Cardinal O Brien calls on Catholics to make their voices heard and urges increased action on the part of Christians in Scottish society.  

In a series of homilies, which he will preach throughout the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh during Lent, cardinal Keith O Brien will urge Catholics to be prepared for increased action as Christians . In a series of challenges to the faithful he will highlight the dangers of the Scottish Executive s draft Sexual Health strategy, urge parents to speak out in the promotion and defence of Catholic schools and point out failings in the Government s Asylum and Immigration Bill.  

The sermons, for Lent 2004 will be preached at six Masses held in each area of the Archdiocese. The text is shown below:  

"Since my last series of Lenten Station Masses much has happened in my life, as you know. I value this opportunity of visiting the various areas of our Archdiocese during this season of Lent, concelebrating Lenten Masses with my brother priests, and then meeting you all informally afterwards.  

What I wish to remind you of on the occasion of this Lenten Station Mass is quite simply that our journey toward Christ and the Sacraments is a journey toward love. Among the last words of Jesus to his Disciples are those beautiful words recorded by St John: What I command you is to love one another . We must heed these words.  

As you know shortly after my own appointment as Cardinal I indicated that following on this appointment I would see a greater opportunity to serve God and his people “ both at home and abroad. I have tried to do this over the past six months.  

I have had the opportunity to visit Africa and see two of the poorest countries of the world, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and also to Romania where much poverty is still evident.  

But what can we say about the situation in our own country at this present time.  

Perhaps it is true to say that we suffer at this present time “ but we suffer from luxury fever . So many of the people in our own country have more money than ever before, money spent not on necessities for ourselves nor for others but rather to indulge our own passing whims. And we know that in our own country there is not that great desire to love one another or to serve one another in the priesthood, in religious life or in many other ways in our parishes as members of the lay faithful. In our own country while there is no longer great material poverty there is certainly a deep spiritual poverty. We must indeed consider this during the season of Lent and think of what we are called to do.  


I simply suggest two things in my Lenten Call to Action .  

Firstly we must each consider our own spiritual poverty at this present time. There is still a deep spiritual poverty which we must try to satisfy by both prayer and penance. These are the traditional ways of the Church, taught by Christ himself, to bring us closer to him.  
Secondly, we must always be prepared for increased action as Christians. There have been recent opportunities and there will be more in the future. I indicate three areas of special concern about which I have taken action “ and I ask you the priests, religious and the people of the diocese to do the same.  

(1) The recently published, Scottish Executive Sexual Health and relationships draft Strategy “ was an open consultation. The draft Strategy however adopted an approach to sexual behavior, which divorces sexuality entirely from any moral context. Nowhere in the document is love, marriage, faithfulness or commitment endorsed or promoted. The document is dismissive of education on abstinence, suggests contraception should be promoted even more and abortion made more easily available. In short the document is utterly at variance with Catholic teaching, Christian Morality and common sense.  

I ask you to consider whether or not you made a response to this document?  

An especially glaring flaw in the strategy is the suggestion that the SHARE programme promoted by the Healthy Respect initiative in the Lothians should be extended throughout Scotland. This approach has failed utterly to tackle the rise in STI s, unwanted conceptions and abortion levels. Its value-free style should certainly not be used elsewhere in Scotland.  

(2) There have been and are ongoing discussions in various areas of our Archdiocese regarding Catholic schools “ either on their own campus or on a shared campus site. Along with my brother Bishops I have consistently supported our Catholic school system and will continue to do so “ as Bishops however we can do little to maintain our schools without the support of Catholic parents. Again, I ask you “ have you made your voice heard when there has been discussion in your own area about the future of Catholic schools for your own children or your children s children?  

(3) In our own country at this present time our MP s are considering the asylum and immigration Bill which will demonstrate whether or not the stranger is welcome in our midst . Refugees are normally victims of injustice and they should be protected in our midst whilst their claims are examined. They should be protected to the standards outlined in the United Nations Refugee Convention, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. The new Bill in Parliament regrettably, in some areas, falls short of these standards. I ask you to consider what you have done or what you are doing with regard to the possibility of increased numbers of refugees and asylum seekers coming to Scotland?  


The way ahead is not easy for us as Christians in the world of today. However we must remember that it has never been an easy path following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.  

God has indeed called us to a wonderful vocation. May we embrace that vocation with joy remembering those words which I chose from Psalm 99 as my own motto as Archbishop some eighteen years ago: Serve the Lord with Gladness “ may we all indeed serve the Lord, and the Lord s people with joy and with gladness!"  


Peter Kearney  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 67 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

Funeral Arrangements for Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O?Brien RIP

| 23 hours ago | Blogging

The Requiem Mass of Cardinal Keith Patrick O?Brien RIP will take place at the Church of St Michael, Westmoreland Road, Newcastle on Thursday 5 April at 1.00pm. As requested by the Holy See, the main celebrant and homilist will be His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. Donations to SCIAF?s Lenten campaign in lieu of flowers please. ? ? The internment of the body of the late Cardinal O?Brien will then take place at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Edinburgh on 6 April at 1.00pm The Cardinal?s body will be laid to rest in the grave of his mother and father. This was in accordance with wishes expressed by Cardinal O?Brien himself. ? ? ENDS ? ? Notes to Editors: ? ? For more information, call David Kerr, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh on 07903 621232. ? ? ? The funeral arrangements were agreed following consultation with the family of Cardinal O?Brien, the executor of his will, and the Holy See as represented by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. ? ? At the request of the family, there will be no stills or video photography and no audio recording during the Requiem Mass. A media representative will be in the church to report on a pooled basis. Details of this arrangement to be confirmed soon. The text of Cardinal Nichol?s homily will be issued to the media too.? ?...

