Nicola Sturgeon Denounces “Vile Anti-Catholic Prejudice” But Will She ACT? 

From the Scottish Sun…

A dispersal order had to be issued as officers in riot gear battled with boozed-up fans refusing to leave and were pelted with missiles as others heckled and set off smoke bombs.

Over 20 arrests were made and three were officers injured as bloody and chaotic images emerged from over the city centre as fans defied Covid regulations not to meet in groups of more than six.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday the First Minister fired a warning shot to fans for what she branded “disgraceful scenes in Glasgow” at a time when Covid cases are on the rise in the city.

In angry and lengthy rebuttal she said: “To say I’m utterly disgusted by the Rangers fans who rampaged through the city would be an understatement…

Thousands joined in on unofficial celebrations in breach of covid regulations

Thousands joined in on unofficial celebrations in breach of covid regulations.


“I’m also angry on behalf of every law abiding citizen. In normal times, the violence & vandalism, &
the vile anti Catholic prejudice that was on display, would have been utterly unacceptable. But mid-pandemic, in a city with cases on the rise, it was also selfish beyond belief. Click here to read entire report. 

Comment: 

We’ve often called for an end to the annual Orange Order parades which plague Scotland every year.  At those events, anti-Catholic prejudice (to put it mildly – hatred, is more accurate) is on display and keeps many of us indoors, even without Government lockdowns.  Now it’s perhaps time to think about ending the permission for football fans to parade – whether Celtic or Rangers, since the animosity between those fans is clearly dangerous. 

Now, not every Rangers or Celtic football fan is a bigot or dangerous – I know that from my own personal experience, with relatives who are huge fans of Celtic, and friends who are equally as dedicated to Rangers. However, the mob tends to rule, as we see these days -whether it’s on the subject of race or religion – and the two Glasgow teams are wrapped around religion, although the majority of the more ardent supporters (like my own relatives) won’t have seen the inside of a church for many years, with no intention of heading for the confessional any time soon. 

So, what about it?  Should (a) the churches discourage Catholics and Protestants from supporting these teams and/or (b) should the Government act in some way against these two Football Clubs?   

I was last seen boarding a plane for the Outer Hebrides…   

37 responses

  1. “But will she act?”

    Not at all. Nicola Sturgeon will tweet out her disapproval until the reports die down, then it will be “end of story”, as the saying goes.

    As for the bishops expressing disapproval – I wouldn’t go holding my breath for them, either.

    • Fidelis,

      You’re probably right – on both counts.

      I’ve never taken to Twitter – people seem to tweet all sorts of pointless messages all day long. It’s not for me. I’ll just continue to post my pointless messages here, on this blog… 😀

  2. I agree. Never in a million years will Nicola Sturgeon or any other Scottish politician ban the Orange and football hooligans from causing a public nuisance. At least she has admitted there’s anti-Catholic bias. I remember a former First Minister saying that Scotland doesn’t have a “sectarian” problem, it has an anti-Catholic problem. Full on !

    • MMary your spot on. I actually had this out with a Marxist who has a Celtic Football Blog . He said that the Bigotry towards Irishmen in Scotland was intolerable. I said that He was very Much Mistaken and that the only Bigotry towards The Irish was directed at Catholic Irishmen. Now I see Footballers taking the Knee for so called Social Justice within the Sport . I know not if Neil Lennon is a Practicing Catholic, but that did not matter Here . No other Sportsman in Britain either Black Brown Muslim or Hindu took the Persecution from not only Football Fans but from the Media that this Man took. Actually a Guy I worked with said it was His Own Fault. As for The Orange Walks being banned there is no chance of that Happening. Actually before the Lockdown Statistically ,their were more Orange Walks in the West of Scotland than their were in Northern Ireland. Of course on the Day of the so called Big Walk many Catholic Churches and places of Worship have been Vandalised. As we well know.

      • FOOF,

        I agree about Neil Lennon – and I’m no football (or any other sports) fan… He was given a terrible time, persecuted by the media, as you rightly say.

