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].

 

Scottish Government To Impose Named Person Scheme – And Too Bad About The Will of the Scottish People!

Controversial plans to bring in a “named person” for every child in Scotland have been delayed for a second time as the Scottish Government announced it will bring in new legislation on how and when information on youngsters should be shared. Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney [pictured] said the proposed new laws would be brought before Holyrood before the end of June. That would allow for a timetable to be drawn up to bring in the named-person service – which will appoint a single point of contact, such as a teacher or health visitor, to look out for the welfare of all children up to the age of 18 – in 2018. The announcement of new legislation comes after campaigners against the scheme brought a successful challenge to the UK Supreme Court. Judges there ruled last year that elements of the policy were ‘’incompatible’’ with the right to privacy and family life as set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)…

Conservative MSP Liz Smith asked Mr Swinney why the scheme was going ahead and not being abolished entirely. “Every single opinion poll that has been conducted on the named-person policy shows that a majority of the public and a very large number of the practitioners who you mentioned in your statement do not want named persons,” she said. Read entire report here

Comment:

Despite the fact that a majority of Scots not only did NOT vote to remain in the EU last June, the leadership of the SNP insist on bleating about the “will of the Scottish people” being denied due to Brexit. 

Yet, they have no problem denying the will of the Scottish people in the matter of the dreadful Named Person Scheme which is effectively a means of spying on family life and making sure that the SNP politically correct “values” (i.e. immorality) are being upheld across the nation. 

Action!  Contact your MSP here to keep up the pressure – MAKE the point that they use the “will of the Scottish people” when it suits them albeit using misleading statistics, but ignore our will when that better suits their highly questionable agenda.  Feel free to publish your letters to politicians below, or simply share your thoughts. 

Expert: Child Abuse Enquiry “doomed due to Scottish Government interference”

An independent expert has resigned from his position on Scotland’s child abuse inquiry claiming it is “doomed” due to Scottish Government interference.    Logo-The-Scottish-Government-high-res

Professor Michael Lamb, a professor of psychology at Cambridge University, said the inquiry’s fact-finding was being “constrained” and “micro-managed” by ministers.

QC Susan O’Brien is leading Scotland’s inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care, which is expected to last four years.

Professor Lamb joined Ms O’Brien at a launch event in March during which the QC told abuse survivors the inquiry would “shine a light into the dark corners of the past”.

But in an open letter to education secretary John Swinney, Mr Lamb said he had grown frustrated that the Scottish Government was continuing to interfere “in ways large and small, directly and indirectly”.

He said: “Continuing interference threatens to prevent the Inquiry from investigating thoroughly and taking robust evidence of the highest quality.

“To be worthwhile, the inquiry must ask fearlessly about what happened to children in care, who and what institutions failed in their duties of care at the time and subsequently, how the affected individuals can ‘be made whole,’and how we can ensure that such unconscionable events never happen again.

“Crucially, its fact-finding should not be constrained or micro-managed by one of the bodies whose actions or failures to act may ultimately be criticised.”

Mr Lamb, who headed a research unit at the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Washington DC for 17 years, said “repeated threats” to the inquiry’s independence had undermined its work and left it “doomed before the first witness has been heard”.

He said the government had delayed or prevented the appointment of members of staff and said the inquiry had to wait for prolonged periods before making key decisions.

The inquiry is looking into the treatment of children by institutions – including churches and independent boarding schools – going back decades.

Alan Draper, a spokesman for In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), said Mr Lamb’s resignation was a “devastating indictment” of the government.

He added: “This will have a major detrimental effect on the confidence of survivors. Mr Swinney must make an urgent statement to parliament.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We entirely reject Prof Lamb’s comments about the Scottish Government.

“The Scottish Government has a clear obligation to fulfil its responsibilities within the requirements of The Inquiries Act 2005 and other relevant legislation. Our primary focus remains on supporting the successful operation of the independent statutory Inquiry.

