UK: Anti-Lockdown Protest Turns Violent – Surprised (It Took So Long) Folks?

Eight police officers have been injured as anti-lockdown protests in central London turned violent.

a close up of a person holding a sign: Anti-lockdown protesters hold a placard at a protest in Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)© Dominic Lipinski Anti-lockdown protesters hold a placard at a protest in Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Demonstrators hurled bottles as officers attempted to disperse the crowds in Hyde Park on Saturday evening, the Metropolitan Police said.

Photographs posted on social media show a female police officer bleeding from a cut to her head, while another suffered a similar wound on his forehead.

a person holding a sign: An anti-lockdown protester holding a placard at Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
© Provided by PA Media An anti-lockdown protester holding a placard at Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Two officers were taken to hospital, although their injuries are not believed to be serious, the Met said.

The protests, which also took place on Oxford Street, come almost two weeks after Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased.

Five people were arrested for offences including assault on police and remain in custody, the Met said.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, tweeted: “These officers are just doing a job, they’re somebody’s son, daughter they’re mums and dads.

“To be targeted in the way they are says a lot about the society we’ve become.

“I will continue to do my best to support them but I need Government to do more, much more.”

Demonstrators held banners with messages such as: “Covid-19 Vaccine Holocaust”, and: “No To Vaccine Passports.”

Another banner read: “You don’t need proof to know truth.”

a group of people standing in front of a crowd holding a sign: People at an anti-lockdown protest in Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
© Provided by PA Media People at an anti-lockdown protest in Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Earlier in the day, the Met said a 38-year-old man was arrested near Embankment on suspicion of a public order offence, while a 37-year-old man was arrested near Trafalgar Square on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and a public order offence.

The force said both men had been taken into custody as inquiries continue.

Shoppers flocked to high streets and drinkers downed pints as coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England on April 12.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the nation to “behave responsibly” as indoor gyms, swimming pools, nail salons and zoos welcomed customers back.

a man holding a sign: A protester in Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
© Provided by PA Media A protester in Hyde Park (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

A Government review into “Covid status certification” said they could “potentially play a role” in settings such as theatres, nightclubs and mass events, and might also be used in pubs and restaurants to reduce social distancing restrictions.

The documents would record – either on an NHS app or a paper certificate – whether someone has had a vaccine, a recent negative coronavirus test or natural immunity, having recovered from Covid-19.  Source

Comment: 

At last, some people are waking up to the truth that we are being controlled and that it has nothing to do with any virus. Arguably, the only thing surprising about the violence mentioned in the above report is that it has taken so long.  We’ve published one article after another giving facts and figures to disprove Government claims that lockdowns are necessary; one letter after another sent to various politicians and “experts”, demonstrating that we know they are lying to us about the “cases” and the “deaths” – with none of the recipients ever replying to challenge the data.

So, is today’s lockdown protest in London (and there was another one in Glasgow) likely to prove a turning point?  Will the politicians realise that they are pushing us much too far into totalitarianism, and we ain’t having it?  Or what?

We need to pray urgently for wisdom for our political and religious leaders…  St Thomas More, pray for us.  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.   

Church in Chaos: Is Francis the First Ever Protestant Pope or the First Atheist Pope? 

Comment: 

Well?  What’s the answer to the headline question, in your opinion:  is Papa Francis the first ever Protestant Pope or the first ever Atheist pontiff?   

23 April: Feast of St George of England…

Comment: 

As with all Feast Day threads, feel free to discuss relevant issues, post favourite prayers, hymns, edifying stories and jokes of the “good clean fun” variety.  Seeing the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in the above video should move us to pray for the restoration of the Catholic religion in England – where there is any sign of devotion to Our Lady, there is much hope.  St George of England, pray for us!       

Happy Feast – especially to our English bloggers and readers. Enjoy!   

Irish Bishops Reaping What They Have Sown: Government Persecuting Church…

St Patrick didn’t manage to kick ALL snakes out of Ireland – evidently…

DUBLIN, Ireland, April 21, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Irish Catholics have faced months of persecution from the national government, with public worship banned since December and attempts to host services punishable by fines and prison time for ministers. Now, a new law has been passed which further tightens gatherings both indoors and outdoors, effectively criminalizing attendance at any religious gathering, including sacramental Confession with a priest.

