CARDINAL CRITICISES GOVERNMENT’S “ANTI-CHRISTIAN FOREIGN POLICY”

CARDINAL CRITICISES GOVERNMENT S ANTI-CHRISTIAN FOREIGN POLICY - Monday 14
March 2011
(Embargoed 12.01am Tuesday 15 March 2011)
 
The UK s most senior Catholic has hit out at the British Foreign Secretary
for operating an anti-Christian foreign policy . Cardinal Keith O Brien s
comments come as the UK Government announced plans to double overseas aid to
Pakistan to more than £445 million, without requiring any commitment to
religious freedom for Christians.
 
Earlier this month the only Christian in the Pakistani government s cabinet,
Shahbaz Bhatti, was shot dead by gunmen in Islamabad. He had previously
spoken out against Pakistan s blasphemy laws.   Noting the various attacks on
Christians, the Cardinal said that conditions should be attached to any aid
payments, requiring a definite commitment to protection for Christians and
other religious minorities “ including Shia Muslims.
 
Cardinal O Brien s comments come on the day a new audit of human rights
reveals that;
 75% of all religious persecution around the world is now directed against
Christians.  
100 million Christians around the world are now facing persecution
The Christian population in some countries is collapsing eg. In the past 25
years the Christian population of Iraq has gone from an estimated 1.4million
to as low as 150,000 now.
 
Speaking at the Glasgow launch of the report into Christian persecution on
Tuesday 15 March, Cardinal O Brien will say;
 
I urge William Hague to obtain guarantees from foreign governments before
they are given aid. To increase aid to the Pakistan government when
religious freedom is not upheld and those who speak up for religious freedom
are gunned down is tantamount to an anti-Christian foreign policy.
Pressure should now be put on the Government of Pakistan - and the
governments of the Arab world as well - to ensure that religious freedom is
upheld , the provision of aid must require a commitment to human rights.
 
Cardinal O Brien continued:
 
"This report highlights the huge surge in Christians fleeing persecution. It
reveals that 75% of all religious persecution around the world today is
anti-Christian, this reality is both shocking and saddening. In countries
like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, Christians face violence, intolerance
and even death because of their beliefs."
 
"This is intolerable and unacceptable. Here in Scotland we value our
freedoms, particularly the freedom of religion and the right to practice our
faith free of persecution. Yet this detailed and at times harrowing report
reminds us that not all of our fellow Christians enjoy such freedom to
worship.
 
I hope the evidence presented by Aid to the Church in Need will encourage
us all to speak out for religious freedom at every opportunity and motivate
us to support those who campaign for it. We ask that the religious freedoms
we enjoy to practice our faith, will soon be extended to every part of the
world and that the tolerance we show to other faiths in our midst will be
reciprocated everywhere.
 
The report has been produced by Aid to the Church in Need, the
Vatican-approved agency that has responsibility for persecuted Christians.
 
Report author John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need said;
 
"This report today reveals that persecution of Christians around the world
is dramatically on the rise. So much so that it's estimated that 75% of all
religious persecution globally is now directed against Christians. So we now
have a choice. We can do nothing or we can pray and we can act. Aid to the
Church in Need chooses to do that latter. And that's why more and more
people - including politicians - are beginning to realise that this issue is
perhaps the biggest human rights scandal of our generation and that
something had to be done".
 
Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil said;
 
The ˜Persecuted and Forgotten report and the work of Aid to Church in Need
are critical to us as members of the worldwide Christian community. This
information will significantly contribute to building international support
and solidarity for Christians around the world where our human rights and
our religious freedom have been stripped away.
 
As the report states, in many countries, like Iraq, the situation for
Christians seems to be worsening, sometimes to the point were we wonder if
we will survive as a people in our own country.   There is no doubt that the
political turmoil and growing nationalist struggles in Iraq are contributing
to the loss of our religious freedoms.
 
ENDS
 

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org


NOTES TO EDITORS:

1.You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/news crew to the report
launch on Tuesday 15th March in Glasgow. Time and Location: 11.30am, Tuesday
Market, St Rollox Church, 9 Fountainwell Road, Glasgow, G21 1TN.
   
In attendance:  
Cardinal Keith O'Brien, President, Bishops' Conference of Scotland
Archbishop Bashar Warda, Archbishop of Erbil in Iraq.
John Pontifex, Aid to the Church in Need, Report Author
Case studies of Iraqi Christian refugees to be presented