“Ministers are grateful to Prof Lamb for his work.”   Scotsman 

Comment: 

Professor Michael Lamb’s resignation exposes the hypocrisy of the Scottish Government’s determination to press ahead with its controversial Named Person Scheme 

Their alleged concern for the “well-being” of children (from even before they are born!) has led the Scottish Government to effectively label  every parent in Scotland a potential abuser, so what possible reason can there be for their interference in any independent enquiry into child abuse in institutions in Scotland?  What is it – if anything – that they are trying to hide?  

And, crucially, why are the Bishops not leading a serious fightback against the Scottish Government’s interference in family life, now that the Government’s hypocrisy has been exposed by the resignation of Professor Lamb?  It seems the Government’s alleged concern to protect children is bogus and – since the Catholic Church in Scotland is committed to honesty in dealing with and exposing any child abuse by Catholics, whether by priests or laity – the Bishops should be as concerned as the rest of us at this apparent interference in an important enquiry into the abuse of children in institutions. Yes? No?  It would, would it not, give an excellent example of disinterested leadership, if the Bishops were to speak out now in support of Professor Lamb’s concerns.

Comments invited… 

SNP Government Out of Control?

Under the Named Person scheme, every child is to be appointed a state guardian at birth to monitor their wellbeing up until the age of 18. All families will receive 11 compulsory visits to inspect their parenting skills before a child starts classes.  Read entire article here and note the news of sinister tests – already being carried out in Scottish schools.  I heard of one parent’s experience this morning.

Nicola Sturgeon First Minister of Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon
First Minister of Scotland

If you are concerned about the Named Person Scheme, and/or about the storing of personal information about your family and home on a database,  you can contact your MSP by checking the list here

I’m hearing of people in education who think there’s a place for the scheme, and some parents who have resolved to “keep my head down”; that is because  they are accepting the principle that it is acceptable for the State to interfere in family life, and in the case of the parent, she is terrified of bringing herself to the attention of the authorities as a “rebel”.  Yet, once the principle (that the State may interfere in family life) is admitted, there is just nowhere to go. Either parents have a right to raise their own children as they see fit, or the State has the right to raise the nation’s children as the State, through its various agencies,  sees fit.

One commentator opines that the Scottish Government is now out of control. I agree. Do you? 
But one thing puzzles me above all else – why are parents not taking to the streets over this issue? 

Named Person Scheme Sinister… Gives State Sweeping Powers Over Family…

We’ve discussed this topic before – the legislation due to come into force in the autumn whereby the primary relationship of every child in Scotland – from pre-born to 18 years – is to be with the Named Person (NP) appointed by the State, not their parents.  Each time I’ve discussed this with some of the  parents in my circle, I’ve been absolutely astonished at their responses, which range from “it won’t happen” to  “it won’t affect me” to “I’ve got nothing to hide so it won’t be a problem”.  They fail to join up the dots in recognition of the fact that the NP scheme is Chapter 2 of the Communist Manifesto (destruction of the family) writ large.

In fact,  when we previously discussed this I remember a couple of our bloggers crossed swords, because one described parents who took a trusting attitude to the Government’s NP scheme as “simpletons” and another rebuked her suggesting it would be better, surely, to try to educate parents rather than call them names. Well, er.. yes. You’d think so. Except, over a year on, I know I’m not alone in finding it impossible to educate so many of them  – they just don’t want to know.  They refuse to recognise the gravity of this NP Scheme.  Yet, already, before the legislation has come into force, at least one parent known to me, who’d never heard of the NP scheme, now realises that she has had a visit from  hers – the health visitor attending to her during her pregnancy, called at her home (“just passing by”) and insisted on seeing her older (5 year old) child’s bedroom: one of the “standards” set by the government is that children will have a say in decorating their own room. Don’t laugh. That’s a fact.  Check here  And click here to learn about other parents’ experiences of the NP scheme ahead of its formal launch.  Another parent has told me that she is going to re-decorate her children’s rooms and make sure everything is as “perfect” as it can be, for fear (I repeat “fear”) of receiving such a visit to her home.  Looking on the bright side, this may be the first ever generation of perfect parents in the UK, if not worldwide… And children with their dream bedrooms!  Crazy. Totally crazy stuff.

