Statement from Cardinal O'Brien on Commonwealth Heads of Government
declaration on the Royal Succession:
Cardinal Keith O'Brien said; "I welcome the statement from the Prime Minster indicating that his Government together with all of the Commonwealth Heads of Government intend to reform the Royal Succession. I am pleased to note that the process of change, which I hope will lead to repeal of the Act has started and I look forward to studying the detail of the proposed reforms and their implications in due course."
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0141 221 1168
Note to Editors:
The Catholic Church in Scotland has consistently called for the complete repeal of the Act of Settlement. In 1999, the late Cardinal Thomas Winning described it as " embarrassing anachronism for both the royal family and Parliament"
In 2005 at a National anti-sectarianism summit, Cardinal Keith O'Brien described it as; "a piece of arcane legislation" adding "it causes offence and is hurtful"
Also in 2005 Cardinal O'Brien said;
"The prohibition on Catholics marrying the Heir to the throne or becoming Head of State is discriminatory and offensive. Apart from anything else, the existing legislation is a gross infringement of the human rights of members of the Royal family."
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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 | 4 days ago | 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 email@example.com 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...
SCMO | 4 days ago | Blogging
Thursday 21 January 2021 Following a series of online meetings with Christians in Gaza, the Palestinian territories and Israel, the Catholic bishops who are members of the Holy Land Coordination group have urged “Israeli and Palestinian leaderships (to) recommit to direct negotiations.” The fifteen bishops from eleven countries also urged “our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims” The full text of their statement is shown below: ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 firstname.lastname@example.org www.scmo.org Holy Land Coordination 2021 Final Communiqué This is the first time we have been prevented from meeting physically in the Holy Land. Yet we remain resolutely committed to supporting our sisters and brothers in the homeland of Christ. Over the past week we have been privileged and moved to hear from Christians across the West Bank, Gaza and Israel about their mission, resilience and witness in these unprecedented circumstances. Through our dialogue, it has become painfully clear that there is today less cause for optimism than at any time in recent history. The health challenges of Covid-19, felt by the entire world, are compounded by conflict, occupation and blockade. The absence of international pilgrims has exacerbated widespread economic hardship, increased levels of unemployment and pushed many more families into poverty. The lack of political progress, along with relentless expansion of illegal settlements and the impact of Israel’s Nation-State law, continues to erode any prospect of a peaceful two-state solution. Now is a critical moment for us all to strengthen our expression of solidarity with the people of the Holy Land “not as a vague sentiment but as a ‘firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good’”.1 We stress the importance of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships recommitting to direct negotiations. We call upon our own governments and political leaders urgently to renew their active participation in the search for a just peace, supporting dialogue between all sides, upholding international law, and reaffirming the plurality of Jerusalem, given its unique significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Furthermore, the international community must hold Israel accountable for its moral, legal and humanitarian responsibility to make Covid-19 vaccines accessible for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and encourage cooperation by the Palestinian Authority, heeding Pope Francis’ message that “in the face of a challenge that knows no borders, we cannot erect walls.”2 While many of our own countries continue to face severe hardship amid the pandemic, we have a profound responsibility to support our fellow Christians in the Holy Land. Church schools, clinics, hospitals and other social projects including the work of Caritas, while under severe pressure, are models of charity, justice, and peace. These Christian institutions are vital in bringing together people from many different backgrounds to serve the common good of all. 1 Pope Francis, World Day of Peace 2021 2 Pope Francis, Urbi et Orbi 2020 The Christian community, though small, is an important guarantor of social cohesion and a bearer of hope for a better future. We eagerly await a time when Christians from across the world can once again make pilgrimages to the Holy Land to witness and support this first- hand. Until that point, we encourage our communities to provide any assistance that may be possible and hold all the region’s peoples in our prayers. Bishop Declan Lang England and Wales (Chair of the Holy Land Coordination) Bishop Udo Bentz Germany Archbishop Stephen Bris...
