Is Scotland Anti-Catholic? 

Peter Kearney, Spokesman for the Scottish Bishops, provoked an angry  response from at least one priest  – Fr Paul Morton, St Bride’s Cambuslang (Diocese of Motherwell) – when he claimed, in an interview in The Herald, that Scotland is a hostile place for Catholics to live.  Fr Morton took Peter Kearney to task via the Herald letters page next day and, with the usual ecumenical double-speak, painted a glowing picture of life among the heather for Catholic Scots. So, what do you think – IS Scotland a hostile place for Catholics to live?

Odd, though, that no letters appeared in similar shock at the news that Kearney still intends to vote for the SNP, architects of the same-sex marriage legislation, despite the high profile Catholic support for the Campaign for Marriage. Peter Kearney – representing the Bishops – interviewed well on TV news broadcasts to oppose the immoral SNP legislation yet he seems not to be aware of his inconsistency in pledging to vote for the Nationalists in the future.  His rationale? “You can’t agree with everything, and it’s the party I have most in common with. I still personally support independence for Scotland.”  God help us all, if this is the way the “senior Catholics” in Scotland think.

Will sanity ever return to the Church? Anywhere? Especially here in Scotland where it’s almost impossible to find a fully believing, fully practising Catholic, lay or ordained. Increasingly, I’m meeting thoroughly protestantised laity – described as “Roman Protestants” in one very interesting article of that title sent to me by an English reader some years ago..

Is there anything more that concerned laity and clergy can do to hasten the return of said sanity?   

57 responses

  1. Is Scotland anti-Catholic?

    In my experience, yes, but it doesn’t seem to be quite as bad as it used to be. Scotland seems to be becoming anti-Christian instead, helped along by the Church of Scotland.

    We recently had to organise a funeral and the first suggestion from the (camp as Christmas) undertaker was a humanist service. In St. Andrews. For a 91 year old Christian.

    Close protestant friends marrying over the past couple of years all seem to have gone for humanist services as well – none of them would even consider a church service because they see the Kirk as not living its message.

    None of them would consider conversion because of the anti-Catholic prejudice they have observed around them all of their lives…for them, it’s the Kirk or paganism.

    • Friends of mine who live in the allegedly very Catholic area of Coatbridge (near Glasgow) told me that they were amazed to find themselves at a humanist funeral of a friend recently. The wife of the deceased had asked the PP to say a few words at the crematorium, but he declined. Didn’t stop him attending the funeral though, presumably to “pay his respects”. Confusion into chaos, I think it’s called.

      But what about Peter Kearney planning to vote SNP? When the rest of us were advised to make sure our MPs and MSPs knew that their vote in the same-sex marriage debate would influence OUR vote at the next election. Wish I’d know then that the Bishops’ own spokesman didn’t intend to let HIS MSP’s vote affect HIS vote at the next election.

      Truly, you couldn’t make it up!

  2. I think there is an awful lot of indifferentism about in Scotland which could be interpreted as being more tolerant of Catholics which I think is the mistake made by Fr Paul Morton. I read his letter and he denied that clergy have a hard time but tell that to Fr Stephen Dunn who was assaulted (more than once I think) in Bridgeton, as reported in the Daily Record at the time.

    As for Peter Kearney not letting the same-sex legislation change his voting at the next election, I am really annoyed about this. I followed the advice of the Campaign for Marriage group to let my MSP know this issue would affect my vote at election time so it is disgraceful that the same does not apply to the main spokesman for the Scottish bishops.

    • Priests are constantly under attack either verbally or more often to the property .. Paul Morton is living in lala land if he thinks otherwise. I think we have had at least a dozen sectarian attacks here

  3. Well, that really does take the biscuit. How on earth can Peter Kearney justify voting for the SNP after their disgraceful proposal to re-define marriage?

    In fact, I don’t see how any Catholic can vote for any party now, since they all supported this immoral legislation. Already, we’ve been told that no Catholic can vote for any system that permits abortion – so we shouldn’t be voting for these parties anyway, since they all support abortion. It’s not good enough to say this is one (or two) issues – those one or two issues are crucially important because they mock God.

