2018: Happy Hogmanay & New Year!

As has become our custom, we take a break from serious blogging to welcome in the New Year with an exchange of greetings, favourite seasonal music, comical stories and jokes, all of which must fit into the category of “good clean fun”.  Enjoy! 

Warning:  anyone allergic to the “music” of bagpipes (!) should avoid the above video!

Happy New Year folks! 

Bishops of Scotland: Anti-Catholicism Rife – Please Review “Hate-Crime”

Press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office…

Catholic Church suggests Hate Crime review, offers opportunity to consolidate rather than separate legislation.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Church comments come in response to the Scottish Government’s Review of Hate Crime legislation, chaired by Lord Bracadale:

http://www.gov.scot/About/Review/Hate-Crime-Legislation

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 here to read the full text of the Church’s response to the Hate Crime review 

Comment:

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].

 

2018 Marks 100 Years of Catholic Schools in Scotland But… What’s The Point?

From the Scottish Catholic Observer…  24 November, 2017…  

Challenge those who attack Catholic schools, Archbishop says

Archbishop Tartaglia said celebrations of the centenary of Catholic education in Scotland should include a robust defence of Catholic schools
The Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia is encouraging Catholics to get involved in upcoming celebrations to mark 100 years of state Catholic education in Scotland—and to challenge those who attack Catholic schools.

In a letter to headteachers and members of clergy from across Scotland, the archbishop described the centenary as an ‘opportunity to rejoice’ over the successes of Scotland’s Catholic schools and education. “2018 serves as an ­opportunity to rejoice in the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils who have attended Catholic schools in the last 100 years,” he said. “It is a chance to mark publicly the ways in which Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but good for Scotland.”

Negative voices

He spoke of the ‘positive contribution of Catholic schools’ to society in Scotland, which he described as being ‘well documented.’

“The continuing support of the Scottish Government and all of the main political parties is encouraging for the future of denominational schools,” he said. “However, while this is a time to reflect and thank God for 100 years of serving our local communities, we cannot be complacent that there is universal support for Catholic schools.

“We need to ensure that we continue to challenge the negative voices which exert pressure in the media and in the political arena, suggesting that there is no place for Faith schools in the public provision of education in a modern Scotland.

“What better way to do this than by marking this centenary as a celebration of the distinctive nature of our schools and by telling the story of the people and communities who have benefited from Catholic education in Scotland.”

Archbishop Tartaglia invited parishes, families, schools and communities across the country to ‘consider the ways that they can add to this story,’ as he revealed that a planning group has been set up to look at ­possible activities and coordinate events for the anniversary celebrations.

The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has authorised the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) to ‘propose plans’ to be used in the centenary year that mark the education partnership between Church and state.

Contribution

In his letter, the Archbishop asked that headteachers and priests let parish councils, parent and pupil councils, pastoral planning teams and associated schools’ groups know about the SCES planning group.

“I encourage you to begin a discussion of how your local parish community can support and contribute to the events of this year,” he said, adding that SCES is welcoming submissions of archive material of local school history, stories and photographs of parishioners.

SCES have revealed a number of national events will take place across all of Scotland’s eight dioceses in 2018, while other celebrations will be organised at a diocesan and local level.

The launch of the centenary celebrations will take place in February next year, when a specially commissioned icon of ‘Jesus Our Teacher,’ created to mark the 100th anniversary, will begin its tour across the country, starting in Galloway Diocese.

Glasgow Archdiocese will mark Catholic Education Week, which runs from January 28 to February 2, with a high schools’ Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, while a Catholic Education Week dinner will take place at the city’s Central Hotel on February 2.

On March 3 a Catholic education open forum will take place in Argyll and the Isles Diocese and in April a ‘Leadership of Catholic Schools Conference’ will take place in Salamanca.

The Caritas Award ceremony will be on June 7 next year in Glasgow, a highlight in the year for Catholic schools, and a school pilgrimage along the St Andrew’s Way will take place from June 14-15.

Parents will have the opportunity to come together in August for the National Parent Gathering in Paisley and a planned pilgrimage to Rome led by Archbishop Tartaglia is on the cards for October 15-19. Open to all associated with Catholic Education in Scotland, prices cost £850 per person.