SCMO | 5 days ago | Blogging
Media Arrangements for Archbishop Tartaglia's Funeral The Archbishop’s Funeral Rites will be celebrated in St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, subject to the restrictions that are in place. Under current regulations only 20 of the Archbishop’s closest family and friends will attend and no media presence in the Cathedral will be possible. However media outlets are free to make use of the following arrangements: Vigil ceremony and Reception of Remains of Archbishop Tartaglia on Wednesday 20th January at 6.30 pm accessible by using this video link: https://youtu.be/idlkb2sNUcc The Archbishop's Funeral Mass will take place on Thursday 21st January at 12 noon, and will be accessible by using this video link: https://youtu.be/tS6rtYC0DhMS Still photos of the ceremonies will be available shortly after each liturgy at the following address and can be freely downloaded and used by the media. https://www.flickr.com/photos/archdioceseofglasgow/ The main celebrant of the Requiem Mass for Archbishop Tartaglia will be Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. His sermon will be made available to the media and can be used after 12 noon on Thursday January 21. Please note that external photography is not an option as the Cathedral ceremonies will be held behind closed doors. The coffin of the Archbishop will not be carried from the Cathedral as it will be buried in the Cathedral Crypt immediately after the Requiem Mass. ENDS For further information, contact Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications RCAG - 07735 224789 ...
SCMO | 14th January 2021 | Blogging
14 January 2021 Following the death of Bishop Emeritus Vincent Logan, the current Bishop of Dunkeld, Bishop Stephen Robson, has issued the following statement: My Dear People It is with deep regret that I must share with you the sad news that Bishop Vincent, Emeritus Bishop of this Diocese, has died. Bishop Vincent was 79. Vincent Logan was Bishop of the diocese of Dunkeld for almost 32 years before his retirement on June 30th, 2012. He was appointed to Dunkeld by Saint John Paul II and consecrated Bishop by Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray on 26th February 1981. Sadly his retirement years, from 2012 to the present were affected by a good deal of ill health which affected his mobility. He died earlier this morning, 14th January 2021, the day after his good friend Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow alongside whom he served on the Bishops Conference of Scotland. Both bishops succumbed to the lethal effects of the Coronavirus. Bishop Vincent is survived by one remaining brother, James, and by two nephews Vincent and James, to whom our condolences are offered. His faithful PA, Press Officer and friend of 40 years, Elaine Harrison, has cared for him in an exemplary manner especially over the years of his retirement. Though devastated by his death, Elaine is happy that Bishop Vincent is now at peace with the Good Lord. Bishop Vincent Logan was born in Bathgate, West Lothian, on 30th June 1941. After education in St Mary’s Academy, Bathgate, St Mary’s College, Blairs and St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, Vincent was ordained priest by Cardinal Gray in Edinburgh on 14th March 1964. Following on from a number of diocesan appointments as assistant priest in Edinburgh, and further studies in catechetics in Corpus Christi College London, Vincent was appointed, Diocesan Advisor in RE, Director of the RE Office in the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, and finally Vicar Episcopal for Education in the Archdiocese from 1977-1981. His final parochial appointment in the Archdiocese was as Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Ratho, from 1977-1981. Following on from his consecration as Bishop of Dunkeld on 26th February 1981, he served for 32 very energetic and innovative years both in the Diocese and in the Bishops Conference. His work was greatly appreciated at all times. Much can be said about Bishop Vincent’s achievements, but these can wait for a more leisurely time once the pandemic dangers have passed and we can Celebrate Bishop Vincent’s Requiem Mass more appropriately. The funeral arrangements are as yet unknown, but the Mass and burial will be recorded and streamed, so that all who have access to the internet will be able to participate. With every blessing to you all and a request for prayers for Bishop Vincent. + Stephen Robson Bishop of Dunkeld ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 116807968 122291 email@example.com 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/ ...
SCMO | 4 days ago | Blogging
SCMO | 4 days ago | Blogging
SCMO | 5 days ago | Blogging
SCMO | 14th January 2021 | Blogging