    When Archbishop Tartaglia said the Church had suffered a terrible blow to her credibility due to the Cardinal O’Brien scandal, because it showed hypocrisy, he could easily have added that this hypocrisy extends to all those who said they opposed the government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage but still planned to vote for them anyway.

    I do agree with Kearney, however, that Scotland is still hostile to Catholics. In fact, if anything, more so, because now we’re labelled “homophobic” for opposing gay marriage! Doesn’t he see how inconsistent his position actually is?

  4. We need make no mistake that if and when Peter Kearney votes for SNP, he will be voting also for their same-sex marriage Bill.

    This modern notion that a Catholic is somehow justified in placing material advantage above morality when choosing which political party to vote for is simply false. Any Catholic who gives the vote to an immoral party, even secretly, sets himself up in opposition to Our Lord for the sake of worldly gain, the thirty pieces of silver.

    One of the ways in which Catholics can sin mortally is by consenting to the sin of another. To vote SNP is to consent of that party’s policies, including same-sex marriage. This is basic Catholic moral teaching.

    It seems clear to me that Peter Kearney is not a man zealous for the Commandments of God and the salvation of souls, for no Catholic who is supernaturally motivated, as all should be, could ever countenance giving their vote to political parties, of whatever persuasion, which publicly stand in opposition to the Law and Grace of God. Nor can the argument of choosing the ‘lesser of evils’ be employed as a defence because we are talking here about a sin that the Church says is crying out to heaven for vengeance.

    Any Catholic, then, who votes for a party that pushes such things as same-sex marriage and abortion will be judged by God as one who approves these things. I seriously believe that Peter Kearney, if he has stated his intention to vote SNP, should be stripped of his position in the Church as unfit to bear the name of Catholic. I say that the same should apply to Catholic politicians who betray their Lord and Master, like Judas, for material advantage. This just shows how much the Faith has been lost!

    As for anti-Catholicism in Scotland, I would probably agree with Mr. Kearney on that one, although it is not quite so obvious as it once was.

    The truth is that the greatest anti-Catholics in Scotland have turned out to be “members of our own household,” by which I mean of course the liberal reformers who have managed between them to close down all seminaries in Scotland and deprive a whole generation of proper Catholic formation and teaching. I also include the fakers who claim allegiance to the Church and yet vote for political parties that say publicly to Our Lord “Non Serviam.” These false Catholics are the real danger to souls, not the big-mouthed Orangeman banging his drum and singing the Sash.

    That having been said, Scotland is renowned worldwide for the Red Clyde, whose Communist “useful idiots” were mostly apostate Catholics, and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which I believe is the main Rite used by Masons in China. No wonder SNP have such a warm friendship with the leadership of that Communist country.

    Yes, Scotland is up to its neck in anti-Catholicism, much more than in England. But the tragedy of all tragedies is that our own post-conciliar bishops have done more damage to the Faith from the inside than these secret society people could ever have hoped to achieve by the persecutions they have been employing in the external forum since the trun of the 19th century. Where have all the Catholic Martyrs gone?

    • Well said, Athanasius.

      I’ve sent the link to this thread to Peter Kearney, copies to the others in the office (although they don’t give the email addresses on the website, just their names – I emailed it to the general office address in the hope that it reaches each one of them) I also copied John Deighan into my message. I resisted the temptation to ask him for his voting intentions at the next election – I fear the answer…

      If Peter’s conscience is not touched by the posts here already, then he’s lost any sense of what it means to be a truly practising Catholic, as distinct from being a Mass-attendee.