The updated legislation, (S.I. 171/2021), enacted under the guise of public health and safety, renders meeting a priest for Confession a criminal offense in Ireland, punishable by up to six months in jail, or a fine of €127 (about $152 USD). 

There remains an arbitrary permission to attend weddings and funerals, albeit in limited numbers.

Oran Doyle, law professor and member of the COVID-19 Law and Human Rights Observatory at Trinity College, Dublin, explained on RTE Radio 1’s News at One, Sunday, the recent change to Irish law and why it is significant regarding Catholic worship and access of the faithful to the sacraments.

“What’s changed is really the legal treatment,” he explained. “Apart from the first lockdown last April/May, and the start of June 2020, there hasn’t been a legal prohibition on religious services.”

Doyle pointed out that the Irish government, until this point, “has talked in terms of ‘levels,’” with regard to the their lockdown regimes. These levels, or tiers of restrictions are supposedly based on the severity of the spread of COVID-19, with higher levels bringing about harsher impositions on social gatherings, and so on. “But really those levels aren’t always backed up by law, and the case of religious services in general … there was no legal prohibition [for attendance].”

The recent adjustment of law “is the first time that a clear, legal prohibition on religious services has been put in place, as I say, since the first lockdown last April/May,” Doyle informed listeners.  

In a statement, Ireland’s pro-abortion Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, attempted to quell fears that members of the Catholic Church, and indeed all religious observers, were being attacked by the new legislation, saying that the law “was not intended to single out worship.”

But Doyle flatly contradicted the minister’s claim. “Well that can’t be correct because previously in the legislation there was a clear ban on any events in your households and there was also a ban on what they described as ‘relevant events,’ which, in the law, has a very clear definition as events for social recreational purposes, things like that,” he said.

“So those type of events were already banned but religious events weren’t, and they seem to be the most obvious thing that was cut by this change in the law that was made last week,” he responded.

The new provision in law applies to any religious event, be it held indoors or outdoors. “That’s where it is different from the restrictions on other events,” Doyle said. “So, for example, if a priest were to do the sacrament of Confession with one parishioner outside, socially distanced, that would be a criminal offence; but if the priest were to meet the parishioner for a chat, that wouldn’t be a criminal offence because that’s dealt with under one of the other provisions or regulations.”

Doyle clarified that the offense, in such an instance, would be on the part of both the penitent and the confessor, both of whom “attend” the sacrament together in the same place and at the same time.

He added that, whilst the provision “doesn’t mention ‘religious purpose’” as a specific offending event, the new regulations “are made by the minister for health under the statute passed by the Oireachtas [Irish parliament] last March, and it’s the statute that defines events to include an event for religious purposes.”

“So when these regulations use the same word ‘event,’ in the way that it was used in the main statute, well then that meaning has to follow through,” Doyle explained.

Irish bishops continue attempts to dialogue with government officials

Commenting on the new “draconian” impositions on the Church in Ireland, the Primate of All-Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, characterized the statute as “provocative and formally enacting a potential infringement of religious freedom and of constitutional rights.”
Editor, Catholic Truth: Well, you didn’t show too much (if any) concern that your Government was infringing God’s right to have His Moral Law observed when you meekly sat by and watched as evil laws were enacted which legalise both the murder of  unborn babies and the sexual unions of same-sex couples.  So, no point getting all hoity toity about “infringements of religious freedom now”.  Justice towards  God is even more important than justice towards the rest of us. Think about it.

Martin expressed his “disappointment” that the Church faces tighter restrictions, despite “the consistent support from the churches for public health messaging since the beginning of the pandemic.” In fact, the support from the Irish Catholic hierarchy for oppressive government restrictions went so far as to see the Archbishop of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, voluntarily prohibit priests in his diocese from distributing Holy Communion to parishioners privately “[in] the interest of health and safety.”
Editor, Catholic Truth: As it says in the headline, the Irish bishops are getting precisely what they deserve. They are reaping what they have sown by not standing against these disgraceful lockdowns and restrictions from the get-go, but, instead,  actively co-ooperating with them. In other words, the Government is now treating the bishops with contempt, not “despite” their support for the unlawful pandemic measures but “because” of their support. Bullies never respect the bullied. Think about it; think, think, think, and when you’ve done that, think again. Yes, they are reaping – big time – what they have sown.   Galatians 6:7-8: ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’.

