Present in the public gallery watching this recent discussion in the Scottish Parliament, we see Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh, Barbara Coupar, the Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES), and a group of students.
Not one item on Elaine Smith’s list singles out Catholic schools as being any different from any other school in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK.
Yet, (or which explains why) one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) after another, praised Catholic schools to the skies.
The buzzwords are all there – inclusive, diversity blah blah, how Catholic schools are teaching about all religions, nothing to worry about here. Hiding in plain sight as ever, of course, the fact that the one religion not being taught in Catholic schools is Catholicism. Nobody asked why Catholic pupils are leaving Catholic schools able to name the five pillars of Islam but unable to name the precepts of the Church. I mean who teaches that Sunday Mass attendance is obligatory, any more? Or that sex outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is sinful? Who teaches that any more? Nothing to see here, move along…
One useful comment in the video comes from Baptist, John Mason, MSP for Glasgow Shettleston – scroll to 39.50, to hear him argue that there should be room in “the public square” for the expression of faith-based values, just as humanists are allowed free rein to express their views.
John Swinney, MSP, SNP Minister for Education, the one and same John Swinney whom we saw squirming in another video as he defended the disgraceful sex teaching materials in use in Scottish schools, also sang the praises of Catholic schools. Pause for thought, right there, folks… He makes a point of telling us that his own son attends a Catholic (shared campus) school, no problem. And why would there be a problem? His son, like every other pupil in any Catholic school in Scotland, is never going to be taught that “outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation” – and other key dogmas. Not in a million years. Which is about as long as it is likely to take to end the current crisis in the Church and get back to teaching the Faith, entire and true, without any watering down to accommodate “society”.
If you haven’t yet booked your ticket for the Catholic Truth Education Seminar scheduled to take place next May, we strongly recommend that you do so as soon as possible – there is, after all, plenty to discuss…
As a matter of courtesy, I’ve emailed the link to this conversation to the three MSPs named in the above commentary – Elaine Smith, MSP, John Mason, MSP and John Swinney, MSP / Minister for Education in the Scottish Government. So, remember the House Rules – no personal remarks, no politics – stick to the issue(s).
American Blogger, Margaret USA, is keen for us to discuss the following article, taken from One Peter Five blog…
“… thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” (Matt 16:18-19)
It is a truth revealed by God that there is absolutely no salvation outside of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ, instituted by Jesus Christ for the sanctification and salvation of the souls of men; how could there possibly be salvation outside the society instituted by Jesus Christ for our salvation?
The Catholic Church is not an invisible society, but a visible one, and there are not two Churches, one visible and the other invisible. It follows from this that it is necessary for salvation to be a member of the visible Catholic Church. There is no invisible Catholic Church. However, it is possible that a person could be, invisibly, a member of the Catholic Church, which is visible. Thus, a person in invincible ignorance of the true Faith who does not know of the necessity of membership in the Church for his salvation would not be held by the Almighty as guilty of a sin that he is not responsible for. Such a person might be, by grace, a member of the Catholic Church.
It is extremely dangerous, to say the least, to remain outside the Catholic Church, whenthe Catholic Church is the divinely instituted means of our salvation. One becomes a member of the Catholic Church either by baptism or by grace, and, visibly speaking, one becomes a visible member of the Catholic Church by baptism, because that is precisely the visible ceremony that makes men members of the Church. But Protestants, who do have a valid baptism, are not Catholics; for the Church is defined as the visible society of those who profess the faith of Christ, partake of the same Sacraments, and are united under the government of their lawful pastors under one visible head (that is, the pope). Protestants are, however, in an imperfect but real (or, to put it the other way, a real but imperfect) communion with us, and they are Christians, but they are not per se members of the Catholic Church. Catholics have used the phrase “separated brethren” to denote Protestants (and, I suppose, Orthodox and others) for two hundred years or so. The Second Vatican Council uses the phrase “fratres a nobis sejuncti” — the brethren separated from us. The word “separated” denotes the imperfection of the communion; the word “brethren” denotes the real communion that is, nevertheless, imperfect.
To state “there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” does not mean that no Protestant, Jew, Muslim, etc., could be saved, but if he were saved, it would be by virtue of the Catholic Church and not his erring sect or religion. If he were saved, it would be because he was, by grace (or in the case of Protestants, by baptism), a member of the Catholic Church. Everyone who is in heaven is a member of the Church Triumphant and, ipso facto, a Catholic.