        The thing is, at the time when he was managing Celtic FC, he wasn’t a practising Catholic and he was co-habiting. It just goes to prove how irrational is the hatred of “Catholics” when half the time they are Catholics in Name Only.

    • MM,

      I remember that – it was Jack McConnell, Labour, who was First Minister. He infuriated a lot of people when he said that Scotland didn’t have a sectarian problem, but a Catholic problem. For the record, he wasn’t a Catholic himself.

      Not to defend any level of animosity towards Protestants/Rangers fans, but there is a difference in the behaviour of Celtic and Rangers fans. I’ve read commentaries on the subject from time to time but since I’m in serious need of some beauty sleep, I don’t have time to search for evidence.

  3. I voted for no action from anyone except the fans themselves, in the poll.

    We’ve had enough of government interfering in our lives, so we don’t want any more.

    If Celtic and Rangers fans can’t control themselves, then they should be arrested and taken before the courts.

    I think it’s sad really, that at a time like this, when there’s hardly anybody taking to the streets to join anti-lockdown protests that we have a bunch of idiots out wrecking the place supposedly to celebrate a football trophy. How stupid is that?

    • Nicky,

      That’s how I voted, as well. There’s no point complaining about the government taking over our lives, if we go and ask them to do more of it, LOL!

      That doesn’t mean the hooligans get a pass. They should be rounded up and charged where they are found to have broken the law. There’s enough video around so it should not be difficult for the police to do that. Whether they will or not, is a different matter.

      • Lily,

        If the police tactics are anything like what they’ve become here, then the social media accounts of the hooligans will be scrutinized for violations of “the narrative” (i.e. anti-lockdown, anti-vax, anti-masks, etc.) and those individuals will be singled out and arrested…not for rioting, but for thought crimes.

        • RCA Victor,

          Things are very different here. Rangers fans will not have their social media accounts scrutinised. It’s difficult for Americans to grasp the nature and extent of anti-Catholic bigotry in Scotland (in England, not so much – there is a very different Reformation history, south of the border.)

          Without saying too much, the police are generally sympathetic to the Rangers’ supporters, as the example of the officer filmed wearing a Rangers’ scarf and joining in the revelry testifies. So, their “thoughts” are safe enough, methinks 😀

      • Lily,

        A good point, about invasion of privacy.

        I tend to agree with you that the [old] normal course of the law ought to be followed. Those misbehaving should be identified, arrested and taken to court.

        In fact, I believe that there was a law introduced to deal specifically with bad behaviour at football matches, which fell flat on its face and had to be amended or withdrawn – I can’t remember the details, but you’ll get my drift…

    • Nicky,

      Well said – especially your concluding observation about the lack of protesters on the streets objecting to lockdown (and I would add, forced vaccination).

      And to answer your final question – VERY!

    • NIcky

      I know that most Celtic fans are no angels and they would certainly not wish to be called angels but to be brainwashed by the anti-Catholic media in Scotland into the “one-is-as-bad-as-the-other” way of thinking is wrong. Celtic have won the last nine league titles in Scotland as well as winning both the cups for the last three years and there were no over-the-top celebrations far less riots in the streets.

      A thing that never ever gets mentioned in Scotland is the fact that in a crowd of 60,000 at Celtic Park every two weeks there must be between 10,000 – 12,000 protestants. There are also many other nationalities who are obviously not Catholic but it suits the bigots in the SMS to portray Celtic as a sectarian club with a 100% Catholic support. This is far from the facts but the haters don`t mind ignoring the facts to suit their own agendas.

      As far as being churchgoers, I don`t think that is part of the conditions in purchasing a season ticket but I know plenty of Celtic fans who are church attenders, so it is six and half-a-dozen.

      I think also that the Church has more important things to attend to first before interfering in football affairs. Anyway, why would anyone who doesn`t attend church listen to any clergyman?

