scmo_banner_news.jpg


Cardinal calls on Christians to act together in the face of "aggressive secularism"

In his Easter Sunday homily, to be delivered in St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh this weekend, Cardinal Keith O'Brien will call on scotland's Christians to unite "in the face of aggressive secularism to maintain our Christian heritage and culture in our great country" Cardinal O'Brien will pay tribute to friends in the Church of Scotland and stress all Christians "common ancestry" while restating Pope Benedict's hope that ecumenical relations will lead to; "full visible unity" among Christians. The Cardinal will warn against moves to "destroy our Christian heritage and culture and take God from the public square" adding "Religion must not be taken from the public square!"

Full text of Cardinal O'Brien's homily below.

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


Note to Editors:

1. Cardinal O'Brien will be the Principal Celebrant at the 11.30am Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral on Easter Sunday, but will not be available for interview.

2. The document "Marginalising Christians “ instances of Christians being sidelined in modern Britain" is a publication of the Christian Institute and can be downloaded here:  
http://www.christian.org.uk/resources/publications/religious-liberty-publications/


EASTER SUNDAY HOMILY PREACHED BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN
ST MARY S CATHEDRAL EDINBURGH
SUNDAY 24TH APRIL 2011
 

For the past six weeks of Lent and especially during this last Holy Week we have been preparing for this day. Through our own acts of prayer, fasting and alms giving we have tried to enter more deeply in to the life of Jesus Christ, this life followed by his passion and death and then his glorious resurrection

Truly we can say with St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians: Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast then in the Lord .

And that is what we are doing now.   Having commemorated the death of Jesus Christ the Son of God we now celebrate the feast of his glorious resurrection.

And this morning in our Metropolitan Cathedral here in Edinburgh where just a few months ago on the Feast of St Ninian 16th September 2010 we celebrated the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to our country and then just a few months later in St Giles High Kirk in Edinburgh the 450th anniversary of the Reformation I put before you first of all some thoughts on Christian unity. Followed by that, I propose that the reason for our increased apostolate in seeking Christian unity must be our ongoing action together in the face of aggressive secularism to maintain our Christian heritage and culture in our great country.

JOURNEY TOWARD CHRISTIAN UNITY:

In thinking of Christian unity who can forget the visit of the first Pope ever to our country “ Pope John Paul II speaking on the subject he stated clearly and unequivocally: We are only pilgrims on this earth, making our way towards that heavenly kingdom promised to us as God s children. Beloved brethren in Christ, for the future, can we not make that pilgrimage together hand in hand .   Along with our sisters and brothers in other Christian denominations, we have put that exhortation into practice fruitfully here in Scotland!

That call was re-echoed by Pope Benedict XVI when addressing a service of evening prayer in Westminster Abbey in London. Initially he referred back 100 years to what happened here in our Capital City when he stated:

This year, as we know, marks the 100th anniversary of the modern ecumenical movement, which began with the Edinburgh Conferences Appeal for Christian Unity as the prerequisite for a credible and convincing witness to the Gospel in our time .

We have indeed come far on our Christian journey together. I think back with a certain pride but with great humility when I was asked to address the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 2004 shortly after my creation as Cardinal. I spoke then of a gift given to me by a now retired Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Dr James Weatherhead, and his wife, when they accompanied me to Rome for that occasion. On the silver compass he had inscribed: May the Iona silver be a symbol of our common ancestry in the Celtic Church. May the cardinal points of the compass help you on your way forward . That visual aid reminds me that we must indeed: Go back to our roots before we go forward “ and never forget those roots and our common ancestry “ but we must also go forward realising that our ecumenical journey is not yet complete.   As Pope Benedict XVI has stated: The principle aim of ecumenism is to achieve full visible unity . Perhaps a fore sign of that was given in the High Kirk of Edinburgh St Giles when together with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church I joined with them in our commitment together as we shared in the renewal of our baptismal promises in our commemoration of the Reformation of 450 years ago.

