By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 2 days ago
Tuesday 19 November 2019
In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic churches in Scotland this weekend (23/24 November) Scotland's Catholic Bishops, will urge parishioners to participate in the 2019 General Election and to “elect an individual representative who reflects as closely as possible our beliefs”. Scotland’s Catholic Bishops warn that “a creeping intolerance towards religious belief” has become “a part of life”.
The letter goes on to reflect on a range of issues and urges catholic voters to raise them with their candidates. Among the subjects highlighted are:
Human Life - Voters are reminded that abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia are, as the Church has consistently taught, always morally unacceptable. The letter describes the funding of abortion programmes in developing countries as “ideological colonisation.”
Marriage and the Family – candidates are urged to support policies that create economic and fiscal support for married couples and families with children.
Poverty - Reliance on food banks, particularly for families, is described as “a telling criticism of a society that has forgotten its poor people in its midst.”
Freedom of Religion and Conscience – Potential MPs are urged to legislate for a liberal and tolerant society that is truly welcoming to all faiths and none, the next UK Government should campaign against religious persecution and intolerance around the world.
Nuclear Weapons and the Arms Trade - The use of weapons of mass destruction is viewed as “a serious offence against God and against humanity.” Excessive accumulation of weaponry is described as “a considerable threat to stability and freedom as well as a misuse of public funds that could serve to address the needs of the disadvantaged.” The next UK Government is asked to work actively and seriously towards elimination of the UK’s nuclear arsenal.
By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 25th October 2019
25 October 2019
Bishop William Nolan of Galloway, President of the Catholic Church’s Justice and Peace Commission, has called on the UK Government to make “safe and legal routes” available for refugees attempting to come to the UK. Bishop Nolan expressed his concerns ahead of the three-year anniversary of the refugee camp known as ‘the jungle’ in Calais being demolished, he said:
“Three years ago, the French and UK governments demolished the refugee camp known as ‘the jungle’. Many thousands of people were dispersed across France, and the infrastructure of support and solidarity provided by so many volunteers was destroyed. Three years on, the situation in Calais, Dunkirk and other areas is more desperate than ever. The policies of attrition - wearing down refugees through harsh treatment, including eviction from places of shelter; confiscation of possessions; assault and use of pepper spray - are forcing already vulnerable people to increasingly desperate measures, pushing them into the arms of people smugglers and human traffickers.”
Bishop Nolan added;
When I visited Calais in 2017, just over one year after the jungle had been demolished, I witnessed the situation of many young refugees sleeping rough. The statement we issued at the time called on the authorities ‘to recognise that these are our fellow human beings, regardless of their [immigration] status, and that their intrinsic dignity must be upheld.’ Now, three years since the jungle was destroyed, and with no progress being made, I once again join the calls made on our government that safe and legal routes must be established, and that an infrastructure which allows for dignified living for those in Calais must be a priority”.
Bishop Nolan’s remarks come after Amnesty International has reported on the “unprecedented restrictions, including threats and violence, denunciation in public discourse, and criminalization” being faced by volunteers and staff i...
By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 20th September 2019
20 September 2019
The Bishop of Galloway, Bishop William Nolan wants them to urge local councillors to support Ayrshire’s Catholic community and vote against any such moves to ensure its schools catholic ethos is maintained.
He warned that if the proposal to remove voting rights from church reps, advanced by the National Secular Society and the Humanist Society Scotland was passed, it would “would weaken the Church’s voice and would do nothing to enhance Catholic education”.
In a message to be distributed at Sunday Mass in churches across Ayrshire this weekend (21 & 22 September 2019) Bishop Nolan says: “given that the Diocese of Galloway and East Ayrshire Council have always had a harmonious relationship regarding education, it is not clear why the Council should consider this proposal worthy of consideration."
The bishop goes on to ask parishioners to contact their local councillor as a matter of urgency to ask them to vote against any such motion.
Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 116807968 firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Editors:
The full text of Bishop Nolan’s message to Ayrshire Catholics is shown below:
“Once again in Scotland the very existence of Catholic schools is being called into question. Two newspapers, the Scotsman and the Times, both had front page articles last week written by those calling for the abolition of Catholic schools.
Sadly, in this hostile environment, East Ayrshire Council has decided to discuss whether to remove the voting rights of the Church representative on the Cabinet which determines education matters. The Council is doing this in response to letters received from the National Secular Society and the Humanist Society Scotland. Since both these societies wish to see an end to Church influence in education it is understandable that they should propose this. However, given that the Diocese of Galloway an...
By SCMO in News Releases, Blogging | 16th September 2019
16 September 2019
The relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux which have been in Scotland since Thursday 29th of August, as part of a three-week tour of Scotland’s eight Catholic dioceses, arrived at Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow today, Monday 16th September.
The relics arrived at HMP Barlinnie, one of Scotland’s largest prisons at 2.00pm on 16th September where Archbishop Philip Tartaglia celebrated a Mass for staff and inmates.
In his homily, the Archbishop urged inmates to follow the example of St. Therese and to “do little things, little acts of goodness here and there throughout the day that in the end make a big difference.” He suggested prisoners could “offer a kindly word to a fellow inmate who is struggling with prison life. You could cooperate more readily with prison staff. You could perform your duties more perfectly for the sake of all.”
Archbishop Tartaglia recognised that “Prison life is not easy” but suggested to prisoners, that they could “offer up to God your hardships and sufferings for the sake of your fellow prisoners. You could say a kind word rather than a harsh one. You could make more of the opportunities that you are given to prepare for life on the outside.”
Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin (St. Therese of Lisieux) who is patroness of the Missions, the sick and prisoners entered the convent aged just fifteen and was canonised a saint in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Many miracles of healing have been reported throughout the world, including Scotland, through her intercession.
Archbishop Tartaglia explained to staff and inmates why the relics were visiting a prison;
“Famously, as a girl of 14, St Therese prayed for the conversion of a convicted murderer, who, although he never admitted his guilt, at the last, kissed the figure of the crucified Jesus just before his execution. Later, when she wrote about this, St Therese took this to be a sign that her prayer had been answered and that the man had ask...