The Pope merely accepted the inevitable and was playing politics. He sided with the english because they were the most powerful. When they got whipped, he changed his tune.
Other european countries claim Scotland? The French were allies of Scotland. Who else would claim it, and more importantly, enforce their claim? The Scots were free, freed themselves, and the Pope was a day late and a dollar short. Refusal to recognize that many Popes, if not all of them, played man’s game by man’s rules when they engaged in what is termed “The Great Game” is simply ignoring reality. Sympathy for the down trodden wasn’t part of the equation in Scotland, and I doubt that it was in Ireland, either.
Scotsman will be Free:
The rivalry of the French and English is well established. So it is never so easy as you would like. France siding with Scotland who is fighting with England is something that I am sure the Church viewed as potentially dangerous with England and France getting into war. Ireland was also oppressed by England.
France sided with Scotland’s cause because of its rivalry with England more than the concern of Scotland’s independence.
Once the Pope recognized Scotland’s independence, then all of Europe really had no choice but to recognize it as well as at that time you were still over 200 years before the Protestant Rebellion.
So whether you want to admit it or not, the Pope’s recognition of Scotland did provide the diplomatic means for all of Europe to follow suite.
And I think the Pope’s saw what was starting in the 1300’s, the gradual rise of Nationalism, which is not necessarily bad, but as the rise of nationalism took hold in the 1300’s, the notion of Christendom began to fade, and consequences of milatant nationalism, without a common Christian theology and philosophy to bind different ethnic groups together is ultimately what resulted in 2 world wars in the 20th century.
So from a Catholic point of view, and I will acknowledge it as such, the rise of nationalism in the 1300’s were one of the main causes of the Protestant rebellion in the 16th century which implicitly had radical nationalistic notions at its core.