I do not think many people will deny that there are good and holy people in other religions. But this does not lessen the importance of the fact that all the graces in the world enter the world through the Catholic Church.
A person who knows that the Catholic Church is the true Faith, and refuses to enter it, cannot be saved. This is the perennial teaching of the Magisterium and is affirmed by the Second Vatican Council in the document Lumen Gentium.
The Catholic Church is the Church. It is not a part of the Church, or a denomination of the Church; it is the religion instituted by Jesus Christ, outside which there is no salvation. It is the only religion instituted by God Himself, and it is the only religion pleasing to God.
It is the duty of all men on Earth to enter the Catholic Church and to submit to her authoritative teaching. It is God who speaks to men, not through Scripture only, but also through the Sacred Tradition and the universal Magisterium of His Church. We must believe what Christ teaches us through His Church; faith that is at least implicit, in all that God has revealed, is necessary for salvation (and there are certain truths also that must be believed explicitly).
It is a great sin against charity to encourage people to persevere in their errors. Error will not save anyone. The truth of Jesus Christ — which includes the truth of His Church, which is His Immaculate Bride and His Mystical Body — will save people. People have a right to the full truth of the Gospel and should not be denied any part of it. They therefore have a right to know the truth: that Catholicism is the true religion; that the Catholic Church is the Church of God, which is endowed with authority, infallibility, and indefectibility, and will teach the true Faith and preserve the sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ until the end of time. Membership in it is necessary for salvation. Source
[Author] David Mitchell was born in England and lives there his wife, whom he married in December 2018. David was educated at the University of Durham and was received into the Catholic Church in 2008, while he was a student. He has a B.A. in music and an M.A. in performance and sings in his church choir, where he and his wife met. He has taught music and Latin and currently undertakes freelance music work.
After King Henry VIII proclaimed himself supreme head of the Church in England and Wales, a violent wave of anti-Catholic persecution began – and lasted over a century. It started with the executions of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, but didn’t end there. Hundreds were killed between 1535 and 1679; the Church recognized the heroism of 40 martyrs from England and Wales in a canonization ceremony on October 25, 1970. (Later, a separate feast on May 4 was created to recognize the 284 canonized or beatified martyrs of the English Reformation.)
The group of 40 martyrs celebrated on October 25 contains a variety of Catholics. The group is composed of “13 priests of the secular clergy, three Benedictines, three Carthusians, one Brigittine, two Franciscans, one Augustinian, 10 Jesuits and seven members of the laity, including three mothers.”
The martyrs were gruesomely tortured before being hanged or killed, but remained steadfast in their faith, refusing to renounce their Catholicism.
Many of the saints were jovial at the prospect of death.
Cuthbert Mayne, a secular priest, replied to a gaoler who came to tell him he would be executed three days later: “I wish I had something valuable to give you, for the good news you bring me…” Edmund Campion, a Jesuit, was so pleased when taken to the place of execution that the people said about him and his companions: “But they’re laughing! He doesn’t care at all about dying…”
One striking story of heroism under extreme torture comes from the martyrdom of a laywoman, Margaret Clitherow.
She was accused “of having sheltered the Jesuits and priests of the secular clergy, traitors to Her Majesty the Queen”; but she retorted: “I have only helped the Queen’s friends” … On Friday March 25th, 1588, at eight o’clock in the morning, Margaret, just thirty-three years old, left Ouse Bridge prison, barefooted, bound for Toll Booth … Her arms were stretched out in the shape of a cross, and her hands tightly bound to two stakes in the ground. The executioners put a sharp stone the size of a fist under her back and placed on her body a large slab onto which weights were gradually loaded up to over 800 pounds. Margaret whispered: “Jesus, have mercy on me.” Her death agony lasted for fifteen minutes, then the moaning ceased, and all was quiet.
Their resolve in the face of certain death is inspiring. They show us that our life on earth is indeed very short and what truly matters is our faithfulness to God. As St. Thomas More famously said: “I die the king’s faithful servant, but God’s first.”
Here is a list of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales,whom we can invoke for their intercession in whatever persecution we may be enduring.