CHRISTIANS UNITED AGAINST AGGRESSIVE SECULARISM:

As we journey onward toward that unity for which Jesus Christ himself prayed we realise that we have a heavy responsibility even at this present time.

In those words which Pope Benedict XVI preached in Westminster Abbey he stated: We must recognise the challenges which confront us, not only along the path of Christian unity, but also in our task of proclaiming Christ in our day . Any Christian who has tried to live a Christian life, particularly any Christian who has tried to fulfil that task of proclaiming Jesus Christ and his teachings in our day will realise exactly what the Pope meant by these words.

Perhaps more than ever before there is that aggressive secularism ; and there are those who would indeed try to destroy our Christian heritage and culture and take God from the public square.

Religion must not be taken from the public square!

In other words which he uttered in his address in Westminster Hall in the Palace of Westminster, Pope Benedict XVI emphasised the positive role of religion in society. He stated: Religion is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation . And he went on to add firmly: In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance .

Just a few weeks ago a Presbyterian Minister in the Church of Scotland contacted me to say how much he appreciated my comments at that time in support of religious freedom in other countries. My correspondent contrasted the promise by the British Government to act against the persecution of Christians in other countries, while apparently ignoring the increasing marginalisation of Christians in the United Kingdom.

I am sure his point was well made.   Recently, various Christians in our Society were marginalised and prevented from acting in accordance with their beliefs because they were not willing to publicly endorse a particular lifestyle.   You have only to ask a couple with regard to their bed and breakfast business;   certain relationship councillors; and people who had valiantly fostered children for many years of their particular experiences “ and I am sure they are not exaggerating them!

And as I was preparing these words I had on my desk a recently produced booklet of some 80 pages which was headed: Marginalising Christians “ instances of Christians being sidelined in modern Britain .

Yes “ Christians must work toward that full unity for which Christ prayed “ but even at this present time Christians must be united in their common awareness of the enemies of the Christian faith in our country, of the power that they are at present exerting, and the need for us to be aware of that right to equality which so many others cry out for.

CONCLUSION:

Yes indeed our celebrations at Easter Sunday must indeed give us cause for rejoicing that Christ has indeed risen from the dead!

To you all today here in our Cathedral and those who are listening to my words through the Media I encourage that spirit of rejoicing. However I also ask for another spirit of realism to be in our midst. On the occasion just a few weeks ago at Holyrood when with other Christian leaders in our country I signed the statement from us prior to the forthcoming elections for the Scottish Parliament I was asked with the others at the open forum afterwards: Do you still think that Christianity will be with us in 25 years time? I answered rather belligerently that not only will Christianity be alive in 25 years time “ but it will be flourishing!  

I say that because of my belief in the Resurrection!   I say that because of my belief in the courage of those of the Christian faith today as that so many times in the past when persecution was around our forebears!     In the face of persecution once more I say to all Christians: Christians be aware of your responsibilities; it is Christ s own image that you bear in the sacrament of baptism; as you are aware of the past so too be aware of the strength of the faith which you, your children and your children s children will need now and in the years which lie ahead!

Christ, our Passover, has been sacrificed; let us celebrate the feast then in the Lord!

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 146 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

