Skip to comments.Scottish Church Owns Up to Bigotry
Posted on 05/30/2002 9:46:46 AM PDT by BlessedBeGod
EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) - For the first time in its history, the Church of Scotland admitted Wednesday that it had been guilty of religious bigotry, particularly against Irish Catholics.
Delegates at the church's annual general assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a motion stating that the church "regrets any part played in sectarianism by our church in the past and affirm our support for future moves toward a more tolerant society."
The motion acknowledged that it was time to "consign bigotry to the history books, where it belongs," said the Rev. Alan McDonald, convener of a church committee that assesses church-state relations.
"We have to face up to the ugly side of Scotland today. The hard end of sectarianism is that people can die on our streets as a result," he told 800 general assembly delegates at the Mound in Edinburgh.
Scotland's national church is Presbyterian, and the monarch and the government have no role in its affairs, as they do in the Church of England, created in 1534 when King Henry VIII rejected the supremacy of the pope.
Scottish religious reformers, led by the Calvinist John Knox, broke away from the Roman Catholic Church in 1560, abolished the authority of the pope and forbade the celebration of Mass.
Even in 1999, an opinion poll reported in The Guardian newspaper said 34 percent of respondents felt there was a deep-rooted anti-Catholic attitude throughout Scottish society.
Religious prejudice in Scotland was considered serious enough to prompt a school program in Glasgow to steer children away from sectarianism.
McDonald on Wednesday read an excerpt from a church report presented to the general assembly in 1923, entitled "The menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality."
"It accused the Irish Roman Catholic population of taking employment from native Scots, of being part of a papist conspiracy to subvert Presbyterian values and of being the principal cause of drunkenness, crime and financial imprudence," McDonald said.
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Scotland, the Most Rev. Keith O'Brien, said it was vital to "erase every trace of sectarianism from Scotland. It is the scourge which blights the horizon of our young people."
But outside the meeting, several dozen protesters blamed Roman Catholics for sectarianism.
"The Catholic Church believes it is the only true church and sees everyone else as an ecclesiastic sideshow," said the Rev. Jack Glass, leader of the Scottish Reformation Movement, organizers of the demonstration.
"It backs Catholic-only education and is opposed to mixed schools. And it insists that children from mixed marriages must be brought up as Catholics."
Its good to see that the two Glasgow football clubs are now doing their bit to address these issues. Rangers, who used to be about as sectarian as you could get, now routinely employ Catholics (although only since the late 1980s), while Celtic have employed Protestants for years. It will take another while for their respective fans to follow suit though. The sad part, given their fans mutual hatred, is that one club would be irrelevent without the other.
Wadda you guys say we let the kilted boys off the hook on this charge of non-PC behaviour? And we wouldn't want them tossing their cabers through any Papist Stained Glass, now would we?
If the Church of Scotland is sincere, they will return to us St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, St. Machar's Cathedral in Aberdeen, the Cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney and a few other of our churches they have occupied since the late reformation.
This is absolutely laughable but also detestable. The truth about Scotland is that the Presbyterian Church of Scotland is melting down to nothing, closing churches left and right. On the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland continues to grow not only in Glasgow but throughout the country.
One of the greatest living Catholic monasteries is in Scotland, Pluscarden. The monks have recorded the most beautiful album of chants for St. Columba's Feast Day and for the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Even though I'm a mutt LOL.
The last is what really scandalises.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.