“[D]espite the reassurances of the Taoiseach [prime minister] to church leaders … that he understood the importance of faith and worship to the people of Ireland,” Martin said, “this statutory instrument was introduced in a clandestine manner and without notice or consultation. We consider this to be a breach of trust.”   Source
Editor, Catholic Truth: And you think that anyone (and I do mean anyone) cares what you think?  Your politicians are treating you – deservedly in my opinion – with contempt.  Get over it. 

Comment: 

Don’t misunderstand my injected commentary above – I think the Irish Government is a disgrace, just as I thought when they legalised abortion and same-sex “marriage”.  I’ve been consistent throughout.  The Irish bishops have not been thus consistent.  They are in the “let’s have our cake (social acceptance) and eat it” camp.  But, as St Paul says,  God will not be mocked and they are already, even in this life, getting what they deserve in terms of being held in utter contempt by the very politicians and people they’ve tried so hard to please.  And they’ve more to look forward to in the next life: ‘He who will deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in Heaven.’ (Matthew 10:33). 

So, feel free to criticise the Irish Government – they truly deserve it; but don’t forget that the real culprits are the bishops. I’ll email the link to this thread to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference  “across the water”. They’ll be thrilled.   

Florida Proves Lockdowns A Huge Mistake – A War on Freedoms… 

TALLAHASSEE, Florida, April 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he regrets ever shutting down his state, calling lockdowns a “huge mistake.”

“We wanted to mitigate the damage. Now, in hindsight, the 15 days to slow the spread and the 30 — it didn’t work,” DeSantis told the Epoch Times. “We shouldn’t have gone down that road.”

The governor had issued a 30-day stay-at-home order more lenient than most, with exceptions made for religious services and recreational activities, as well as “broadly defined” essential businesses.

“Our economy kept going,” DeSantis said. “It was much different than what you saw in some of those lockdown states.”

After the stay-at-home order, DeSantis phased in a reopening of the state, even as he was berated by lockdown proponents for his policies. Florida was fully reopened by Sept. 25, 2020, and DeSantis stood firm even as COVID-19 cases rose during the winter.

The governor said during a February press conference that the “result” of lockdowns has been “the destruction of millions of lives across America, as well as increased deaths from suicide, substance abuse, and despair, without any corresponding benefit in COVID mortality.”

“It’s been a huge, huge mistake in terms of policy,” DeSantis told the Epoch Times. “All I had to do was follow the data and just be willing to go forward into the teeth of the narrative and fight the media.”

“As people were beating up on me, what I said was I’d rather them beat up on me than have someone lose their job. I’d rather have them beat up on me than have kids locked out of school. I’m totally willing to take whatever heat comes our way because we’re doing the right thing.”

DeSantis’s policies have since been vindicated by Florida’s health numbers, by the state of its economy, and by the deep gratitude of Floridians whose businesses and livelihoods have been saved thanks to DeSantis.

Despite the fact that Florida’s population is the sixth oldest in the United States by median age, and that people over 55 account for 93 percent of COVID-19 deaths nationwide, Florida ranks 27th in the country for COVID-19 deaths per capita.

The state’s unemployment rate, as of early April 2021, is at 4.7 percent, compared to 6.2 percent nationally.

The full import of those numbers is revealed by the heartfelt words of Floridians, including business owners, who DeSantis said sometimes get emotional when they meet him.

According to the Epoch Times, “Several of the interactions with the governor at the Clay County Fair resembled that description. [A] visibly moved elderly veteran urged the governor to not ‘let them roll over us.’”

“I have a tough time paying for a meal in Florida just because I saved a lot of these restaurants from oblivion,” DeSantis said. The Epoch Times reported that “[h]ours after this claim, a curly fries stand at the fair declined to charge the governor.”