  5. It is not just Scotland that is anti-Catholic, the whole country is, after all Catholics are barred from the throne. However, football violence comes from both sides, despite the fact half of the morons won’t have ever been to a Church. I mean, all protestants are anti-Christian, because they adulterate Christian doctrines from the early Church laid down by Christ, such as on divorce, remarriage, homosexuality, abortion, etc. A whole litany of errors. Anti-Catholicism is not as prominent, but it is the last ‘acceptable prejudice’. Heirs to the throne can’t marry Catholics of the opposite sex, yet two men can marry. Did you know Catholics can join the Klu Klux Klan? Scotland must be a barren place spiritually, my Church is packed to the gills on a Sunday- it’s standing room only. Mind you, that’s protestantism, putting religion into the private sphere, whereas for us, faith is a public thing.

    Pius X

    • pius x,

      It’s a red herring to talk about the heir to the throne marrying a Catholic because the Church has always discouraged mixed marriages. They are allowed only as an exception and the Catholic spouse has the obligation to bring up the children as Catholics. That’s not going to happen in the Royal Family so I wish people would stop raising that.

      About Peter Kearney – I agree with Athanasius that Scotland is still hostile to Catholics but not as bad as it used to be, but that is probably down to the fact that Catholics are no different from anyone else these days.

      As for Peter Kearney’s voting intentions – maybe I shouldn’t be surprised but I am gobsmacked! So much for being the Bishops’ Spokesman – can we take it that this is their view as well? Will any of them vote for politicians who supported same-sex marriage?

  6. I agree that no Catholic can vote for the Scottish National Party. Indeed, it is now almost impossible to find a party to vote for. I can’t see myself voting for anyone for a long time. At the last General Election I voted for a Conservative candidate because I had a half hour conversation with him about all the moral issues. However, I don’t think I could repeat this. I couldn’t vote for any party.

    Now, is Scotland anti-Catholic? I think it likes to pretend it isn’t. when I came back to the Church after a time away, I had a “job” as the organist in my local Church of Scotland. Despite claiming to be “friendly and open to all” my contract was terminated with immediate effect when I told them I had returned to the Catholic Church. In the long run it was the best thing that happened to me because this set the ball rolling for my full return to Tradition. However….more on this at the forthcoming Conference.

  7. Theresa Rose

    You are mistaken I fear, on your point about mixed marriages. It has happened in the Netherlands when Queen Maxima married Williem-Alexander, Prince of Orange, now King. She was, and still is an Argentine Catholic, but the children are Protestant, God help them. So, it’s not a red herring, is it?

    Pius X

    • Pius X,

      Yes, it is a red herring. What you describe is disobedience and does not have any bearing on the real issue. I’d be very doubtful if the marriage you describe is valid.

      • Pius X,

        Theresa Rose is quite correct. The Catholic Church forbids any mixed marriage where the children would not be raised in the Catholic Faith. It is a fact that any children born of a mixed marriage between a Catholic and British Royal would not be allowed to be raised in the Catholic Faith. That is a very significant obstacle to the validity of any such marriage in future. The Catholic Church could never condone the marriage of a Catholic to a non-Catholic where it was stated that children from the marriage would not be raised in the true Faith. If the Church did that then she would be saying that the Catholic Faith is not necessary for salvation, which would be the worst of all falsehoods.

        • The Catholic Church is necessary for salvation, certainly, but even those who are NOT Catholic in this life can end up in Heaven

          • Eileenanne,

            Yes, the doctrine of invincible ignorance says that some can be saved by the mercy of God in their false religions, but never by their false religions. These are described as Catholic in soul and therefore spiritual and supernatural members of the Church. But I hasten to add that invincible ignorance should by no means be construed as meaning that non-Catholics can reject the Catholic religion and go to heaven. That would be heresy.

          • Crossraguel,

            I read that Rorati Caeli report some time ago. It really doesn’t impact on the formal teaching of the Church, which is that marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics are forbidden where it is clearly stated that the children will not be raised in the true Faith.

            It is quite impossible for the Church to contradict her infallible dogma – extra ecclesiam nulla salus – with a similarly weighty statement saying that, in fact, the children of mixed marriages do not have to be raised Catholic.

            The statement you linked was attributed second hand to Archbishop Nichols. If His Grace did in fact make that statement, then he is clearly at odds with the teaching of the Church. Surprise, surprise!