2. A PDF Summary of the "Persecuted and Forgotten" report is avaliable below.

3. An MP3 audio clip (1m 15s) of Cardinal O'Brien commenting on the report
can be downloaded below

4. Photographs of the report launch will be available from Paul McSherry
following the event - 07770 393960

5. For further information, contact: David Kerr; Media Adviser, Aid to the
Church in Need “ 07854 307338
 

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 165 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Church leaders urge withdraw of controversial section of Hate Crime Bill

| 12th February 2021 | Blogging

Church leaders urge withdraw of controversial section of Hate Crime Bill to allow “adequate consideration”   Friday 12 February   An unprecedented alliance of Catholic and Evangelical church leaders are urging the Scottish Government to drop part of its proposed Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill to allow time for “detailed consideration of crucial provisions.” The Bill, which would potentially criminalise any criticism of Transgender ideology has been criticised by the Catholic Church, the Free Church of Scotland and the Evangelical Alliance.   In a letter addressed today (Friday 12 February) to the Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf, the church leaders call for greater protections for freedom of expression and say:   “We believe that people should be completely free to disagree with our faith in any way, including mocking and ridiculing us. We are convinced that our faith is true and has a sufficient evidential basis to withstand any criticism, we therefore welcome open debate.”    By contrast, concerns are raised that any disagreement with or criticism of Transgender identity could fall foul of the new law, if passed in its current form. The church leaders point out, that “Transgender identity has been subject of extensive and emotional public discussion. Such free discussion and criticism of views is vital as society wrestles with these ideas.” They warn however, that they “cannot accept that any position or opinion at variance with the proposition that sex (or gender) is fluid and changeable should not be heard.”   The letter marks the first time Catholic, Free Church and Evangelical Alliance leaders have jointly petitioned the Scottish Government and sought a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. Supporting “open and honest debate” the letter ends with an assertion, that “A right to claim that binary sex does not exist or is fluid must be matched with a right to disagree with that opinion; and protection from prosecution for holding it.” As well as a warning that: ”The Parliament now has approximately four weeks to complete the passage of the bill. This is extraordinarily tight and risks inadequate and ill-thought through legislation being passed. No workable solutions to issues of freedom of expression have so far been suggested. If no such solutions can be found we hope the Scottish Government will now consider withdrawing the stirring up hatred offences in Part 2 of the bill to allow more detailed consideration and discussion and to ensure freedom of expression provisions, which enshrine free and open debate, are afforded the scrutiny they require.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors:   The full text of the letter is shown below. Humza Yousaf MSP Cabinet Secretary for Justice The Scottish Government St. Andrew's House Edinburgh EH1 3DG   Friday 12th February 2021   Dear Mr Yousaf,     Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill – Stage 2 amendments   We are writing to you as representatives of three communities of churches in Scotland in relation to the progress of the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) bill at Stage 2 and to ask if we may be able to meet with you in the coming days in relation to this.   As you know we have engaged extensively throughout the bill process including a number of meetings with you and your officials, and all gave oral evidence to the Justice Committee on 10th November. In all of this we have sought to play a constructive role. We recognise the sensitivities involved in this bill, have sought consensus, and looked to help play our part in protecting vulnerable communities from hate crime whilst at the same time protecting fundamental freedoms on which we all depend for our common life. Our approach has never been to just narrowly consider...

FUNERAL MASS FOR BISHOP VINCENT LOGAN 26 JANUARY 2021

| 26th January 2021 | Blogging

FUNERAL MASS FOR BISHOP VINCENT LOGAN 26/01/2021 It seems almost a cliche to say it, but every human person is a mystery. It’s not surprising though, as it is in God ‘we live and move and have our being’ and he himself is the ultimate mystery, and we have our origin in God. The Catechism reminds us that ‘we are most like unto God in our soul’, and since each one of us is unique in every way, to say we are a mystery seems almost like an understatement. And this mysteriousness is at so many levels. From the biological point of view, we are a mystery because we are formed by the mixing of our parents’ genes and by the environment in which we are planted. From a psychological point of view, we are formed by our parents by our families, by our siblings, friends and relations, by the circumstances of our lives and our loves, our knocks and our disappointments. Most of us have had the good fortune to have been conceived in love and nurtured and nourished in love. Others, though, regrettably haven’t had that great start. And often, for those who are fortunate, there is one great thread of God’s goodness that powerfully shapes us. For most of us, this powerful goodness originates in the Faith passed on to us from our parents, a thread which runs throughout our lives and more than any other influence, arguably, shapes and guides the direction of our lives. Also, for those of us fortunate enough to be baptised, as well as inheriting the common humanity into which we are created in the image and likeness of God, our baptism in Christ also confers on us divine filiation - sonship and daughtership in God - enabling us, as St Paul says, to call God, Abba, our Father. And we spend the rest of our lives on earth finding out what are the consequences for us of this wonderful gift: we never stop learning how to become a better son or a daughter of God. All of this is true of Vincent Paul Logan. Vincent was born on 30th June 1941 to Joseph and Elizabeth Logan (nee Flannigan) into a committed Bathgate Catholic family and - like all Bathgate Catholic bairns – Vincent, together with their other four sons, inherited a strong faith from them. Of Vincent’s brothers James, John, William and Joseph. Only James now is still alive. Later also, Vincent’s four married brothers’ spouses (Esther, Maeve, Grace and Celia) and subsequently their families – nephews (Vincent and Joseph here today), Gerard and Edward, also Paul, now deceased, who like Bishop Vincent, tried his vocation also at Drygrange Seminary, and nieces Elizabeth, Margaret, Lisa and Anne-Marie - All members of this great extended family had their influence on Bishop Vincent throughout his life, just as today they mourn for him, assisting him by their prayers and Masses on the cleansing road to the Heavenly Kingdom. But for a baptised Catholic man, who has in addition received a vocation from the Lord to priesthood, it is also his special relationships, outside the family - school friends, close friends met on life’s journey, fellow seminarians, priest friends and the pastoral and personal relationships a priest makes through his pastoral work, also continued to shape Vincent, up until almost the moment of his death. From his earliest days, Vincent Paul Logan wanted to be a priest. His desire to attend and serve Mass daily, as a young boy with his mother and brothers after their dad went off to work, of course pointed him in the direction of a vocation to priesthood. As a committed Altar Boy, Vincent’s first desire to put himself forward as a candidate for priesthood resulted, as he says himself, in ‘being chased’ in 1952 by Canon Davitt his parish priest because he was too young - only 11. A year later 1 though, in 1953, he went to Blairs, our National Junior Seminary, at 12 and his journey to priesthood began in earnest. Drygrange, the seminary for the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh was the next step towards priesth...