St. John Almond St. Edmund Arrowsmith St. Ambrose Barlow St. John Boste St. Alexander Briant St. Edmund Campion St. Margaret Clitherow St. Philip Evans St. Thomas Garnet St. Edmund Gennings St. Richard Gwyn St. John Houghton St. Philip Howard St. John Jones St. John Kemble St. Luke Kirby St. Robert Lawrence St. David Lewis St. Anne Line St. John Lloyd St. Cuthbert Mayne St. Henry Morse St. Nicholas Owen St. John Payne St. Polydore Plasden St. John Plessington St. Richard Reynolds St. John Rigby St. John Roberts St. Alban Roe St. Ralph Sherwin St. Robert Southwell St. John Southworth St. John Stone St. John Wall St. Henry Walpole St. Margaret Ward St. Augustine Webster St. Swithun Wells St. Eustace White Source
So? Our nearest cousins will be celebrating the Feast of the 40 martyrs of England & Wales on Thursday next, 25 October. So? They suffered and died for the Faith during the Reformation – centuries ago. What – if anything – do they have to teach us, today? We’ve moved on from those days, when people were tortured and killed for their beliefs. We’re ecumenical now, we’re tolerant, we embrace equality and diversity… What on earth do medieval martyrs have to teach us enlightened folk today… Shouldn’t the Feast days of martyrs be removed form the calendar, as a goodwill gesture, in the name of ecumenical progress? Seriously? Or, should that be “satirically”… 😀
The question for discussion really has to be: what is the most important thing the martyrs have to teach us all – north and south of the English border in this modern age? And if you have a particular favourite saint among the 40 martyrs, share that with us…
Editor:it is a common error, repeated often in homilies/sermons, that the Church was “born” at Pentecost. We need only recall the Petrine verses in the Gospel, and Christ’s final command to his apostles prior to his Ascension into Heaven: “Go out into the whole world and baptize…” to recognise that this claim is false. The apostles were strengthened at Pentecost, their faith renewed so that they had the courage to come out of hiding and obey Christ’s Ascension command to go into the whole world and spread the Faith. The Church, however, was established by Christ Himself during His time on earth, as amply reported in the New Testament.
Below, extracts from a short article on the subject…
Every Christian believes that Jesus Christ established and sustains a community of faith, hope and love for all believers. This community we call His Church. The Church that Christ founded is the Catholic Church which has a formal earthly structure established by Christ and which continues under His authority and protection.
Jesus did three things that established the framework of His Church. First, He chose humans to carry out His work. He appointed Peter to be the visible head of the Church. Jesus said to Peter, “You are Rock and on this rock I will build my Church.” (Matthew 16: 18) Jesus said “build,” as in to create a structure. Jesus built His structure on specifically chosen human beings Peter and the apostles.
Second, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles the power and authority to carry out His work. “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.”(Matthew 16:19; 18:18) “Receive the Holy Spirit, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, whose sins you retain, they are retained.”(John 20:23)
Third, Jesus gave Peter and the apostles commands as to what that work should be. At the last supper, He commanded, “Do this in memory of Me.” (Luke 22:19) He commanded them to “Make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19), and to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
The early Church was structured in a hierarchical manner as it is today. We see in Acts, chapter 15 how the apostles and the elders came together under the leadership of St. Peter to decide the question of what was required of Gentiles. We also see how St. Peter was regarded as the head of the Church when St. Paul, “Went up to Jerusalem to confer with Cephas [Peter] and remained with him fifteen days.” (Galatians 1:18) There is no Scriptural evidence of independent local churches.
The Catholic Church is the only church that can claim to have been founded by Christ personally. Every other church traces its lineage back to a mere human person such as Martin Luther or John Wesley. The Catholic Church can trace its lineage back to Jesus Christ who appointed St. Peter as the first pope. This line of popes has continued unbroken for almost 2,000 years.
God rules, instructs and sanctifies His people through His Church. Under her teaching office, the Catholic Church preserves the Word of God. She is the custodian, keeper, dispenser and interpreter of teachings of Christ. And she accomplishes this under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Source
It is important to note that there was never any time when the Church was known as “Christian Church” – never. From the earliest times, the Church was called the “Catholic Church”. The adjective “Roman” was added during the Reformation period by the Protestant Reformers to push their heresy that the Church is made up of “branches” – of which those who adhere to Rome are but one part. Click here to read more. There is one exception to the writer’s claim that “RC” is not used in official Church documents, and that exception is found in Humani Generis # 27 – click here. However, Pope Pius XII is a recent pontiff, so the facts stand, as detailed in the article How Did the Catholic Church Get Her Name?
What, if any, difference does it make if priests preach that Pentecost celebrates “the birth of the Church”?
