The full text of Cardinal O'Brien's remarks at the end of the "Long walk for Peace" follow. The Cardinal will participate in a symbolic ˜foot washing for marchers at 1.00pm, at St John s Episcopal Church, Princes Street, before walking to the Scottish Parliament for a rally at 3.00pm.
The rally will feature speakers from the major political parties and representatives from the country s faith communities. There will be contributions from Cardinal O Brien, the Right Reverend Alan McDonald, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh, the Right Reverend Brian Smith.
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SCMO | 20th January 2016 | Christianity
Pope Francis has been officially invited to visit the Pontifical Scots College in Rome to help mark this year’s 400th anniversary of its founding as a seminary. “The Pontifical Scots College has a truly remarkable history and, so, it would be wonderful if Pope Francis could join us as we celebrate that past with pride while looking to the future with great confidence and trust in the Lord,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh 20 January. The Pontifical Scots College in Rome was founded in 1600 by Pope Clement VIII to provide an education for young Scottish Catholic men who, due to the laws against Catholics, could not receive a Catholic education at home. Inspired by the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, the sixteen students studying at the College vowed on 10 March 1616 to return to Scotland as priests, just one year after the saint’s execution at Glasgow Cross. “It would be a great honour for the College and for all the young men studying with us if the Pope Francis is able to join us to mark 400 years of priestly formation,” said Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick, Rector of the Pontifical Scots College. “I am sure the Holy Father’s presence would be a great blessing to the College, a source of encouragement for our seminarians and an inspiration to other young men to join them here in Rome to continue the long tradition of the Pontifical Scots College.” Archbishop Cushley issued the invitation on behalf of the Bishops Conference of Scotland and the Pontifical Scots College during a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace 18 January during which the two men discussed a wide range of issues. “It’s now over two years since the Holy Father sent me to Scotland to bring the joy of Christ’s gospel to all those who live within the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh – so I wanted to brief him on how our Archdiocese is progressing with that important mission he has entrusted to me.” During their 40-minute discussion, Archbishop Cushley gifted the Pope a copy of the 2015 pastoral letter “We Have Found the Messiah” in which the Archbishop sets out a vision of how the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh can better evangelise the communities within its bounds. “Pope Francis has such a warm, kindly and supportive personality and he was clearly very informed and interested in how the Catholic Church in our part of Scotland is fairing as we attempt to preach the Gospel to our contemporary society.” “In short, Pope Francis was Peter – the rock – such that during our discussion he continually confirmed my faith of by his words and by his example.” ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168 07968 122291 firstname.lastname@example.org www.scmo.org NOTE TO EDITORS: 1. For more information contact David Kerr, Director of Communications at the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, on 0131 623 8900 or David.Kerr@staned.org.uk 2. Photographs of Archbishop Cushley meeting Pope Francis on Monday 18 January are available from David Kerr, Director of Communications at the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, on 0131 623 8900 or David.Kerr@staned.org.uk 3. Archbishop Cushley was visiting Rome en route to a meeting of the Bishops Conference of Scotland at the Royal Scots College in Salamanca, Spain. 4. Archbishop Cushley was Head of the English Language Section at the Vatican’s Secretariat of State from 2009 to 2013 where he worked for both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. 5. Archbishop Cushley also attended the Pontifical Scots College from 1979 to 1987....