“If we hadn’t stood up, these people may not have jobs, the businesses may have gone under, the kids wouldn’t be in school, there’d be all these things,” DeSantis said. “This really, really impacts people in a very personal way.

DeSantis’s freedom policy and thriving state provides a telling contrast to Ontario, Canada, which has been particularly heavy-handed in its use of lockdowns since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ontario’s most recent stay-at-home order closed non-essential retail stores, and continues to restrict church attendance and deny Canadians the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Charter.

The order comes as excess deaths due to indirect consequences of the pandemic, such as drug overdoses and missed medical treatments, continue to skyrocket. These have prompted a group of emergency and intensive care physicians to write to Premier Doug Ford “calling for immediate and decisive action to ease the burden on hospitals.”

The physical and mental toll that the lockdowns have been taking on Canadians have led to the formation of the non-partisan “End the Lockdowns National Caucus.”

“After careful examination and scrutiny of mitigation measures undertaken by all levels of government, it is now evident that the lockdowns cause more harm than the virus and must be brought to an end,” a position statement of the group reads.

The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) reported in January how it’s seeing a “disturbing trend” of babies coming to the hospital with “fractures and head trauma” in the wake of COVID-related lockdowns across Ontario and Quebec. “In my 16 years at CHEO, I have never seen this many infants with serious maltreatment injuries,” said Dr. Michelle Ward, pediatrician and Medical Director for Child and Youth Protection at CHEO, in a Jan. 29 press release.

“This is a war on freedoms,” Randy Hillier, an independent Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP), told LifeSiteNews in a telephone interview.

“They want people to throw away their freedoms, throw away the things that are important to them, throw away family, throw away faith, throw away and discard all the essential components of human dignity, and they want to isolate and confine people,” he said.   Source

Comment:

How long before a UK politician shows the same honesty as that displayed by the Florida Governor who is not afraid to admit that he got things wrong, that lockdowns are a mistake?  A week after Hell freezes over?  A month?  A year?  Ten years?  How long, then?   It’s not easy to go against the crowd – the pub landlord who challenged the Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer over the damage caused by lockdowns here earlier this week, was mocked and ridiculed on Good Morning Britain, with the nasty in-house Dr Hilary Jones telling  him he should stick to pulling pints. Hardly surprising, then, really, that Boris & Nicola have decided to stick with the script.  So, again, what do you think – a week? A month? A year? Ten years? How long then? 

Bishops Closing Churches & Building Mosques: Crazy…Or Diversity in Action?

Christianity exhorts its adherents to be charitable, but it is really charitable to affirm people in a belief system that tells them that hatred, contempt, and violence are blessed by the deity? The question is pertinent because recently in Nigeria and France, Catholic bishops have used the money donated by their own Catholic people to build mosques for Muslims. Charity, foolishness, or both? History will be the judge, but we can see right now a great deal of what is coming.

Gloria.tv reported Saturday that in France, “Tours Diocese donated money for the construction of a local mosque,” and that “Tours Bishop Vincent Jordy justified his donation on April 15 with the fact that for John Paul II’s 1996 visit to the city, the local Muslims made a symbolic donation which the diocese wanted to reciprocate. Riposte-Catholique.fr adds that in 2015, Auch Diocese – where John Paul II never visited – donated €5000 for a mosque.” Also, the amount of the Muslims’ “symbolic donation” was not reported, but it is not likely to have been enough to build a church, much less two churches.

Meanwhile, Bishop Stephen Mamza of the Catholic Diocese of Yola in Nigeria is building houses in Yola for people who have lost their homes due to jihad terror activity by the Islamic group Boko Haram, whose official name is People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Proselytizing and Jihad. Since many of those displaced are Muslims whom Boko Haram didn’t think were Islamic enough, Bishop Mamza also built them a mosque.

In an interview in Nigeria’s Punch, Bishop Mamza explained that “at a certain stage we had over 3,000 people living on our church premises,” and “we thought of what we could do to improve their living standards.” Ultimately, with help from German backers, “we started last year in January the construction of 86 units of houses to be built for the 86 families still in our camp. On the housing estate, we built a church and a mosque and a school for the IDPs,” that is, Internally Displaced People.