Testimony featured in Diverse Gender Identities and Pastoral Care includes the demand for a “21st century” update to the “patriarchal” Scriptures, and complaints that “Christian culture” makes life hard for “gender nonconforming” individuals. “I struggle with the wording of the Lord’s Prayer because I see God as my parent not my father,” writes Andrew, stating that: “God is genderless to me: it’s not father God it is parent God.”
“The Scriptures are very patriarchal; we need to update them for the 21st century,” adds the churchgoer, who was born female but identifies as a man. Read entire report here, but note, it contains crudities – which almost prevented me from posting this thread. However, it’s crucial to our understanding of the depth of depravity in the C of S and – if the Scottish Bishops do not withdraw from all ecumenical activity – the depth of the loss of Catholic Faith and Morals of the Scottish Bishops who, by their complicit silence, reveal their acceptance of this depravity.
Take a look at this Open Letter from the former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland (Thanks Martin Luther, John Knox et al, for all the confusion you’ve caused) addressed to Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, dated 1st April, 2016. Let’s hope he is still of the same opinion – in any event, I doubt if there is much enthusiasm for ecumenism within the Free C of S. I’ve just paid a flying visit to their official website and can see no mention of it. And little wonder – it’s pointless, is it not? Should the Bishops withdraw the Catholic Church from all ecumenical endeavour and simply return to seeking converts, following the example of Our Lord Himself who told us that if we wish to follow Him we must give up everything – which, self-evidently includes depravity…
From La Croix International: Cardinal Müller ‘bitter and concerned’ with Church’s direction – 29 November, 2017…
Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller / Alberto PizzolI / AFP “There is a front made up of traditionalist groups as well as a number of progressives, who would like to see me lead a movement against the pope, but I will never do it.”
These were the words of Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Massimo Franco, columnist at the Italian daily Il Corriere dela Sera, in an interview published on Sunday, November 26.
Müller, who has previously distanced himself from a series of pontifical moves, revealed that he was both bitter and concerned with the direction the Church is taking.
Insisting that he believed in “the unity of the Church”, Cardinal Müller nevertheless called on Church authorities “to listen to those who have serious questions and fair complaints”.
“We must not ignore them or, worse, humiliate them,” he emphasized.
“If not, without intending it, the risk of a slow separation may grow and lead to a schism by a section of the Catholic world that feels disoriented and disappointed,” Cardinal Müller warned.
“The history of Martin Luther’s Protestant schism 500 years ago should indicate the kind of mistakes we need to avoid,” he said.
Although he had previously harshly criticized his dismissal as the head of the Congregation for the Faith, he revealed several new aspects of this in his Corriere interview.
Pope Francis reportedly said to him that “certain people have told me anonymously that you are my enemy”.
“After forty years of service to the Church,” he lamented, “gossips are making such absurd comments, creating doubts in the mind of the pope when they would have done better to visit a psychiatrist.”
Reaffirming his loyalty to Pope Francis, Cardinal Müller claimed that the pontiff’s “real friends are not those who flatter him” but “those who assist him with the truth and with theological and human expertise”.
He had severe words for the “detractors” whom he blamed for his departure from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Refuting the notion of a plot against the pope as “an absolute exaggeration”, he admitted that significant “tensions” exist in the Church at present.
“I believe that the cardinals who expressed their doubts on Amoris Laetitia or the 62 signatories to a letter making critical comments about the pope, including some which were excessive, should be listened to and not swept aside with the back of the hand as if they were Pharisees or malcontents,” Cardinal Müller said.
What is needed is “free and frank dialogue,” he added.
Instead, he feared that people within the pope’s “magic circle” are “worried primarily about spying on perceived enemies, preventing open and balanced discussion”.
In a sign of his good faith, Cardinal Müller recently issued a public defense of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation on the family, which has crystallized the various conflicts.
“To classify all Catholics as ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’ of the pope is the greatest evil that they cause to the Church,” Cardinal Müller insisted.
“People are perplexed when they see a well-known journalist, who is also an atheist, claim to be a friend of the pope, while a Catholic bishop and cardinal like me, is defamed as an opponent of the pope.
“I don’t think that these people are in a position to give theology lessons on the primacy of the sovereign pontiff,” he said.
Compared to Benedict XVI’s pontificate, the Church now seems “weaker,” Cardinal Müller continued.
“There are fewer and fewer priests yet we are offering answers that are more organizational, political or diplomatic than theological and spiritual,” he said.
“The Church is not a political party based on power struggles. We need to discuss existential issues about life and death, the family, and religious vocations and not always ecclesiastical politics,” he added.