Also in October, the European Catholic Committee (CEEC) will visit Scotland and the Scottish Parliament will also mark the centenary.

For the first time, a second Catholic Education Week will be held in November, including a National Teachers’ Mass in Glasgow and a spiritual retreat for teachers.   [Emphases added]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer

Comment:

Not a whisper in the above report about the reason why Catholic schools were built in the first place; not a hint of why the 1918 Education Act was necessary. The generic language used to describe Catholic education masks the fact that Catholic schools were built for the key purpose of teaching the Catholic religion, imparting the Catholic Faith, across the subjects of the curriculum – and have manifestly failed to do so since the introduction of content-free programmes of religious (non) education, and other novelties which have polluted Catholicism.   Informed Catholic parents in Scotland have now taken this “rule of thumb” (interweaving the Faith into all subjects) into home-schooling, given that the Catholic schools see their mission as excelling in “the academic, cultural, civic and social achievements of pupils” (see above, paragraph 2) and not, as originally, to see to it that students’ world-view is rooted in their Catholic Faith.  Even the image used in the Scottish Catholic Observer report has a pupil studying a Bible – not a Catechism.  Below, some  examples of the kind of material available to Catholic schools by using a sound Catechism – such as the excellent Baltimore series…

Hence, Catholic schools, like non-denominational schools, are now committed to catering for secular values – despite protestations to the contrary. Hence, as we have reported in our newsletter, we find “safe spaces” in Scottish Catholic schools for “LGBT pupils” with gender-neutral pupils, uniforms and language soon to follow, as the instances of such in England indicate.  Click here to read a previous post on this subject. 

 

Teachers who have taught in both sectors, say they see little difference between Catholic and non-denominational schools these days.  So, is the centenary of state Catholic schools in Scotland really anything to celebrate? Should we not, rather, be mourning the passing of true and traditional Catholic education?

Cardinal Burke: Scottish Visit Puzzling…

On the 2nd of September, Cardinal Burke will offer a Pontifical High Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock. Una Voce Scotland are holding a reception to which guests are invited at the discretion of the chairman.   Source


Comment

I find I’m being asked over and over again, why it is that Cardinal Burke (or any other Cardinal) would come to Glasgow to offer a Pontifical High Mass in a parish church, instead of in the city’s cathedral.      

We know three things:  we know – judging by the obvious signs – that the Archbishop of Glasgow hates the Traditional Latin Mass, so that may be the reason, because the second thing we know is that Archbishop Tartaglia and Cardinal Burke are reputedly very good friends.  The third possibility is that, since the Archbishop of Glasgow is not opposed to the Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (AL), while Cardinal Burke has very publicly called on the Pope to correct the errors in it, Archbishop Tartaglia may have decided to keep his distance from Cardinal Burke. It’s what’s widely known as being a “fair weather friend”. Archbishop Tartaglia, as we know, not only accepted AL, but quickly established sessions to teach his priests and teachers how to implement it – that is, he prepared them to teach the New Morality for divorced and “remarried”, cohabitees etc. who are now free to “discern” for themselves whether or not they may approach for Holy Communion. Cardinal Burke, on the other hand, has spoken out to correct this scandal in interviews published in Catholic publications, on YouTube, and by writing directly to the Pope.   Friends? I’d say Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have more in common. 

The key questions then are as follows:

(1)      does the Archbishop’s apparent hatred of the old Mass trump his friendship with Cardinal Burke
OR

(2)    does the Archbishop place his “relationship” with Pope Francis above his friendship with Cardinal Burke – see photo, right – not to mention above the truths of the Faith
OR

(3)   has Una Voce invited the Cardinal without going through the proper channels to seek the Archbishop’s permission/approval?  Surely, the Cardinal would not accept such an invitation? 

Summary: 

What’s going on here?  

Earth to Archbishop of Glasgow…Hello!

Our blogger, Gabriel Syme writes:

Look at this jaw dropping story from the Church in Scotland.