Mamza maintained that building the mosque was a simple act of charity: “In the first place, when we played host to these IDPs, we did not discriminate against any one of them. We didn’t ask what religion the IDPs belong to; we didn’t ask for their church denomination; we just treated them as human beings who are in need of help, irrespective of their religion, denomination or tribe.” He explained that “if we were able to build houses for all of them, and also built a church for the Christians among them, then it is only a matter of justice and fairness that we also provide a space of worship for the few Muslims among them….I just felt that since we didn’t leave out the Muslims while providing food for the Christians or leave the Muslims out while building houses for the Christians, it is only just that we also build a mosque for the Muslims as we built a church for Christians.”

As good as this bishop’s intentions were, his gesture didn’t sit well with many Christians in a country where Islamic jihadis murdered a Catholic priest in March and burned a Catholic Church to the ground in February, and where jihadis killed 2200 Christians during 2020, an average of six every day. Would the mosque that Mamza built stop this jihad violence against Christians in Nigeria? Not likely. And so, Mamza recounted, “even from within, people did not see it as a good gesture, at all….Some of them even pointed out that the Boko Haram insurgents are Muslims and they have caused a lot of the havoc for us; they ask, ‘Why should we even go ahead and build a mosque for them?’ But I say, ‘Well, not all the Muslims are Boko Haram (members), not all of them (Muslims) are evil. Those that I know, that we have been living together and taking care of them for the past seven years, I know them to be good. So, there should be no reason why I should discriminate against them. I think that is the reason we built the mosque.’”

Of course that is true that not all Muslims are evil. It is odd, however, for a Christian entity to spend money on building a structure in which congregants will be taught that Jesus is not the Son of God and belief in the Trinity is “excess” (Qur’an 4:171, 19:35), and that Jesus was not crucified (Qur’an 4:157), and that those who believe in the divinity of Christ (that would include Bishop Mamza) are unbelievers (Qur’an 5:17), and that those who (like Bishop Mamza) believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed (Qur’an 9:30), and that Christians who do not accept Muhammad and the Qur’an must be fought against and subjugated under Islamic hegemony (Qur’an 9:29).

Also, a hadith has Muhammad predicting that Jesus will return at the end of the world and break the cross, as it is an insult to Allah’s power to say that he would have allowed one of his prophets to be crucified: “Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, ‘By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary [Jesus] will shortly descend amongst you people [Muslims] as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya [a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government]. Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts.’” (Bukhari 3.34.425)

So the gestures of these two bishops may be dangerous: the jihadis who attack his own people could be incited in the mosque he built. Now that may not matter to Bishops Mamza and Jordy. They are Christian clerics, and Christians are taught to “love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them, expecting nothing in return” (Luke 6:35). Very well. Still, in building a house where essential doctrines of Christianity will be denied, and the congregation will be exhorted to fight against Christians, subjugate them under Sharia, and make them pay the jizya (Qur’an 9:29), are they being loving to their Christian flocks? Does they have any obligation of charity to the Christians, or only to the Muslims? After all, it is their own people who may bear the consequences of what is taught in the mosques built with Church funds.

This mosque-building by Catholics is a mistaken idea of what constitutes charity, not surprising amid the general confusion of our age, in which being nice is routinely conflated with being charitable, when there are numerous instances in which they are not the same thing.

But for Catholics, what the Pope would say carries immense weight. Given Pope Francis’ actions since he became Bishop of Rome, Bishops Jordy and Mamza may be on the fast track to a Red Hat.  Click here to read above report at source…

Comment: 

If they don’t need to build Catholic churches in France or Nigeria, their financial charity would be welcome elsewhere in the Catholic world. No question about it.  Speaking of questions…

RCA Victor emailed the above report, with the query: “Could it possibly get any crazier”? 

Well, I was answering “no” to that question almost twenty years ago, so I’ll pass this time. Over to you!   

Defence of Latest Vatican Attempt to Kill Traditional Latin Mass – Convincing?