  8. Theresa Rose, Athanasius et al,

    What I meant was when I said that it was not a red herring is because these do happen, they are not fallacious and they do not detract from the issue at hand here, which is whether Catholics are persecuted or not. The Church in the Netherlands, or the Pope did not oppose the marriage publicly. We know it is invalid, but I’m just commenting that these things do happen and tie in with Catholic prejudice. I know a devout young Polish lady who married an English agnostic (there’s a novelty), and he had to sign a document saying the kids would be brought up Catholic.

    With regards to the point made by my friend Athanasius on salvation, I pray thee findeth ye me on ye General Discussion section.

    Pius X

  9. Pius X,

    The “document” the polish man signed is a pre-requisite to a valid marriage between a Catholic and non-Catholic. Without such a form there can be no ceremony, valid or otherwise.

    This issue is a red herring. It should be common sense that a Catholic cannot marry a Protestant monarch if the offspring of such a marriage must be Protestant too. It’s a no brainer .

    • And it’s a sign of just how far gone dear old Cardinal O’Brien was, when he took up this cause, big time. Is it because they long to be sitting down to tea at the palace with their Catholic “royal” and their Protestant offspring, enjoying a good old ecumenical chat?

      All the signs are there in these bishops, folks. You just need to be paying attention – and/or reading Catholic Truth!

    • Nowadays the non-Catholic does not have to sign an agreement that the children will be brought up Catholic. He /she simply has to be clearly informed that such is the Catholic’s intention. I am not absolutely sure if explicit agreement has to be given. I think it may be that they only have to be informed.

  10. This lot are a load of whingers. I went to a talk hosted by them after the papal visit. it was about the National Secular society et al. protests. They went on to say that sectarianism could only be tackled if the government repealed the Act of Settlement. Nonsense. Personally, I love the fact that my mother land thinks we’re still so dangerous that a Catholic can’t marry or be an heir to the throne. They can be Muslim, a Scientologist or an atheist but not a Catholic. What’s wrong with that? Does it not make you proud? That the last remaining ‘penal law’ still grants us this exclusive outsider status. It’s great being a pariah. We should embrace these times of new Recusancy with joy and excitement! What great graces are available to us in these times. Why are people always wanting to be liked and accepted?

    Most of the religious hostility I have encountered in Scotland has come from Catholics. Especially the smug Neo-Catholic types, who will anathematise you for not sharing their view that JP2 was the best pope ever ever in the history of popes. One of the Scottish Media Office lot (I can’t remember if it was Kearney) couldn’t stop singing +O’Brians praises about three years ago when I went to the talk. Which was probably down to nativity and ignorance if anything.

    • “Why are people always wanting to be liked and accepted?”

      Miles Immaculatae,

      That, in a nutshell, is the Big Question. It is this human respect that prevents Catholics – priests included – from doing their duty and speaking out in this crisis.

      I’m constantly amazed at the contrast between the modernist/liberals and the rest. The former will stand by their faithless convictions while the so-called orthodox-through-to-traditional say and do next to nothing in the public arena. Do they ever think of those terrifying words of Christ: “if you deny Me before men, I will deny you before My Father in heaven”?

      Kinda contextualises the episcopal dilemma, don’t you think? Tea and cakes at the palace versus the souls of the royal children…

      No contest!

  11. Miles Immaculatae,

    Sorry, I don’t quite understand your last sentence: “Which was probably down to nativity and ignorance if anything”. Nativity?

    • Magdalene,

      I took it that Miles meant that Kearney was rather naïve and ignorant in praising Cardinal O’Brien, because of what we now know. Some of us, however, refrained from praising the Cardinal WITHOUT knowing what we now know because of what we DID know – that he’d lost the Faith.

  12. Monsignor Smith; Monsignor Cushley ; fr Patrick Burke and the current Bishop of Aberdeen being touted as the replacement package

    • scottish priest,

      The names you cite were “touted” by the hapless journalist Stephen McGinty on Newsnight Scotland last night so if that is your source – relax. Hasn’t a clue. Almost as clueless as his sidekick Liz Leydon (editor of the SCO) who, asked to explain the Church’s value (or words to that effect) in this time of crisis, provided a daft list which, any thinking half-wit would recognise as putting the Catholic Church on a level with (or just below) just about every other religious outfit on the planet. Except the Moonies. Don’t think she mentioned the Moonies.