      • “I know that most Celtic fans are no angels and they would certainly not wish to be called angels but to be brainwashed by the anti-Catholic media in Scotland into the “one-is-as-bad-as-the-other” way of thinking is wrong. Celtic have won the last nine league titles in Scotland as well as winning both the cups for the last three years and there were no over-the-top celebrations far less riots in the streets.”

        As recently as December, the Celtic fans were rioting outside their own stadium because they’d lost a football match with objects being thrown at the players and banners calling for the board to be shot dead.

        I was caught up in ‘celebrations’ after the 2019 Scottish Cup Final which saw High Street and the surrounding area in Glasgow taken over by mobs of Celtic supporters whilst drunken louts chanted ‘get the troops out’ as the police stood and watched. Out of where? The Trongate?

        Let’s not pretend that one group of mainly drunken men behaves differently from other groups of mainly drunken men – unless you genuinely believe in some notion of genetic superiority.

        The real story over the weekend is the unacceptable conduct of the First Minister and Justice Secretary and Police Scotland acting as a private army for the First Minister. These developments should worry everyone in Scotland, regardless of religion or what team they support.

        • William,

          If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know perfectly well that we are not slow to express our concerns about Scotland’s Government and agencies. Far from it. We could write the book…

      • Frankier,

        Your concluding question is one which I always love answering…

        Priests and bishops should speak out no matter WHO is listening. Let the chips fall where they will OR… (to paraphrase Our Lord, hope He doesn’t mind) – go out into the whole world and preach the Faith – until it’s time to shake off the dust…

        People used to complain when priests would lecture congregations about the fact that so many parishioners were lapsed, not coming to Mass regularly. “What’s the point in lecturing us” they would say “We’re here!”

        But their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, weren’t “here”. They, therefore, had to be the apostles, returning home to “spread the Faith”. Father says you’re to get to Mass next week, so…

  4. I was horrified to see the reports of the Rangers fans rioting in Glasgow. When I worked in Parkhead many years ago the hostility between Rangers and Celtic supporters was awful. It always ended up with religion being attacked by ignoramuses . All of these bigots on both sides were hardly in a church or chapel and did not know what they were arguing about. They were twisted and bitter. All of them. I had hoped that this was a thing of the past. Obviously, I was wrong.
    The clubs can only do so much. Rangers have made some effort over the years. They would never employ a Catholic or be associated with Catholics. Steven Gerrard, the current manager (although not a Catholic) was educated at Cardinal Heenan High School on Merseyside. The late Archbishop Scanlan held a Mass with all the Rangers team and officials after the Ibrox disaster.
    Sadly none of this has helped to improve the idiots who bring shame to Glasgow and the teams.

    • Garngad Lad,

      I’d assumed that the Rangers policy of never employing a Catholic player had been ended – now, you’ve got me wondering.

      It’s really very sad that such bigotry exists. However, I’d take issue with your claim that Celtic fans are just as bigoted – “twisted and bitter on both sides” – because, despite not being practising, most of them will have been subject to some level of Catholic education and will have been taught that we must never hate anyone.

      What I’ve witnessed – to my amusement mingled with confusion – are Celtic fans who hold a defensive position towards Catholicism, rather than any bigotry towards the Rangers/Protestant fans, if you know what I mean.

      If you don’t… ah well 😀

    • Garngad

      A priest, a Fr Curtin, if I remember correctly, won £100,000 on the football pools the week of the disaster and donated it to the disaster fund. It made no difference!

      I firmly believe that if it hadn`t been for the existence of Celtic Football Club in Scotland that a divided Catholic society would have been severely persecuted and by their own neighbours even.

      Only my opinion, based on experience though.

      • Frankier,

        Passing over in near silence any commentary on whether Fr Curtin should have been gambling on the football pools in the first place, it was very generous of him to hand over his win to help at the time of the Ibrox disaster. I’m sure it did make a difference – someone’s mind and heart is sure to have been touched.

