio divina. This time honored practice consists of five basic movements: biblical study (lectio), reflection (meditatio), prayer (oratio), discernment (contemplatio), and contemplative action (operatio). In six clearly written volumes, bestselling author Stephen Binz helps readers study the Bible in a way that leads to spiritual transformation and brings them closer to God. Binz leads readers in a vivid study of key biblical characters, including Abraham, Paul, Peter, David, the women of the Torah, and the women of the Gospels. He shows all Christians who desire to have a transforming experience with the inspired Word of God how studying Scripture through lectio divina can enrich their discipleship. This ecumenical Bible study, designed for use by individuals or groups, includes questions for personal reflection and suggested action. Each volume includes leader’s notes for guiding a study over the course of six sessions.

Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina

Ancient-Future Bible Study incorporates contemporary study of the Bible with an experience of the church’s most ancient way of reading Scripture, lectio divina. Designed for use by individuals or groups, these guides offer a transforming experience of the Word of God. An introduction to lectio divina and leader’s notes are included.

“Stephen Binz has bridged the gap between contemplative biblical study and practical application. This is a rare achievement that many readers of Scripture will find profound and spiritually formative.”–Thomas C. Oden, general editor, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture

“In the Ancient-Future Bible Study series, Stephen Binz opens our minds, imaginations, and hearts to the experience of Scripture that God intends. In each book he leads us through the movements of lectio divina so that by understanding the Word and meditating on it we are drawn closer to the Lord in prayer and prompted to act on it. I believe that users of this series will encounter the Holy Spirit and find themselves enfolded in God’s love.”–Bert Ghezzi, author, Adventures in Daily Prayer

“The Ancient-Future Bible Study series revives a simple, time-honored framework for listening to God’s voice known as lectio divina. This framework does not so much constrain as bring liberty–liberty to explore, to listen, and to grow. Stephen Binz’s work is carefully considered, richly textured, and solidly grounded. His seed thoughts will help you dwell richly in the Word.”–David Neff, editor in chief, Christianity Today

Ancient-Future Bible Studies Available from Brazos Press

Abraham: Father of All Believers
Paul: Apostle to All the Nations
Peter: Fisherman and Shepherd of the Church
David: Shepherd and King of Israel
Women of the Torah: Matriarchs and Heroes of Israel
Women of the Gospels: Friends and Disciples of Jesus

About the Author

Stephen J. Binz (SSL, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome) is a popular speaker and the highly regarded author of over two dozen books. He is the former director of Little Rock Scripture Study, used in churches throughout the world, and founder and author of Threshold Bible Study. He is also the former editor-in-chief of God’s Word Today magazine and is a licensed psychotherapist.

Musical Evening – Our Lady of Lourdes, Perth

On Friday 19th August at 7.00p.m. Our Lady of Lourdes’ Parish is hosting a musical evening courtesy of Mr. Michael Ellacott. Tickets will be available at the church door priced £5.00 each (for adults) and children can come along free of charge. There will be refreshments available at the interval and also there will be a raffle. The evening has been organised by the Fundraising Committee of Our Lady’s to help raise funds for necessary structural work on the outside of the church and the presbytery. The evening promises to be very enjoyable and entertaining and we hope that you will manage to join us. Any additional donations towards the works being carried out will always be gratefully received. Thank you in advance for your support and your generosity! (Our Lady of Lourdes, 42 Struan Road, Perth PH1 2JP) Car parking is available on site.

Pilgrim Statue of St. Michael the Archangel – Bishop Robson’s Mass

Dear parishioners, just to remind you that this evening (Friday 12th August) at 6.30p.m. Bishop Robson will offer Holy Mass in Our Lady of Lourdes, Perth (42 Struan Road, PH1 2JP). I would encourage you all to come and join us as we welcome the statue of St. Michael the Archangel which is making its pilgrim way around parishes in Scotland. There will be a chance to pray before the statue, asking the intercession of the holy archangel, and placing our written petitions which will be remembered in the Masses celebrated while the statue is with us. After Holy Mass there will be refreshments in the church hall, to which all are most welcome. Please come and support the parishioners in our sister parish of Our Lady’s. I look forward to seeing you this evening, God bless, Fr. Martin

(please see below a short video of some of the statue’s journey so far…)

Visit to Scotland of the Relics of St. Bernadette

Excerpted from a recent ‘Ad Clerum’ from Bishop Robson


As I am sure you already know, this year 2022 is the Centenary of the Lourdes Grotto, the National Marian Shrine, at Carfin. It is also the occasion of the Visitation of the Relics of St. Bernadette, to whom Our Lady appeared in Lourdes at the Grotto of Massabielle on a number of occasions in 1858. The relics will be arriving in Carfin from Saturday, 24th September until Friday, 30th September 2022. The Guardian of the Shrine, Fr Jim Grant, has organised a programme of events for each day beginning on Monday, 26th September, which I enclose with this notice. The Shrine can be visited any day during this September week, though the timetable enclosed begins fully on the Monday. There are designated days allowing for all, individuals and groups, to visit the Shrine (Tuesday-Friday) with the exceptions of the Sunday 25th September which has a separate timetable.

Given the distance from Carfin, it might be sensible and appropriate to concentrate our efforts on the National Centenary Pilgrimage on Sunday 25th September when the Mass will begin at 3pm. Following the Mass, there will be a Rosary Procession in the Grounds.

May I therefore ask all parish priests to advertise this special day of the Centenary Mass in parish bulletins and newsletters. I am sure some parishes may organise bus trips or car-sharing to enable those parishioners who do not have their own transport to join the Pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela – 2024

I’ve recently had an e-mail from Canon Tom Shields saying that he would like to arrange, if there is enough genuine interest, a pilgrimage to Spain, to the Shrine of St. James, in 2024. He has very kindly asked me to sound out parishioners here and see if there is any interest. Once he knows how many might like to go he can then give an idea of costs. The pilgrimage would be in late July 2024 to coincide with the Apostle’s Feast Day.

If you are seriously interested please send me an email as soon as possible to with the title “Pilgrimage to Compostela” and therein please indicate who is interested in going (names), and contact details for each person (address, e-mail address, and contact phone number).

Thanks & God bless,

Fr. Martin

Opportunities for Confession

Confessions will be available on Saturday morning in St. James’ from 9.30a.m. and in Our Lady of Lourdes from 4.15p.m. on Saturday for those who may have missed the Holyday of Obligation (29th June) through their own fault and need to celebrate the Lord’s mercy before receiving Him again in Holy Communion.


A couple of things on which to update you…

We have been informed by the diocese that from Monday those attending church are no longer legally required to wear a face mask. Naturally, many people may still want to wear a face covering and this should be respected, but some people may also choose not to and from Monday will be at liberty to do so. As with all of the measures we have adopted and the procedures we have implemented it is important that we show respect to others and sensitivity to their individual situations and this will be no less the case from Monday. Please think of others and then everyone should feel cared for and respected.

Secondly, because of circumstances, the Monday evening Lenten Service advertised from 7.30-9.00p.m. has had to be cancelled, please take note of this change to what has been posted in the newsletter section.

God bless, Fr. Martin