From the YouTube platform…

The Vatican recently released new regulations for the celebration of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica. These guidelines limit when priests can celebrate the Mass in the Extraordinary Form (the pre-Vatican II Mass rite) and also aim to increase participation of the faithful in these Masses. How can we understand these changes in the light of the Second Vatican Council’s liturgical reforms? Dr. Massimo Faggioli of Villanova University joins “Inside the Vatican” host Colleen Dulle to put these changes into the larger context of liturgical reform since Vatican II.

Comment: 

Note  (among many gaffes) that the long-term aim of this latest unconscionable attempt to banish the TLM is more or less clearly stated as erasing it from the memories of all those who favour it today. Indeed, we are described, contemptuously, as “fans of the old rite.”  Then, laughably, the “disunity” which has emerged in recent years is blamed on the TLM, not the destructive novelties which were introduced after Vatican II.  Talk about “upside down” – i.e. the diabolical disorientation foretold at Fatima in 1917.  

Whatever – is this latest attempt to eradicate all memory of the traditional Latin Mass likely to succeed, where the multifarious previous efforts have failed?  I’m in the “no way, get lost” camp.  What about you?  

USA: Who Are The Real Racists? 

Comment: 

The UK mainstream media perpetrates the myth that America is a “systemically racist” country.  I’ve only seen snippets of the news reports here of the Derek Chauvin trial but what I’ve seen has been wholly biased.  The USA mainstream media has been doing the same thing for a very long time now and the result of this brainwashing is that America is lawless – the mob rules.  Watching an American TV news report now is like a flashback to the old wild west films – incredible.  And who, in their right mind, would apply to be a police officer anywhere in the USA right now? On the contrary, I’m astounded that there hasn’t been a mass walkout of officers resigning their posts.  Talk about “can’t do right for doing wrong”.  

The same mob-rule might come to the UK.  We’ve already seen the authorities bend the knee (literally) to the Marxist Black Lives Matter brigade, and that when “policing” huge protests during lockdown.  No massive fines handed out on those occasions, when the [stupid] rules about “staying safe” were abandoned, wholesale.  

There are a number of well-known black public figures who speak out against the anti-white propaganda in the USA, and hopefully the same will happen here when things worsen, but the voices of sanity are being drowned out in what is a diabolical rage aimed at destroying Christian civilisation.  These people are not about truly cherishing “diversity” – they’re about division and destruction. 

The Pope, bishops and priests are enabling this division and destruction by falling for the myth of “systemic racism” – why are they doing this? Why are they not repeating essential (that is, very basic) Christian teaching about charity?  The Parable of the Good Samaritan?  Teaching about the great black saints in the Church’s calendar?  Why do they prefer (whether by their statements or silence) to, effectively, stoke the fires of division and destruction?

6/5: Scottish Elections: Should Catholics Withhold Vote in Protest at Tyranny? 

A general view of the Scottish Parliament Building 

Scottish Parliament Election 2021 – Putting Human Life and Dignity at the Centre

A letter from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This election [6 May, 2021] presents us with an opportunity to play our part in putting human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse.

We often see politics through a party prism, which can create a divisive, and occasionally fractious, political environment. Whilst party politics can be an important consideration, particularly in the Scottish Parliament list system, it is individuals who will make up the parliament and form a government; and some of the most important issues, including abortion and assisted suicide, are commonly decided by a conscience, or free, vote. Therefore, it is critical to ascertain candidates’ personal values and opinions and not concentrate solely on party policies.

As Catholics we have a duty: to share the Gospel and to help form the public conscience on key moral issues. It is a duty of both faith and citizenship.  This election is an opportunity to be the effective witness our Baptism calls us to be.

The new parliament and government will be tasked with leading the recovery from the damage wrought by the current health crisis and to tackle the significant impact it has had on many aspects of life including health care, mental health and wellbeing, religious freedom, and care for the poor. It must also build on the positives arising from the Pandemic, including caring for the most vulnerable, and a renewed sense of respect for human life, human dignity, and the value of community.

These are some of the issues you may want to consider in the forthcoming election:

 Beginning and end of life

It is the duty of parliamentarians to uphold the most basic and fundamental human right to life. Elected representatives ought to recognise the existence of human life from the moment of conception and be committed to the protection of human life at every stage. Caring for the unborn and their mothers is a fundamental measure of a caring and compassionate society; a society which puts human dignity at the centre.