SCMO | 28th December 2015 | Christianity
Pope Francis has today appointed Monsignor Brian McGee as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The diocese has been vacant since April 2014 when Bishop Joseph Toal became the Bishop of Motherwell. Mgr. McGee is currently Vicar General of the Diocese of Paisley and Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish, Port Glasgow. Reacting to his appointment, Bishop-Elect McGee said: “It was very humbling, and indeed frightening, to be informed by the Papal Nuncio that Pope Francis had nominated me to be the new bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. However, after reflection and prayer I now face this mission with quiet but definite confidence. Yes, I remain aware of my limitations but I am even more aware of the power of God’s grace which, with our co-operation, overcomes our shortcomings. Experience has taught me that positively answering God’s invitations is always to our own advantage.” Bishop-Elect McGee added: “I am excited about coming to the diocese of Argyll and the Isles. It has an ancient and proud heritage whose roots stretch back almost one and a half thousand years preceding even its spiritual father, Saint Columba. Since then, the consistent witness to Christ and the contribution to the National and Universal Church have been immense and I pray that it will continue to be so. I am also mindful of the diocese’s rich Gaelic character and I, although not yet a Gaelic speaker, will endeavour to promote its rightful use in the worship of God. We have entered into the Year of Mercy. I am inspired by this Jubilee’s ethos and I hope to be a bishop that has an unshakable trust in God’s mercy, unafraid to acknowledge my own need of God’s mercy and one who shows mercy to all, especially those who are most in need. Pope Francis wrote of our Faith Communities being oases of mercy. Please God, as individuals, as parishes and the diocese as a body will be a constant oasis of mercy to all.” “I cannot deny that it is a wrench for me to leave the Diocese of Paisley. This was where I wanted to minister from my youth and I have always been very happy there. I would like to thank Bishop John Keenan, and his predecessors, as well as the clergy, religious and lay faithful of Paisley Diocese for their encouragement over many years. I recognise that I have much to learn about the diocese of Argyll and the Isles and I hope to be a good listener. It is an area I already love. I grew up in Greenock daily enjoying beautiful views of the Cowal Peninsula, Bute and Arran and I still savour them from my parish in Port Glasgow today. I have holidayed and trekked throughout the diocesan boundaries from my earliest childhood to the present day. I have made several pilgrimages to Iona. I already look forward to living within what will be my new diocese and I sure that I will naturally come to love its people.” Bishop John Keenan of Paisley said: “Many congratulations to Bishop Elect Brian on his appointment by Pope Francis to the See of Argyll and the Isles. I am not at all surprised that he has been chosen for this important office. Since appointing him as my Vicar General and getting to know and see him at work I have been highly impressed by his wisdom about the ways of the Church, his personal commitment to living the Gospel and his sense of service to the clergy and people of the diocese. He is loved and respected dearly by his own parishioners in Holy Family, Port Glasgow, who will miss him, and his elevation leaves big shoes to fill in the diocese of Paisley. “I can assure the clergy and people of Argyll and the Isles that they are getting a Pastor who will give his all to serving them with justice and who will lead them with energy and vision. He will be a valued member of the Bishop’s Conference which will benefit from his fresh perspective and ...
SCMO | 15th December 2015 | Christianity
Bishop Stephen Robson, the Bishop of Dunkeld, delivered the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday 15 December) at 2pm. In his address he said that cultural change has arguably been Scottish Society’s greatest challenge in the last decade. He called on legislators to “be compassionate about the effects of change” as not everyone can absorb it at the same rate – with some changes having left many people, including the elderly, straggling behind. The full text of Bishop Robson’s comments are shown below. ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168 07968 122291 email@example.com www.scmo.org My father was 90 yesterday. He has been badly traumatised by many of the developments in the world around him. Like so many of the elderly, he is ill at ease with modernity; he has had enough of drastic change in his life. So sadly, on his 90th birthday, he said to me: ‘Son, I’m glad to be on the way out.’ But it wasn’t terrorist violence or the threats of war that caused him to feel like this, but rather the endless cultural changes in contemporary society. It brought home to me that my father, and countless others like him, are in culture shock. Sociologists tell us that ‘Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person feels when experiencing a trauma caused by a clash between unfamiliar world-views’. In the last decade, cultural change has arguably been Scottish Society’s greatest challenge. And it is not so much social changes as such that are the problem, as rather the increased pace of those changes - that have left many people, and not only the elderly, straggling behind. The result is cultural disorientation. Furthermore in a highly globalised world when all the world’s social challenges and cultural problems appear as if they are in sprouting in our own back yard we just can’t tackle them all at once; we need time to absorb change, if culture shock is to be avoided. Each one of us constructs our reality from the building blocks that our parents, families, communities and society provide us with. Of course, there are times when our understanding of reality must be challenged. But please may you as legislators be compassionate about the effects of change; not everyone can absorb it at the same rate. There will always be the wayfarers, the stragglers and the reluctant and the downright stubborn: win minds and hearts first rather than coerce by force of law. May legislators be mindful that for believers, man-made positive law, such as made in this chamber, can bind bodies, but not souls. For if, perchance, positive law is found to be in serious opposition to God’s Law, or to the natural Law written on human hearts, then God’s laws will always trump man’s. This is the first lesson in religious freedom. ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to lose his soul?’...
