(The modern Church of Scotland is Reformed and Presbyterian. The history of how it grew into its present shape starts more than 1,500 years ago. This gesture between the Church of Scotland Moderator and Pope Francis would not have happened even a decade ago.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has met the Pope at the Vatican.
The Right Reverend John Chalmers told Pope Francis that people of faith in Scotland would welcome him with open arms if he was able to visit.
The moderator said the relationship between the Roman Catholic church and the Church of Scotland had never been more cordial or productive.
He said both faiths could take the lead in teaching tolerance.
Mr Chalmers also spoke of their shared concern about climate change, describing it as the “most pressing issue in human history”.
He said its effects were “most keenly experienced by the poorest of the world’s poor”.
The moderator presented Pope Francis with a Dove of Peace made by a Palestinian Christian Group in Bethlehem.