  5. Yes, Nicola said that without providing any evidence of it at all. It was the latest in a long line of shameful conduct by our politicians. Nor did she have any issue with large crowds gathering in Pollokshields the day before or a pro-Palestine demonstration in George Square the day after. Perhaps the virus is able to tell the difference between ‘good’ reasons and ‘bad’ reasons. Perhaps Sturgeon knew her position lacked credibility so made up nonsense about ‘anti-Catholic bigotry’ without bothering to cite any evidence.

    You would need to be wired to the moon to think Nicola Sturgeon and her Government give two hoots about the teachings of the Catholic Church or the sensibilities of genuine Catholics.

    • William,

      I wasn’t there on Saturday but if I’d known that there would be a bunch of Rangers supporters going to descend on George Square, I’d have avoided the place like the… er… plague. Nobody needs to have spent years watching episodes of Miss Marple to know what would happen, what insults would be hurled at Holy Mother Church and anybody seen wearing a Miraculous Medal.

      You are certainly correct to highlight the inconsistency in the response of politicians and police to large gatherings given the supposed “Covid” restrictions but, to be fair, it would have been impossible for the police to ignore the mob violence on Saturday and still retain any level of credibility. Given the “go easy” policing of Orange marches year in and year out, however, nobody could accuse Police Scotland of being anti-Protestant.

      Just think about that because it highlights – what you find hard to recognise – that the Rangers fans (or at least those who involve themselves in anti-Catholic behaviour) are being true to their cause: protesting against Catholicism. That is precisely what defines a Protestant. They are protesting against the Catholic Church. Obviously, with church-going Protestants the protest remains on an academic level, differences in doctrine, religious observance etc., but with those who haven’t a clue, it tends to be… well… just protesting if you get my drift, and with a few bottles of the hard stuff being passed around, the crowd soon turns into a mob… And the rest is, sadly, history.

      Saint Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland, pray for us! .

  6. Frankier beat me to it – I really don’t see what Celtic have to do with this at all.

    It was Rangers fans who trashed Glasgow twice in three months, and trashed Manchester and Barcelona in years gone by. I think the continual “whataboutery” as regards Celtic is a deliberate deflection tactic on the part of the partisan Scottish commentariat – it attempts to portray the issue as “both sides as bad as each other” which simply isn’t the case. It also attempts to undermine the intellectual credibility of legitimate aspirations of Irish statehood, unity, and self-determination by falsely equating them with bigoted Orangist thuggery.

    The sad truth is that Rangers FC is Europe’s largest, most successful, and enduring organised supremacist hate group The fact that it just so happens to have a football team too is neither here nor there.

    There was an excellent article about this in The Scotsman yesterday which was uncharacteristic of the typical Scottish media comment in its frankness in this regard.

    https://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/rangers/rangers-the-superiority-syndrome-and-anti-catholic-bigotry-why-it-cannot-go-unchallenged-any-more-3240210

    • Wow. One wonders if the Editor will keep this post up and if she considers it in line with Catholic teachings.

      It is up there with the worst kind of racist literature and the person who posted it should be utterly ashamed of themselves.

      • William,

        I’ve read this whole thread and I can’t see any racism at all. What Catholic teachings do you mean when you say this post is not in line with Catholic teachings? Can you say which Catholic teachings it is not in line with?

    • Chris,

      That is a very surprising article form The Scotsman – impressive. I copied this extract, in case William misses it 😀

      “These anti-Catholic/anti-Irish sentiments have been responsible for the club having sections of Ibrox closed by UEFA for European games twice – twice! – inside the past two years. They have never faced any such sanctions domestically, ever, for the fact that, what the European body called “racist behaviour – which includes sectarian singing”, is heard often in their Scottish football matches. When that happens, it is very rarely recorded in any media outlets, and practically never called out by government and police. It can be little surprise then that people feel emboldened to behave as they did in and around George Square on Saturday evening.

      The anti-Catholic/Irish sentiments to which the journalist refers, included insults using the term “Fenian”.

