Scotland s Roman Catholic Bishops this morning met with International development minister, George Foulkes, during a visit by the Minister to the new headquarters of SCIAF, the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund.
During the Visit, the Bishops took the opportunity to thank the Government for its commitment to ending the scandal of Third World Debt and urged further pressure for a full cancellation of debt during the year 2000.
Bishop John Mone, the President of SCIAF, said: "This government has done a very great deal to promote the cancellation of unpayable debts in the run up to the Jubilee Year 2000. In recent months that call has been taken up by President Clinton and there is now very real hope that concrete steps will be taken to lift this intolerable burden on developing countries.
"We would like the Government to step up the pressure on its international partners so that the new millennium can start debt free for some of the world s poorest peoples."
Cardinal Thomas Winning, Archbishop Keith O Brien and Bishop Maurice Taylor met with the minister and his advisers for two hours and both sides expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
The Bishops expressed their concern over Government support for contraception programmes in the Third World.
Cardinal Winning said: "The Church s position on contraception and abortion is well known. What we ask is that the Government give at least parity of esteem in promoting the natural methods of regulating births. These are effective, safe and cheap and they respect the culture and traditions of people on developing countries.
"We also look forward to the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland participating more fully in policy discussions on international development and to further meetings on a regular basis."
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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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 ...
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