SCMO | 14th December 2015 | Christianity
The Catholic Bishops of Scotland have launched a new website to support the work of the Scottish Catholic Interdiocesan (SCI) Tribunal. The launch coincided with the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, when recent innovations introduced by Pope Francis into the Church’s marriage law begin to take force. The website provides information aimed at helping those you want to petition the Church for a marriage annulment. Monsignor Peter Magee, SCI Tribunal Officialis said: “The website is intended, firstly, to help people better understand what the Catholic Church teaches to be the beautiful and solemn reality of marriage as willed by God. Secondly, it tries to help explain why marriages can be invalid, or null, under what conditions, for what reasons.” “In consequence, what the website does is to try and offer some idea of what a Church Tribunal is and does in regard to these most difficult matters for it is the Tribunal which processes and judges marriage nullity cases, except those reserved by law to the diocesan Bishop himself.” ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168 07968 122291 firstname.lastname@example.org www.scmo.org Notes to editors: Earlier this year, Pope Francis made a number of changes to the way the Church deals with annulments. Importantly, he reaffirmed traditional teaching on the “indissolubility of marriage”, while reaching out to many Catholics alienated from the Church because of broken marriages, which can be proven to have been invalid from the start. For more information about these changes and the work of the SCI Tribunal visit www.scitribunal.org.uk ...
SCMO | 28th April 2021 | Blogging
Scottish Bishops offer support to Catholic Church in Ireland 28 April 2021 Commenting on the recent decision by the Irish Government to enact restrictions which do not allow public worship, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has issued the following statement: “As the Catholic Church in Scotland this year celebrates the 1500th Anniversary of the birth of St Columba who brought the faith from Ireland to Scotland in the 6th century, the thoughts and prayers of the Church in Scotland are now directed to our brothers and sisters in Ireland.” “Recent developments that penalise the celebration of Holy Mass have been disturbing not only to the Irish Bishops’ Conference but also to the Bishops of Scotland. We all recognise the need for restrictions to protect the common good of all people in a pandemic but to enact legislation that criminalises those who gather to celebrate Holy Mass is indeed extreme and unjust.” “May the strong bonds between the Catholic Church in Ireland and Scotland established by St Patrick, St Columba, the Celtic saints and the faith of our forebears reassure our brothers and sisters in Ireland that they are not alone and are always in our prayers.” ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 email@example.com www.scmo.org ...
SCMO | 27th April 2021 | Blogging
Blairs Museum reopens The Blairs Museum in Aberdeen will reopen on Friday 30th April 2021, after an extended period of closure arising from the COVID pandemic. Blairs Museum offers a unique insight into Scotland's Catholic history and heritage with spectacular collections spanning more than 500 years it is located on South Deeside Road, Blairs, Aberdeen, housed in part of the former national junior seminary. A special exhibition this year is titled ‘Capparoni and the Papal Court’. It comprises a fascinating set of hand coloured engravings by the artist Guiseppe Capparoni depicting the people of the Papal Court and the religious orders in Rome between 1823 and 1846 (the year in which Pope Pius IX was elected). These colourful images all clearly depict real individuals and give a lively impression of life in Rome at this time. Commenting on the reopening, Museum Curator, Elinor Vickers said: “We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the museum this year and hope that they find our new exhibition, on the artist Capparoni, is of interest. It is exciting to be developing our new website which should let everyone, no matter where, enjoy the museum and its collections.” Elinor Vickers added; “Guiseppe Capparoni (1800-1879) is an artist who deserves to be better known, whose speciality was his illustrations for a massive series of books on regional and local costumes of the world. The museum holds a large selection of his illustrations of the people of Rome. He also worked on paintings in the churches of Rome, including various Stations of the Cross and ‘The Holy Family’ and ‘The Marriage of the Virgin’ at the basilica church of Sant’ Andrea delle Fratte. This church later became the titular church of Thomas Joseph Cardinal Winning.” A selection of the relics and unusual liturgical items held by the museum are also newly exhibited this year. The museum will also be displaying all the treasures from the Permanent Collection, such as the world famous Memorial Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, the Blairs Jewel, the vestment collection and the Jacobite portraits. As well as the cloth of silver vestments of Henry Benedict; Bonnie Prince Charlie’s brother. This museum has recieved a significant Recovery and Resilience Grant from Museums and Galleries Scotland to develop a new website. This will enable visitors to see the museum in 3D walkthroughs if they are currently unable to visit. The website we also bring together information on all the collections belonging to the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collections Trust, not just at the museum, but also those at the University of Aberdeen; and draw attention also to the Scottish Catholic Archive at Columba House in Edinburgh. The new website will also host online retail and an online schools programme as well as providing a portal to visitor information and booking and online events. ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 firstname.lastname@example.org www.scmo.org Notes to Editors: Museum visiting information can be found at www.blairsmuseum.org.uk The curators can be contacted at email@example.com Images of some of the drawings by Capparoni can be viewed here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157719029073183 ...