Scottish Catholics are “too wishy-washy” about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has warned.
Click here to read entire Herald Scotland article 

While advocating robust, confident Catholicism is admirable, this is hilarious coming from the Scottish Bishops. Their only priority for decades has been to play down Catholicism in order to pander to ecumenism and the secular world.    

The statement also ignores the fact that modern Catholics (including in Scotland) are the most ignorant and poorly instructed in all history. This because they have not been taught the faith properly and deliberately so – because properly instructed Catholics reject ecumenism and the like.

In 13 years at Catholic schools and many years in novus ordo parishes I learned literally nothing about the Catholic faith, beyond the Our Father, Hail Mary and the rudiments of the nativity story. I always knew I had not been properly taught, but even so was shocked at the extent of my ignorance, when (in my 30s) I first held a Baltimore Catechsim No 1 (which is aimed at small children).

I struggled to answer even the obvious and basic questions listed therein. Of course, I knew what a Bar Mitzvah was, and knew some Hebrew Phrases (but not a word of Latin). And I could describe the good work a Protestant minister had done with gangs in New York City. But I could not have given a coherent answer as to why God made me.
(Fortunately, thanks to Catholic Truth and the SSPX I have been able to back-fill much of this missing knowledge).

And so Archbishop Tartaglia can hardly call Catholics wishy-washy, because modern Catholics do not know the Catholic faith, nor are they equipped to defend it.

Another reason Catholics struggle to speak out to defend the faith (even if able) is because should you do so, in a modern parish or Catholic organisation, you can bet on being immediately savaged by other “Catholics” whose lives conflict with Church teaching and do not like being reminded of it. This is one reason I withdrew from participation in modern parishes / organisations – its all a facade, there’s no substance to it.

For example, we discussed St Brides LGBT welcome recently. Who in that parish now would be confident to speak out on (e.g.) sexual morality when it is clear that the Parish Priest does not support that morality and when the local homosexual MP and his ‘husband’ are in the next pew?

I can only conclude that Archbishop Tartaglia is completely out of touch with the results of the non-teaching in the Scottish Church.

Comment:

Gabriel Syme’s insightful assessment of the state of the Scottish Church was underlined by the announcement, on – of all days – the Feast of the Assumption, yesterday, that yet another priest of the archdiocese was leaving active ministry. Only in this case, the priest in question – Father Gerald Walsh – has only been ordained for 6 years. Reflect: a young man like Fr Walsh can go through the entire Catholic education system following the syllabus issued by the Scottish Catholic Education Service, thus approved by the Scottish Bishops, and learn sweet nothing about the Catholic religion. Then, feeling called to the priesthood (although goodness knows how this comes about given the widespread ignorance of true Catholicism is anybody’s guess), a candidate goes on to seminary to be further mal-formed in the Faith.  Little wonder so many abandon the ministry, sometimes after only a handful of years, as in the case of Fr Gerald Walsh, ordained in 2011, his resignation announced on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, 2017.  More sad than words can express. 

The Mass-goer who contacted us to report Fr Walsh’s resignation after the morning Mass in St James’s Crookston, where the Archbishop himself made the announcement, opined that the Archbishop seemed more concerned with the fact that this latest “ex-priest” now created a situation that meant more work for him and for the priest in a neighbouring parish who would now administer both parishes. 

“Wishy-washy”?  I think the Archbishop needs to look at his own Catholicity, or lack thereof, before labelling the rest of us  “wishy-washy”; from what I hear, he is not exactly setting the heather on fire with his zealous leadership of either clergy or laity.  

The key question for this thread is this:  how on earth is the Church in Scotland EVER going to attract genuine and lasting vocations, if the Hierarchy don’t restore what has been lost of the glorious Catholic religion?  

But, where to begin?  Reform the schools?  Begin teaching the Faith?  Nobody can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes, so young men who haven’t been taught a thing about true Catholicism, are hardly going to make terrific priests.  What on EARTH is going to keep them living a single, celibate life in today’s permissive society if they’ve essentially been taught a false religion?