      Gimme strength!

  13. The constant .. And it is constant harassment of clergy has been going in fomr years! CCTV cameras identifies teenagers inning over railings cutting thru church grounds vandalism to cars windows graffiti on the walks in the door. Urinating and worse in an d i guarantee you there is not one priest in scotland who has not encountered some form of sectarianism at least once a year in Glasgow s lot more. Most priests accept it as part of the work

    • Well, why hasn’t one of those priests written in to contradict Fr Paul Morton? Mind you, when I once wrote into the Herald to disagree with him on something, he telephoned me afterwards and talked me half to death.

      This is what I mean – the “liberals” insist on having their say and the rest of the clergy let them. Drives me crazy.

  14. Editor,

    Would it be possible to have a thread on a study published this week which revealed that by 2050 the majority of Britons will be Muslim?

    • Sure thing – I’ll Google for a link and post it later today.

      PS I’ve just Googled and the BBC have an article “debunking” the claims – seems the statistics are highly questionable. Still, we’ve never had a thread on any aspect of Islam, so will post it later as promised.

      PPS – I’ve now posted the promised new thread…

      Catholic Truth at your service!

  15. I didn’t see the letter as I don’t read the herald or any newspapers in Scotland because if the anticatholic subtext etc trying to manage parish life and all that goes with it means that many don’t have the energy to engage in what us often fruitless rhetoric . I prefer to pastor my flock as best I can preaching the gospel using many words ( st Francis never ever said when necessary use words) I’m working longer and harder than I was twenty years ago
    As fir sources of appointments you were right but he may not be too far off! Aberdeen bishop to Edinburgh safe hands; smith to paisley and crush key to Motherwell Vatican diplomat etc

    • Well, it will be interesting to see who is appointed to those dioceses. I don’t know Mgr Cushley (which speaks for itself) but it will be “business as usual” (if not worse) if these are, in fact, the new bishops. Don’t send for the fire brigade just yet – there won’t be any heather on fire in the sense of restoring the Faith – trust me.

      • Well Ed, give u your preferred list of candidates! I do hope Fr. Burke gets a diocese, he was a wonderful editor of FAITH magazine and did such great work in Bannockburn too you know. He had a tremendous youth group and they all cheered when Benedict XVI was elected. He deserves a mitre for that alone!

        • Since I’m very far from being a fan of FAITH magazine, I’ll pass on voting for Fr Burke.

          As for my preferred candidates – point me to a priest who is unafraid to speak out, would, therefore, take all necessary action to bring the dissident clergy into line or chuck them out, is offering the TLM and will insist on it being widely provided in his diocese within six months at the most, and he’ll get my vote, whatever his name!

  16. ‘Why are people always wanting to be liked and respected’.

    I was listening to a sermon by Ian Paisley (I know!!!) who recounted a tale a Methodist or something daft, told him, and told him, ‘you are always fighting, in our Church their is perfect peace’. And he boomed, ‘Madam, I have been in Methodist cemeteries, and it is peaceful, but I don’t want the peace of the dead, I want to fight for Christ’. When you start getting all lovey dovey, ‘with a cream puff pie minister’ as Paisley said, you start to deflect from Christ and his truth, and his doctrines and his church. The World Council of Churches is the work of the Devil. ‘Woe to them that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter’. We don’t want to be liked. Would you rather have no friends, with God on your side, or go with the crowd and have God against you? God will not be mocked. Try not to be liked, and don’t say sorry for telling the truth, just don’t because you look stupid.