SCMO | 11th April 2021 | Blogging
Sunday 11 April 2021 Bishops urge politicians to put human life at centre of Scotland’s political discourse. Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have released a pre-election Pastoral letter, urging Catholics to play their part “in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse” and to warn politicians against imposing “unjust restrictions on free speech, free expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. In a 1,000-word letter distributed online and via Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes, the Bishops ask Catholic voters to give consideration to six key areas, when selecting a candidate: Beginning and end of life Family and Work Poverty, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Environment Free speech, free expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion Catholic schools Pointing out that “society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish” the bishops add; “government should respond to this reality with policies creating economic and fiscal advantages for families with children.” Voters are also urged to visit the website rcpolitics.org and to use the resources there to help them consider a range of election issues and to question candidates. ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 firstname.lastname@example.org www.scmo.org Note to Editors: The Election resources are available here: https://rcpolitics.org/scottish-parliament-election-2021/ The full text of the Pastoral Letter is shown below: Scottish Parliament Election 2021 - Putting Human Life and Dignity at the Centre A letter from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This election presents us with an opportunity to play our part in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse. As Catholics we have a duty: to share the Gospel and to help form the public conscience on key moral issues. It is a duty of both faith and citizenship. This election is an opportunity to be the effective witness our Baptism calls us to be. The new parliament and government will be tasked with leading the recovery from the damage wrought by the current health crisis and to tackle the significant impact it has had on many aspects of life including health care, mental health and wellbeing, religious freedom, and care for the poor. It must also build on the positives arising from the Pandemic, including caring for the most vulnerable, and a renewed sense of respect for human life, human dignity, and the value of community. These are some of the issues you may want to consider in the forthcoming election: Beginning and end of life It is the duty of parliamentarians to uphold the most basic and fundamental human right to life. Elected representatives ought to recognise the existence of human life from the moment of conception and be committed to the protection of human life at every stage. Caring for the unborn and their mothers is a fundamental measure of a caring and compassionate society; a society which puts human dignity at the centre. We ought to be mindful of a further attempt to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, likely to happen in this parliament. Legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia suggests that some lives are not worth living, contrary to the Christian belief that every life has equal dignity and value. It is incumbent upon our parliamentarians to show compassion for the sick and dying. This is not achieved by assisted suicide or euthanasia but by ensuring support is provided through caring and attentive politics, including investment in palliative care. Family and Work Society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish. The love of man and woman in marriage and openness to new life is th...
SCMO | 01st March 2021 | Blogging
Return to Worship in time for Easter 1 March 2021 Responding to last week’s statement on the reopening of Places of Worship by the First Minister, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland have issued a statement welcoming the move and calling for a removal of the cap, which limits the number of people who can attend. Instead, the bishops maintain congregation size should be calculated in accordance with the size of each church, a system similar to that used in the retail sector, which still maintains social distancing regulations. The full text of the statement is shown below. ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 email@example.com www.scmo.org As Scotland’s Catholic bishops, we welcome the recent announcement by the First Minister foreseeing a return to our churches for the most important celebration of the liturgical year at Easter. We also welcome the recognition of the status of public worship implicit in this decision. The Catholic Community recognises the seriousness of the pandemic and is committed to working with others to avoid the spreading of infection. At the same time, we anticipate ongoing dialogue with the Scottish Government regarding the requirement of a numerical “cap” on the number of worshippers. As we continue to observe social distancing and the protocols on infection control and hygiene formulated by the Bishops’ Conference working group under the leadership of the former Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns, we maintain that it would be more appropriate for each church building to accommodate a congregation in proportion to its size rather than on the basis of an imposed number. We echo here the timely words Pope Francis addressed to the representatives of countries to the Holy See on the 8th February 2021: Even as we seek ways to protect human lives from the spread of the virus, we cannot view the spiritual and moral dimension of the human person as less important than physical health. The opening of churches is a sign that the sacrifices endured so far are bearing fruit and gives us hope and encouragement to persevere. We pray that the Risen Christ, for whom we long during this holy season of Lent, will bless and bring healing to our nation. ...
SCMO | 28th April 2021 | Blogging
SCMO | 27th April 2021 | Blogging
SCMO | 11th April 2021 | Blogging
SCMO | 01st March 2021 | Blogging