“Pope Francis is popular and that’s a good thing. However, people are no longer receiving the sacraments. And his popularity among those Catholics who enthusiastically quote him, unfortunately, does not change their false convictions,” the cardinal insisted.
It is now necessary to go beyond the notion of a Church as a “country hospital”, Cardinal Müller said, citing an expression popularized by Pope Francis.
He said, instead, that the world needs a “Silicon Valley” Church.
“We need to become the Steve Jobs of the faith and transmit a powerful vision in terms of moral and cultural values,” the cardinal claimed. [Emphases added] Source – La Croix International
Is the Cardinal over-egging the crisis? Or do you agree that we are in danger of schism?
The review is charged with considering whether existing hate crime law represents the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice..
Commenting on the review, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan who submitted a detailed response on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said:
“This process is an opportunity, ultimately, to ensure that the legislation is just and that every group is protected. This does not have to be a “zero sum game” where one group “wins” and another “loses” but rather could be an opportunity to rationalise and simplify legislation. A desirable outcome would be a single aggravation such as section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. Applied to all protected characteristics equally, it would be a simple and straightforward “message.” which would foster harmony in that all groups would be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”
Mr Horan added:
“It is important that any legislation, preserves judicial discretion recognising that Scotland has a Criminal Justice System populated by highly trained prosecutors and Judges. They are best placed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual cases and should be free to do so in the absence of their decision being “politicised” by legislation which creates a perceived “scandal” where none exists.”
The Church response also highlights Scotland’s long history of anti-Catholicism and urges Government recognition be given to the historic roots of present conflicts. Pointing out that for over twenty years successive Scottish Governments have dedicated significant resources into programmes and projects designed to tackle the symptoms of sectarianism. The submission adds, that in the same period the growth in such funding has been matched by an increase in religious hate crime.
The response notes, that “an opportunity exists to acknowledge that anti-Catholic sectarianism is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other types of religious hate crime in Scotland. Instances of anti-Catholicism outnumber all other type of religious hate crime combined, in a country where Catholics represent only 16% of the population. This is a product of the Reformation Parliament of 1560 and its condemnation of Catholic doctrine and worship including the ban on the celebration of all Catholic sacraments. No other religion or belief has ever been so proscribed in Scotland, the legacy of this proscription continues to the present day. A recommendation by this review, that the Scottish Government consider issuing a collective, retrospective apology could go some way towards building, repairing and renewing bonds between communities harmed by historical wrongdoing. It could also be the first step in addressing historical iniquities.” ENDS
Click hereto read the full text of the Church’s response to the Hate Crime review
We can’t speak for lapsed Catholics, but it is simply not possible for a truly practising Catholic to be filled with hate and that’s what defines bigotry. Many of us, myself included, count members of non-Catholic communities among our families and friends. There is no way that I can even begin to comprehend what it must be like to hate someone for any reason – let alone on account of their religion. Christ told us to go out into the whole world and convert – not kill, not hate. He explicitly told us that it is just not possible to love God if we hate our neighbour (1 John 4:20).
The fact is, though, that there is much hatred directed against Catholicism, and it is sadly true that anti-Catholic behaviour is tolerated in Scotland – to the point where it is effectively institutionalised. Below, a short video clip showing an annual public demonstration of this institutionalised bigotry – the Orange Walk(s) which take place throughout the summer. These events, which are permitted by the local political authorities and supported by the police, testify to the tolerance of anti-Catholic sentiment and behaviour by the powers-that-be in Scotland. The participants sing offensive songs – some of the lyrics of one of the most popular Orange songs is placed under the video, to give a flavour of what goes on during these marches, although the one on film below is relatively mild.
As you watch, ask yourself if such a hate-march would be permitted against Muslims. Ask, yourself, too, if the Editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer was right to invite the Grand Master of the Orange Lodge to write a column in the paper a few short years ago… Is that really what Catholics want to take home and leave lying on the coffee table? Albeit in the name of fostering ecumenical relationships? Howzabout the Grand Master cancels the annual Orange Marches in the name of ecumenism?
“The Sash My Father Wore” Lyrics Sure I’m an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin’s Isle I came To see my Glasgow brethren all of honor and of fame And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore All on the twelfth day of July in The Sash My Father Wore. Chorus: It is old but it is beautiful, and its colors they are fine It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne. From my orange and purple forefather it descended with galore It’s a terror to them Papish boys, The Sash My Father Wore. [emphasis added].