      It reminds me of a documentary I watched some years ago, where young Scots lads – inmates – were interviewed in a prison, presumable following sectarian charges, because they were questioned about their anti-Catholic sentiments. One young lad was asked what he thought “Fenian” means, and he looked around for a few seconds before saying that he didn’t really know: “It’s just what you call Catholics, isn’t it?”!

  7. If you say what it is that you object to, and why, then it is possible for us to have a conversation about it. Otherwise we’re at a dead end. I don’t believe there is anything in my post, or The Scotsman article which is incorrect.

    • Yes, you never encounter a bigot who says his views are irrational, let alone incorrect.

      “Those Rangers fans do that. Those Celtic fans never do that. Rangers are a supremacist hate group.”

      Let’s imagine your brilliant logic applied to other groups.

      “Those blacks do that. Whites would never do that. Blacks are a supremacist hate group.”

      “Those Jews do that. Catholics would never do that. Jews are a supremacist hate group.”

      Do you understand where you went wrong? Do you see why your views are unfit for a decent society and that you should be utterly ashamed? Have you never, at any time, reflected on your views and thought deeply about them? Now is a great opportunity for you. How can you go to church and have such a dark heart towards your neighbour? Do you think the Lord doesn’t know? Repent.

      • 1. Celtic supporters didn’t trash Glasgow twice in the last three months during a public health emergency. Rangers did do that.
        2. Celtic didn’t trash Manchester in 2008. Rangers did do that.
        3. Celtic supporters don’t choose to have an anthem celebrating the founder of the British branch of the Ku Klux Klan (look up the name “Billy Fullerton”). Rangers do do that.

        Do you understand where you went wrong?

        I never said Celtic fans were perfect. But they were responsible in absolutely no way whatsoever for the TWO occasions in the last ten weeks when Glasgow city centre was laid waste by tens of thousands of drunken yobs fighting with each other, throwing bottles at police, assaulting ethnic minorities, jumping on police transit vans, climbing on buildings, abusing ambulance drivers because they have green uniforms, throwing traffic bollards at riot police, firing explosive fireworks in a crowd, urinating and defecating in the street, and rejoicing in singing about murdering people. (I’ll happily reproduce video evidence of all of these if you want to see it.) No Celtic supporters were responsible for any of that, in any way, whatsoever. Moreover there are no occasions you can point to any time when they did. The hundred or so people who protested outside Celtic Park in December was a completely different event, both in quality and in scale.

        As for Rangers being “Europe’s largest, most successful, and enduring organised supremacist hate group”, I completely stand by that remark. If you disagree perhaps you can name me a bigger one, a more successful one, or a more enduring one.

        The revelry of thuggery and hate on display in Glasgow last weekend was pure evil straight from Hell. If anyone else had behaved that way I would be just as forthright about their behaviour, but it wasn’t anyone else, it was Rangers, YET AGAIN.

        It is perfectly possible to understand that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and endowed with a unique sacred dignity thereby, whilst at the same time recognising that those same creatures are nonetheless capable of evil. These two ideas are not contradictory, and in fact are essential to the distinguishing of sin from sinner. This is an elementary moral concept which is central to Catholic moral understanding, not opposed to it.

        • You seem to believe that the Lord’s words about removing the beam from your own eye applies to other people and not to you.

          Editor – nasty personal remark removed. If you can’t make your points academically, then they’re obviously not worth a fig. Don’t blog here unless you can debate intelligently and without making nasty personal remarks.

      • William,

        I don’t know much about football or even about the “Old Firm” battles but I have read Chris’s comments and they are perfectly rational. You are misinterpreting him – he’s not saying Celtic fans don’t do wrong, but the truth is that the bigotry is on those who hate the Catholic Church – that’s just a fact. We are not taught to hate the Protestant churches, not at all.

          • William,

            I assume (and sincerely hope) that you are not a lawyer because you seem unable to grasp the concept of providing evidence for statements.

            I also assume that you are a NOT a Catholic – am I right about that?

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