‹ 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

New Scalan altar honours persecuted Scots

| 7 days ago | Blogging

13 August 2019   A new altar has been installed at Carfin Grotto in Motherwell to honour the Scots forced to practise their Catholic faith clandestinely through two and a half centuries of persecution, from 1560 onwards.   The altar is named after the secret seminary in the Braes of Glenlivet which operated from 1716 to 1799 in contravention of the Penal Laws against Catholicism. The laws forbade the celebration of Mass in Scotland; priests were prohibited from being in Scotland at all.   Fr Michael Briody, President of the Scalan Association said:   “There are several shrines at Carfin Grotto honouring the Irish, Polish, Lithuanian and Ukrainian immigrants who brought their own contribution and strength to the Catholic Community in Scotland. The Scalan altar pays tribute to those native-born Scots who kept the Faith through centuries of persecution, especially in The Enzie of Banffshire, Lochaber, Strathglass, “Blessed Morar”, the Southern Hebrides and Galloway. The Scalan altar is a worthy representative of them all.”   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said:   “The new Scalan altar recognises the courage of the men and women who gave witness to their Faith in the darkest and most testing of times. It reminds us that we must never take for granted the freedom we have to practise our faith in public and in private, and our responsibility to stand up for our fellow Christians around the world who face severe hardship, discrimination and persecution for professing belief in one God and his holy religion.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Note to editors: Images of the new Scalan altar at Carfin are available at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmG5WAFt For more information about the Scalan Association visit: https://www.scalan.net...

Mercy Bus Takes To The Road Again

| 26th July 2019 | Blogging

Friday 26 July 2019 - Call Notice   The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland (FODMS) are taking the Mercy Bus back out on the road for the third year this summer thanks to an overwhelming response in the past two years.   To date they have touched over 2,000 people on the streets of Scotland, over 400 people have boarded the Mercy Bus and over 2,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets and many rosaries were given to the people the team met on the streets of Scotland.   This year, the bus will visit Johnstone, Coatbridge, Greenock, Cumbernauld, Glasgow and Paisley. Mass will be celebrated by Bishop John Keenan, of Paisley on board the bus at on Saturday 3 August 2018 at 2 p.m. in Paisley town centre.   Organiser Helen Border said:   “Pope Francis has urged the church to ‘leave her four walls behind and to go out in search of those who are distant, those essentially on the outskirts of life.’ We are taking up Pope Francis’s invitation in taking the Church to the people. Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘Church on wheels!”    “Taking the church to the people shows them that the Lord loves, cares and wants them to return to him. People think that they cannot be forgiven for what they have done. No sin is too great for the Lord to forgive as long as there is repentance from the sinner. Stepping on board the bus could be the first step in changing their lives for the better and leaving the guilt on the bus. There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and the FODMS team will be welcoming visitors with tea, coffee and home baking.”   Commenting on the initiative, Bishop John Keenan said:    “Up and down the UK the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.  Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. They see the Church coming to be among them with the Good News of God’s mercy very close at hand, so they can reach out and touch it, or simply rejoice in its nearness.    Bishop Keenan added;   “The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the Bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  So, the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors:   - For further information please contact Helen Border on 07786097147   - You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to Houston Square, Johnstone at 11.a.m. on Monday 29 July 2019 when the bus will be blessed by Fr Joe Burke and begin its journey.   - The bus is a Stagecoach Dennis Alexander Trident, fleet number 18334, of Kilmarnock depot and is 55 registered. Sir Brian Souter has donated it for a week’s use with a driver. It’s been branded with the Mercy logo.   - Image of the bus can be found here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmFttpro   DATES, TIMES AND VENUES   - Monday 29 July 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Houston Square, Johnstone, Renfrewshire - Tuesday 30 July 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Quadrant Shopping Centre, 126 Main Street, Coatbridge - Wednesday 31 July 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cathcart Square, Greenock town centre, Greenock - Thursday 01 August 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Antonine Centre, Tryst Road, Cumbernauld - Friday 02 August 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Argyle Street, Glasgow - Saturday 03 August 2019 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Paisley High Street, Paisley where Fr Joe Burke will be celebrating Holy Mass at 2 p.m.    ...