And is it any surprise that the new Mass isn’t keeping young priests? Countless saints not only stayed faithful throughout their lives, but actually GAVE their lives in order to preserve the Mass.  Who’s ever going to sacrifice their lives for this complete break with Catholic Tradition known as the Novus Ordo Missae, which no saint or martyr returning to earth today would recognise as the Mass?  That’s what’s known as a “rhetorical question”…  

Imagine you’re on the telephone line from Earth to Archbishop Tartaglia.  He is keen to have your advice (well, it’s only a pretend game)… What will you say to him – where would you advise him to start, in order to begin to restore the Faith in Scotland? 

Anti-Catholic Culture Reigns In Scotland

Catholics face “alarming levels of intolerance” 
Thursday 15 June 2017

Giving evidence to the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament today (15th June 2017) Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office claimed; “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their faith.”

Mr. Horan who was giving evidence to MSP’s on the topic of bullying and harassment in schools, with an emphasis on anti-religious prejudice. The Committee heard evidence from a number of people, including representatives of the Church of Scotland, Muslim Community, Jewish Community, and the Scottish Secular Society.

In his comments to MSP’s, Mr. Horan said;

“My overriding concern about this subject is the culture of fear that runs right through society and which makes people feel, at best uncomfortable, and at worst totally frightened to be open about their faith. In my written submission to the Committee I provided testimonies of a number of young people who had experienced anti-Catholic prejudice in their school, most of it relating to the Church’s teaching on abortion and marriage. One student even dropped a subject to “avoid the harassment.”

Mr. Horan added;

“There is an alarming level of intolerance being levelled at some young people simply because they are Catholic or because they hold a particular view that others may disagree with. This is not a culture of tolerance and respect. We have to be very mindful of the need to tackle anti-religious behaviour and be wary of creating a hierarchy of rights in relation to the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010. We cannot allow some to trump others. It must be all or nothing.”

“There is also the sad reality of an increase in religious hate crime in Scotland, with a recently published report revealing that religiously aggravated crime is at an all time high. Within that, a deeply worrying and disturbing 57% of charges are as a result of anti-Catholic behaviour. Compare this to the percentage of charges relating to Protestantism (27%) and Islam (17%) and we are left with an undoubted sectarian problem that needs to be addressed.”

Mr. Horan concluded;

“If we are to build a culture of tolerance and respect for our young people we need to take on board the hard facts which reveal to us the reality of hate crime in our country and allow people across all protected characteristics to feel free to express themselves and to be open about their faith.”   ENDS
Press Release from Scottish Catholic Media Office

Comment:

Well I hope the penny’s dropped.  Providing “safe spaces” for allegedly “gay” pupils hasn’t made Catholic schools any “safer” for the wider Catholic pupil population.  And the craze for ecumenical activity hasn’t changed the anti-Catholic culture of bigotry in Scotland one bit. Those who would naturally NOT be bigoted – people genuinely trying to live Christian lives according to their lights – remain tolerant.  The rest remain IN-tolerant.  So best to go down the tried (for two thousand years) and tested road of seeking to explain the Faith and win converts to it.  Watering down Faith and Morals hasn’t worked. That’s for sure. Or maybe you disagree? Let’s hear it… 

An Independent Protestant Scotland…

One of the Treasures of the National Archives of Scotland, the Declaration of Arbroath was written to the Pope in 1320, on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland. This eloquent letter, written in support of King Robert Bruce (Robert I) and an independent Scotland, is still regarded as a spirited statement of a nation’s claim to freedom. Click here to read the Declaration of Arbroath

Comment:

With the SNP once again calling for a referendum on Scottish independence, it is worth reflecting on Scotland’s deeply Catholic roots in order to consider the question of  “freedom”. Outside the Catholic Church, can there BE true freedom for Scotland?  Think “gay marriage”; think Named Person Scheme; think the Freemasonic roots of the EU, which the SNP wish to rejoin after Brexit/and (they hope) a successful independence referendum.  Take note of the  reference to “poor Scotland” in the Declaration – a description so apt in our times. Poor, poor Scotland.

In short, knowing that the original call for Scotland’s independence was made by loyal sons of the Church, is it permissible today for  Catholics to vote in good conscience for an independent (Protestant) Scotland?