    Let me recount a conversation with our beloved Editor, last year when she had just gone 24, after she had been on Sunday Morning Live, where she valiantly said homosexuality was an abomination. Truer word spoke? She told me when I emailed a message of support that she had been called all names under the Sun. This is what happens when you tell an alcoholic he is a drunkard, they flip, and the same applies with gays, they call you a bigot or homophobic. I look forward to getting the bigot of the year award. Homophobia is a non-term, as I’ve never met a person with an irrational fear of homosexuals or the same sex, and nor do we hate them. We ‘lurve’ them, that’s why we want them to repent and be changed.

    Tell the Catholic TRUTH.

    Pius X

    • Great post. Couldn’t be better.

      24, is it? WOW – if you don’t get the Bigot of the Year Award, we’ll give you the Best Blogger of the Bi-Month Award!

  17. If the current crisis in sexuality in the Church were to be really addressed I think it would cause a schism. With 86.4 % of abuse by clergy in the USA actually ephobophilia the cover up on homosexuality is pandemic. I believe its over 90% globally. That means there are clear and unequivocal correlations with post pubescent boys and that surely is homosexuality, I wonder why the media have not picked up on this either so too the cleverly worded Cardinal O’Brien references clouded in inappropriate behaviours for a cleric rather than sinful practise of homosexuality
    Still on the eve of the Feast of Corpus Christi in the New Rite, perhaps prayers for an authentic understanding of the body and the true dignity of the human person would a worthy prayer intention

    • scottish priest,

      If the crisis per se were addressed fully in the Church, not just the “crisis in sexuality” (intertwined crises, of course) there would most definitely be a schism. Actually, to my surprise, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly where I heard this, but a journalist on TV DID make a passing reference recently to the fact that priests abusing boys were obviously homosexuals. It may have been a slip of the tongue – he raced on (I think it may have been the Newsnight Scotland interview with McGinty & Leydon referred to already on this thread) but I do agree that, generally speaking, the media ignore this fact.

      And yes, of course, prayers for an authentic understanding of the human body which every Catholic in Christendom could have defined at one time as “the temple of the Holy Spirit” without as much as having to think about it. Now, we’ve got all sorts of “theologies” on the subject, with a diabolical emphasis on sexual gratification of the human body.

      A prayer, too, for a true and deep appreciation of the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Our Lord – and what that means in practical terms to protect the Sacred Species from abuse – would also be timeous, given that tomorrow is the day the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated in diocesan parishes.

      Oh and don’t miss the video rendering of the hymn To Jesus, Heart All Burning, on our homepage right now to mark the beginning of the month of the Sacred Heart.

  18. Yes, yes. I meant naivety, not Nativity. It was a typo. Just goes to show my mind is full of holy thoughts!

    I was Confirmed sub conditione by His Lordship Bishop Fellay today. Gosh, if myself two years ago could have seen myself today!

    • Congratulations, Miles Immaculatae!

      What a wonderful thing, to be confirmed by Bishop Fellay today with your ticket booked for the Catholic Truth Conference NEXT Saturday… you’ve absolutely NO excuse now for not being a front-line soldier in the thick of the crisis in the Church!

  19. For my conditional Confirmation I took the same name as my Confirmation four years ago, Francis (of Assisi), or otherwise i wouldn’t know who my patron is (since I don’t know which of my two Confirmations is the valid one). It was my grandfather’s baptismal name, my sister’s name (Francesca), and one of my mother’s baptismal names is Clare (like St Clare of Assisi, his sister), so I sort of consider him my family’s patron. Also, when I was a child, before I became Catholic, I was fascinated by the Sacred Stigmata and wanted to learn as much as possible about it. St Francis of course was the first to receive this mystical gift.

    • If Pope Francis ever comes to the UK, he’ll HAVE to stay at your house! (Just make sure you lock up the family silver, or he’ll sell it on e-bay!)

  20. Yes indeed, family silver. But wait, didn’t a pectoral cross once belonging to Paul VI in fact end up on Ebay?

    Family silver offends the Protestant sensibilities of Neo-Catholics. What the heck would someone want with a papal tiara? Use it as a teacosy?

    The Holy Father is welcome to stay at ours. He’d only be allowed to say the Traditional Mass while he was here though.

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