I attended one of the NO2NP roadshows on 22 June – East Kilbride – and it was heartening to see informed people from all walks of life there, including concerned parents, medical professionals, education professionals, pharmacists and other health professionals, all there to hear the excellent speakers bringing home to us the sinister nature of this new law, with hard facts and concrete examples of how the legislation will operate in the lives of every family in Scotland, from pre-birth to their child’s 18th birthday. Sinister, with bells on, and nowhere to hide.

One speaker asked us to listen to Nicola Sturgeon’s response to Liz Smith MSP (Conservative) at First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament – see video below, and listen closely at 29.37 ff to hear Sturgeon asserting that “[the Scottish Government] will continue to act in a way that has the wellbeing of all children at the heart of “ourdecision-making” – i.e. the State’s decision-making.  Outrageous! A woman with no children of her own, telling parents how to raise their offspring! For, it is crucial that none of us makes the mistake of thinking that this legislation is aimed at protecting children at risk of abuse. That’s patent nonsense. Listen to Nicola Sturgeon speaking about the minority of cases where death has occurred, the exceptional cases, and then ask yourself why on earth she would want to label ALL parents as potential abusers and plant spies in every home – which is, effectively, what the Scottish Government NP is – a spy – in order to address a problem which affects a minority of children.

At least one top lawyer has savaged this piece of dictatorial  legislation – click here to read his assessment.

So, what can we do? 

1) Sign the No2NP petition – click here and send the link to every parent you know/Facebook etc.

2)  Write to your MSP – you can get the details here

3)  Spread the link to this blog far and wide – and send the link to every parent you know/Facebook etc. Encourage everyone to sign up and speak out. The stronger the voice of opposition, the better, and the more chance there is that this intrusive legislation is ditched.

Note: due to the seriousness of this issue, we are keeping this thread open, and at the top of the page, for easy access.  Feel free to post updates, any stories you hear etc. We all need to be as informed as possible, in order to fight this unprecedented and unconscionable intrusion into family life.  Say NO! to the NP Scheme – and say it loudly.  

98-15 in favour: shame on Catholic MSPs who supported same-sex marriage bill…

98-15 in favour: shame on Catholic MSPs who supported same-sex marriage bill...

Legislation to introduce same-sex marriage in Scotland has been approved in principle by parliament, after MSPs voted on it for the first time.

The Scottish government’s Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill passed the first of three parliamentary hurdles by 98 votes to 15 with five abstentions.

Ministers said the move was the right thing to do, but the Church of Scotland and Catholic Church are opposed.
Religious and belief bodies would “opt in” to perform same-sex marriages.

Same-sex couples in Scotland currently have the option to enter into civil partnerships, and there has been an indication that the earliest gay marriage ceremonies could take place by the start of 2015, if the legislation is passed.

Click on the Scottish flag to read the rest of the above report.

Then tell us whether, in the cases of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) who either voted in favour of the same-sex marriage legislation or abstained, the Bishops should be enforcing Canon Law, # 915 “…(Those) who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion”.

Given the extent of public debate on this issue and the pronouncements from the Church both nationally and from the Vatican, no MSP can claim ignorance. Catholic MSPs have clearly chosen to vote for this legislation in the full knowledge that they are defying a very serious moral law – God’s moral law (not “the Church’s). For them to go forward, therefore, to receive Communion in their parish churches is a source of huge scandal.

But are the Bishops of Scotland likely to enforce Canon Law? They tend only to point to Canon Law when it serves their own purpose, and falling out with MSPs is unlikely to be on their wish list.

Finally, a word about voting habits. If your MSP voted with the Government today, will you vote for him / her again?