President of Scotland’s Catholic Bishops asks First Minister to protect freedom of conscience

| 18th July 2019 | Blogging

18 July 2019     The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert has written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to express his concerns at the attacks launched against the SNP MP Dr Lisa Cameron, following her vote against an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would have lifted the legal protections presently afforded to the unborn child in Northern Ireland.     In his letter on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Bishop Gilbert calls on the SNP leader, on behalf of all those “who cherish freedom of conscience within the public square” to provide an urgent reassurance that freedom of conscience will be protected within the SNP and valued in Scottish public life, at every level.     The full text of the letter is shown below.     ENDS     Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Letter to the First Minister     Dear First Minister,     I write following recent public comments made by Dr Lisa Cameron, SNP Member of Parliament for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow.     On Tuesday 9 July, Dr Cameron voted against an amendment to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill that would have lifted the legal protections presently afforded to the unborn child in Northern Ireland. It is a long-standing parliamentary convention that votes on such ethical issues are considered matters of conscience and, thus, are not subject to the party whip. Indeed, this was confirmed in writing to Dr Cameron prior to the 9 July vote by the SNP Chief Whip, Patrick Grady MP.     In the days following the vote, however, Dr Cameron has been subject to a significant degree of hostility from many quarters, including ordinary members and officer bearers of the Scottish National Party, some of which she describes as being “nothing less than vitriolic” in nature.  She adds that according to local officials it may “now be incompatible to hold pro-life views and be a SNP MP, candidate, to pass vetting or be elected in any capacity”. She further notes that, despite prompting, she has presently received no public re-assurance from the leadership of the SNP that this is not, in fact, the case. I therefore am writing to you as Leader of the Scottish National Party to seek such a public re-assurance.     I believe I write on behalf of all who cherish freedom of conscience within the public square and hold in high regard those in public life who remain true to their conscience, even at the expense of personal popularity or political advantage.      “Moral courage is readiness to expose oneself to suffering or inconvenience which does not affect the body,” wrote the co-founder of the Scottish National Party, Sir Compton Mackenzie, in 1962, “It arises from firmness of moral principle and is independent of the physical constitution.”     Thank you for taking the time to read this letter First Minister.     I await your reply with anticipation. In the meantime, please be assured of my continued prayers and good wishes.     I am, Yours Sincerely,     Bishop Hugh Gilbert     President Bishops’ Conference of Scotland              ...

Catholic Church in Scotland welcomes five ordinations to the priesthood in July

| 02nd July 2019 | Blogging

Tuesday 2 July 2019   The Catholic Church in Scotland will welcome five more candidates into the priesthood in July.   Deacons Mark O’Donnell, Kevin Lawrie and Kieran Hamilton will be ordained for the Diocese of Motherwell; Deacon William McQuillan will be ordained for the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh; and Deacon Ronald Campbell will be ordained for the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles.   Six of Scotland’s eight dioceses will receive men into the priesthood in 2019, bringing the total number of ordinations this year to ten.   Commenting on the news, Bishop John Keenan, President of Priests for Scotland said:   “I am delighted that the Catholic Church in Scotland is welcoming five men into the priesthood in July.”   “In recent years, there has been a steady and sustained interest from men of various ages and backgrounds, who have answered God’s call and approached our vocations directors to apply for seminary.”   “I am particularly grateful to the lay faithful for their prayers and support in encouraging our young men and women to enter religious life. We hope that the joy of several ordinations throughout 2019 will bring our people closer to the Church, to Christ and the teachings of the Faith.”   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell said:   “It is a great blessing for the Diocese of Motherwell to have 5 men being ordained priests this summer. We thank God for the gift of their Vocations and look forward to their ministry among us. We are grateful also to all who accompanied them on their journey to priestly ordination - in their families, parishes and seminaries.”   Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles said:   “I am very much looking forward to ordaining Deacon Ronald Campbell to the priesthood in his home parish of St Mary’s, Benbecula this July. It will be a great occasion for Ronald, his family, his island and all the diocese.”   Other dioceses to receive men into the priesthood this year include the Archdiocese of Glasgow – Br Antony Connelly; the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh – Patrick Harrigan; the Diocese of Dunkeld - Jude Mukoro; the Diocese of Motherwell - Charles Coyle; and the Diocese of Aberdeen - Dominic Nwaigwe.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  Tel:    0141 221 1168 Mob:  07968 122291 ISDN: 0141 204 4956  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org   Note to editors:   Images will be available from SCMO at: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmEFdU8c  ...