10 December 2013
Archbishop Leo Cushley delivers Scottish Parliament s 'Time For Reflection'
Delivering the "Time For Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today, Archbishop Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, welcomed the opportunity to address the Parliament and told MSP s that Scots law has been heavily influenced by Christian belief and "reflected our relationship with God and our relationship with our fellow human beings The Archbishop added, "If our human laws failed in either of these two dimensions, the argument went, they would fail to promote the common good that all law must surely strive to uphold."
In his first ever address to the Parliament, the Archbishop, added that law must always evolve saying; "Human laws are of course imperfect just as we ourselves are fragile and imperfect. he concluded by praying "for all those who make Scotland s laws, that the Lord may bless them with justice and temperance, with courage and prudence.
The full text of Archbishop Cushley s reflection is shown below.
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Time For Reflection “ Scottish Parliament “ 10 December 2013
Archbishop Leo Cushley
Dear friends, I am grateful for this opportunity to address this distinguished group of representatives in our nation s ancient capital. I have not lived in Scotland for a long time, and so it is a wonderful thing to return and to have the chance to stand here in our new parliament and to consider all that has been achieved here in so short a time.
We hear it said life is sacred without thinking about it too much, but it remains impressed upon how we relate to each other as a society - and that is why it is in the bedrock of the laws of our country. When we look at Scots law, we can see the various origins and influences upon it, and one of them is Christianity. Of course, that pleases me as a Christian, not because it makes the law biased in my favour, but because I know that Christians start from the premise that all life is sacred, irrespective of creed or any other accidentals, and because they believe “ as many do - that all creation starts in some way in God.
Law and legislation appear naturally, too. Wherever there are two or three people in one place, there is necessarily inter-relationship and inter-action, there are rules of conduct, there springs up a way of behaving that is agreed upon. These are the beginnings of human society, and human society naturally develops rules of conduct.
These become human laws: useful for a season, but inevitably, occasionally, in need of reform. Human laws are of course imperfect just as we ourselves are fragile and imperfect.
Until recent times, all law in our country, to some degree, reflected our relationship with God and our relationship with our fellow human beings, including with our own selves. If our human laws failed in either of these two dimensions, the argument went, they would fail to promote the common good that all law must surely strive to uphold.
By contrast, laws that passed these two tests stood the test of time, for the good of the whole community, even non-believers.
Law that truly serves the common good will surely encourage us to respect ourselves and to love our neighbours. Without these two elements, our society would, in the Christian view, close in on itself and become a contradiction in terms, individuals with little or no connection to the commonweal.
And so I d like to pray for all those who make Scotland s laws, that the Lord may bless them with justice and temperance, with courage and prudence. And may all Scots, and the strangers who live among us, be blessed on the way to a more harmonious peace and a more balanced prosperity in our beloved country.