We ought to be mindful of a further attempt to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, likely to happen in this parliament. Legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia suggests that some lives are not worth living, contrary to the Christian belief that every life has equal dignity and value. It is incumbent upon our parliamentarians to show compassion for the sick and dying. This is not achieved by assisted suicide or euthanasia but by ensuring support is provided through caring and attentive politics, including investment in palliative care.

Family and Work

Society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish. The love of man and woman in marriage and openness to new life is the basic, fundamental cell upon which every society is built. The wellbeing of Scotland and its future depends on the flourishing of family life and government should respond to this reality with policies creating economic and fiscal advantages for families with children.

The pandemic has placed immeasurable pressure on businesses and many people have lost their livelihood. The state has a duty to sustain business activities by creating conditions which will ensure job opportunities, especially in times of crisis. This must be accompanied by a just wage to provide a dignified livelihood for the worker and their family.

 Poverty, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Sadly, poverty remains a scourge for too many people. The marginalised, the homeless, and the lonely and isolated have been cast further adrift because of the pandemic. And poverty now affects 24% of children in Scotland. We need elected representatives who respect a preferential option for the poor, who are willing to prioritise their need and respect their human dignity.

Our government must also work with the international community to adopt an even more effective strategy against human trafficking and modern slavery, so that in every part of the world, men and women may no longer be used as a means to an end, and that their inviolable dignity will always be respected.

 Environment

The next group of MSPs will be tasked with protecting our neighbours at home and abroad from the poverty and climate crises which continue to rage on. In November Glasgow will play host to the COP26 international climate change summit. We should listen to Pope Francis’ call to ‘hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’ by lifting up the voices of the global south and coming together to rebuild our Common Home in a way that leaves no-one behind. Scotland can also demonstrate global leadership by strengthening its commitment to becoming a carbon neutral country.

 Free speech, free expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion

If Scotland is to be a tolerant, open, diverse country then we must be free to discuss and debate ideas, even those which are deemed by some to be controversial. Whilst being mindful of the need to protect citizens from hate, government must not overstep into the realm of unjust restrictions on free speech, free expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This must include, among others, the freedom to express belief in the biological reality of sex and gender.

 Catholic schools

The right of parents to choose a school for their children which corresponds to their own convictions is fundamental. Public authorities have a duty to guarantee this parental right and to ensure the concrete conditions for its exercise. Thus, parliamentarians ought to continue to support an open and diverse state education system which includes Catholic schools.

We pray that this election will put human life and the dignity of the human person at the centre, and that candidates will ensure debate is respectful and courteous.

We urge you to visit the website rcpolitics.org and to use the resources there to help you in your consideration of election issues and to use the tools available to question candidates.

+ Hugh Gilbert, President, Bishop of Aberdeen

+ John Keenan, Vice President, Bishop of Paisley

+ Brian McGee, Episcopal Secretary, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles

+ Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh

+ Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell

+ Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld

+ William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway

Monsignor Hugh Bradley, Archdiocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of Glasgow. Ends.

Comment: 

Our Lady of Aberdeen pray for us!

I usually leave an outspoken message on my ballot paper since, in conscience, I cannot vote for any of the political parties on offer. All of them support the evil abortion legislation currently on the statute book, and  my reading of the Church’s teaching on abortion convinces me that it is unconscionable for any Catholic to support a system of governance which legislates to allow the State sanctioned murder of the unborn child. 

Additionally, this time there is the issue of the introduction of totalitarian governance under which we have been living for the past year. To reward the politicians responsible for this by voting them back into power, is unthinkable – I want no part in it. What about you? 

If, however, you know of any 100% pro-life party worthy of the votes of Catholics, let us know.  The chances are, such a party would also be keen to fight back against the ongoing lockdown lunacy. Over to thee!

St Andrew, pray for us!  Queen (Saint) Margaret of Scotland, pray for us!
St Ninian, pray for us! St John Ogilvie, pray for us! 

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