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12 May
May 12
12th May 2000

A unique moment in history ¦that was how Scotland's most senior politicians described their audience with Pop John Paul yesterday on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the Scots College in Rome.First Minister Henry McLeish joined Scottish Secretary John Reid at a special Papal audience in the Vatican and were introduced to the Pope by Cardinal Winning.The lords Provost of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen were also present for the special event - one of a series being held in Rome this week to mark the College's anniversary.Cardinal Winning said: "Today's events are full of significance. I think of the contrast between the Scotland of 1600 and the Scotland of today. Then the Scottish Parliament had outlawed the Catholic Church. Today we are privileged to welcome the First Minister of the new Scottish Parliament, as well as the Scottish Secretary representing the British Government."I consider the Scots College in Rome to be the most important institution in the Scottish Catholic Church. Because when the Church was outlawed, Pope Clement VIII threw a lifeline to our beleaguered people by setting up a very humble centre in Rome to train priests for the home mission. Over the years the ministry of those priests has helped keep the faith alive in Scotland."I see the presence today of our First Minister and Scottish Secretary as a sign of the new era of co-operation which marks our time. It is wonderful that they could both be here. It reminds all of us of how far the Catholic community has come over the centuries until today when we can play a full and active part in the life of the nation."The Pope himself also spoke of Scotland's "glorious inheritance" of the Scots College in Rome and of how he urged the current students of the college to find inspiration in the example of their forebears.He said, "You originate in a glorious past, may you live up to that past, and go on to build on your priceless heritage"This was a view echoed by both Henry McLeish and by John Reid. Mr. Reid expressed his personal pleasure and privilege that, as a Catholic, he was in Rome meeting the Pope as a representative of the British Government.Henry McLeish said, "In my first trip abroad as First Minister it is a great honor to meet the Holy Father, and to be representing not only the Scottish Parliament, but all the major cities of Scotland."Today was about how we want Scotland to be working together, all in all against the background of the history of the Scots College over the last 400 years."Pope John Paul is a wonderful man, irrespective of what your religious views may be. He is a great champion of the poor, human rights, and world peace."Tomorrow, the Mediator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rt. Rev. Andrew McLellan, and his wife Irene, will join the politicians, Cardinal and Bishops for a special Mass being held 400 years to the day of the foundation of the college by Pope Clement VIII.5th December 2000  ...

| | News Releases, Christianity
27 January
Jan 27
27th January 2000

We have followed with concern the current debate surrounding the proposed repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 which prevents the promotion of homosexuality.  The Catholic Church clearly teaches the inalienable dignity of every human person created in the image and likeness of God. Every human person has the right to be free from bigotry, intolerance and fear. Every human person has the right to live his or her life in peace, irrespective of race, religion, colour, gender or sexual orientation. We condemn unreservedly violence or bullying perpetrated for whatever reason.  Section 28 states:  "A local authority shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality. A local authority shall not promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship".  Those who wish to repeal section 28 advance three reasons. They say:  It prevents teachers talking about homosexuality in class  It prevents the counselling of pupils confused about their own sexuality  It prevents proper measures against homophobic bullying  However it is our opinion that the reasons advanced do not justify the proposed repeal.  The Scottish Office circular No 9/1988 issued in conjunction with section 28 on May 20 1988 contains the following official guidance:  "Sex education will continue to be an element of social and health education in schools. Section 28 does not affect the activities of teachers. It will not prevent the objective discussion of homosexuality in the classroom or the counselling of pupils concerned about their sexuality".  To take away a law which prohibits the promotion of homosexuality and replace it with "guidelines" risks leaving our children extremely vulnerable to the message that a homosexual lifestyle is an equally valid moral choice to marriage.  We ask all people of good will to pray for our legislators in their different tasks. We pray that we can build a Scotland of justice for all, free of bigotry and intolerance, but ever mindful of God's law and morality.  ...

| | News Releases, Christianity
14 December
Dec 14
14th December 1999

Proceeds and royalties from "Will You Walk On By?" are going to one of Mrs Shand Kydd s favourite charities, HCPT - The Pilgrimage Trust, which helps children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime. The charity is right behind the record. Mrs Shand Kydd has written a message for the record sleeve. In it, she says:  "This is surely an anthem for the Millennium, ensuring that the great festival is for everyone to remember; the less fortunate, alongside those for whom life has been kinder. I love the lyrics because they encompass the concerns which were those of my daughter, Diana. Princess of Wales." Further Information from The Pilgrimage Trust: Michael Orbell  01737 353311     "This is surely an anthem for the Millennium, ensuring that the great festival is for everyone to remember; the less fortunate, alongside those for whom life  has been kinder. I love the lyrics because they encompass the concerns which  were those of my daughter, Diana, Princess of Wales. The song has a big heart, and that is why I am delighted that HCPT “ The Pilgrimage Trust will benefit from its sales. The trust helps children from all backgrounds and creeds, who   have a wide range of mental and physical disabilities, as well as those who have suffered emotional trauma and homelessness. I hope this song is sung widely “ in homes, clubs and in concert, and that when it is sung, the meaning of the words are personally felt."   Further Information from The Pilgrimage Trust: Michael Orbell 01737 353311...