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop Vincent Logan

| 25th January 2021 | Blogging

Funeral Arrangements for Bishop Vincent Logan   The Reception of Bishop Vincent Logan’s Remains, his Requiem Mass and Burial at Balgay Cemetery will be recorded and available to be viewed on the Diocese of Dunkeld website www.dunkelddiocese.co.uk  later the same day as the event. The funeral will also be available as a livestream here: https://www.dunkelddiocese.co.uk/livestream-mass/   RECEPTION OF BISHOP VINCENT’S REMAINS WITH VESPERS fromSt Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee at 5 p.m. on Monday 25th January, 2021.   SOLEMN REQUIEM MASS for the Repose of Bishop Vincent’s soul on Tuesday, 26th January 2021, at 12 noon.   BURIAL OF BISHOP VINCENT’S REMAINS at Balgay Cemetery, Dundee, on Tuesday, 26th January 2021 from 1.30 p.m.   Due to COVID-19 restrictions, with reduced numbers, precedence has been given to Bishop Vincent’s relatives and closest friends. A small number of diocesan clergy, have been invited to concelebrate the Funeral Mass.   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org                    Note to Editors: An image of Bishop Logan is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/50833807603/in/album-72157717885467253/    ...

Homily for the Requiem of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia

| 21st January 2021 | Blogging

Thursday 21 January 2021         In his homily at the funeral of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, describes the late Archbishop as “a great tree felled unexpectedly in the middle of the night” a loss that “has changed the landscapes of so many lives.”   The full text of the homily is shown below:   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Homily for the Requiem of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia St Andrew’s Cathedral, 21 January 2021   “Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.” There are so many settings in which to have known Archbishop Philip: as a member of his family, or in his school and student days, in Rome, in the seminaries and parishes he served, as Bishop of Paisley and Archbishop of Glasgow. There were the many circles he moved in: of ecumenical dialogue, Catholic education about which he was so engaged and realistic, the civic life of Glasgow, not forgetting its sport. So many people touched by him, so many aspects to a life, so many perspectives to view it from. Three score years and ten. Our memories are fragments of a greater whole, and that whole – the mystery of a person - is in the mind and hands of God. “On the earth the broken arcs, in the heaven a perfect round.” Today, in Christ, we remember Philip’s life, we give thanks for it and we pray for its completion and the comfort of the bereaved. We bring him and ourselves before God in a literal and metaphorical great Eucharistic prayer of hope and affection. The image that comes to me is of a great tree felled unexpectedly in the middle of the night – Storm Covid. And only when we woke up the day following did we begin to divine what had happened, did we begin to grasp the depths of its roots, to see the space this tree occupied, the shelter it gave, and what we’ve personally and collectively lost. This uprooting has changed the landscapes of so many lives. “Tree” seems right. The timber of this man was sound. It was sound all through. At a time when hollowness or rottenness seem to surface with disheartening regularity, this was a comfort. I think we felt this soundness and relied on it more than we knew. Eulogy is no part of a liturgy. It’s the last thing Philip would have wanted; he was not a self-advertising man. It’s not what we want; we are probably still too numb. But the prohibition of eulogy doesn’t mean we have to talk abstractions. Surely we can acclaim the providence of God, the presence of Christ and the action of the Holy Spirit within him, from his birth seventy years ago to his committal today, from his baptism to this Eucharist, from the pouring of that first water to the final sprinkling of his remains. There seems a rare wholeness here. Surely we can acknowledge how the grace of his baptism and of his ordination grew and flowered in him, how the Lord was indeed his shepherd and through him shepherded others, how his priesthood became a true spiritual fatherhood which has left its trace on all of us. Looking at it from our side, we are commending to God today someone who wasn’t small in any sense, someone of gravitas, and someone in whom head and heart came together, possessed of intellectual force and clarity and at the same time of great human warmth. There have been so many testimonies to this (and my thanks to all who have sent condolences). He might have passed his life in the green pastures of dogmatic theology, by the restful waters of seminary teaching (if they exist) or of promising ecumenical dialogue, but he accepted pastoral assignments and he cherished them. He had a gift for friendship and insight into people. During our Ad Limina visit with the Pope in 2018 he said to the Holy Father, “I miss the parish”, and got a delighted papal thumbs-up. As a pastor, esp...