On 25th July, 1898, Pope Leo XIII issued his Encyclical Letter Caritatis Studium on the Church in Scotland:
"12. It is likewise of vital importance to defend most strenuously, to establish more firmly, and to surround with every safeguard, the Catholic education of youth. We are not unmindful of the fact that in Scotland thoroughly efficient schools exist, in which the best method of teaching is to be found. But every effort must be put forth, and every sacrifice must be made, so that Catholic schools should be second to none in point of efficiency. We must not allow our youth to be inferior to others in literary attainments, or in learning, which the Christian faith demands as its honourable accompaniments with a view to its defence and adornment. The love of Religion and country requires that whatever institutions Catholics already possess for the purposes of primary, intermediate, or higher education, should, by the due and proportionate cooperation of all, be consolidated and extended. Justice similarly demands that the education and training of the clergy should be most zealously promoted, as they cannot now-a-days occupy worthily and usefully their position, unless they have the prestige of wide erudition and solid learning. In this connection, We can find no institution more worthy of being recommended than Blairs College. An excellent and noble work, begun with exceptional zeal and generosity by one devoted Catholic, this institution should not be allowed to decline and disappear by neglect, but should be sustained by a similar charity, and completed as soon as possible. This will be tantamount to making provision that for nearly the whole of Scotland, priests will be trained and educated according to the needs of the present time."