Dunkeld Priest to become Spiritual Director of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome

| 3 days ago | Blogging

Fr James Walls, currently parish priest of St. Pius X parish in Dundee, has been appointed by the Scottish Bishops’ Conference as Spiritual Director of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome.      Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Stephen Robson, the Bishop of Dunkeld said:       “I am absolutely delighted that the Bishops have decided to appoint Father James Walls as spiritual director to the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. As a former Spiritual Director in Rome myself, I can recognise great qualities, spiritual, intellectual and moral in Fr Jim’s priestly ministry.  He has been well trained in spiritual direction and accompaniment, and together with his pastoral experience as parish priest in a large North Dundee Catholic Parish Community, I believe him to be an ideal choice to serve the community of seminarians there and as an effective collaborator with Fr Fitzpatrick the Rector and Fr Parkes the Vice Rector.”        Bishop Robson added;       “Fr Jim will be going to Rome, Salamanca and for training in the USA from the end of May onwards and will take up his new role in September. Fr Jim has my full support and I wish him many blessings and congratulations.”        Reacting to his appointment, Fr. James Walls, said:       “I would like to give thanks to God, and the bishops of Scotland, in appointing me as Spiritual Director in the Scots College. I would also like to give thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for taking my mum into their home; without this generosity, the decision would have been much more difficult. I look forward to getting to know those men who have generously put themselves forward for the priesthood.”       Responding to the appointment, Fr. Dan Fitzpatrick, Rector of the Scots College said:       “I am very grateful to Fr Jim for generously accepting the post of spiritual director here at the Pontifical Scots College. He brings with him his experience of parish ministry, spiritual direction and priestly life. I am sure he will find great joy and fulfilment in his important role of helping the men here in the College discern and prepare for service as priests in Scotland.  As the community gets ready to welcome him, I would also like to thank Fr Mark Cassidy, our departing spiritual director, for his hard work, enthusiasm and positive contribution to our seminarians and to the College during his seven years here. Our prayers are with him as he returns to the Diocese of Dunkeld and I would like to thank Bishop Stephen Robson for his on-going support for the College.”       ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291   Note to Editors:   1. An image of Fr. Walls can be downloaded here:

Scottish bishops offer condolences to Cardinal’s family and friends

| 4 days ago | Blogging

The President and Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Bishop Joseph Toal have offered their condolences on the death, earlier today (Monday 19 March 2017) of Cardinal Keith O’Brien.     Archbishop Tartaglia said;     “We have received the sad news of the death of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Emeritus Archbishop of  St Andrews & Edinburgh.  On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland I wish to express my sincere sympathy on the death of the late Cardinal to his family and close friends. I ask for prayers for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.”     Bishop Toal said;     “I will pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien, who died early this morning – may he rest in God’s peace. I extend my sympathy and prayerful support to his family, friends and all who mourn his passing. With constant hope in the Lord’s goodness and mercy.”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291

Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP

| 4 days ago | Blogging

Death Notice   Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien (1938-2018) RIP     At 1am on Monday 19 March 2018, His Eminence Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle-upon-Tyne surrounded by family and friends and fortified by the rites of Holy Church. RIP. He was 80 years old.     Commenting upon the news, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh said: “In life, Cardinal O’Brien may have divided opinion – in death, however, I think all can be united in praying for the repose of his soul, for comfort for his grieving family and that support and solace be given to those whom he offended, hurt and let down. May he rest in peace.” ENDS Notes to Editors: 1.   For more information, contact David Kerr, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh, on 07903 621232 m.     2.   Archbishop Leo Cushley will be available for interview at 11am at the Gillis Centre, 100 Strathearn Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1BB.     3.   CV of Archbishop Emeritus Keith Patrick Cardinal O’Brien: Born at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Ireland, 17 March 1938, educated St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton, Holy Cross Academy, Edinburgh; University of Edinburgh (BSc, 1959; Dip.Ed., 1966); St Andrew’s College, Drygrange; ordained priest at Edinburgh, 3rd April 1965, assistant priest, Holy Cross, Edinburgh 1965- 66; St Bride’s, Cowdenbeath and Chaplain to St Columba’s Secondary School 1966-71; St Patrick’s, Kilsyth, 1972-75; St Mary’s, Bathgate 1975-78; spiritual di- rector, St Andrew’s College, Drygrange 1978-80; rector, St Mary’s College, Blairs 1980-85; nominated Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 30 May 1985, and ordained by Cardinal Gordon Gray, Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh, at Edinburgh, 5 August 1985. Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll & the Isles 1996-99; created Cardinal 21 October 2003. Resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013.     4.   Following a series of allegations relating to his personal life, Cardinal O’Brien resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh 25 February 2013 and issued a media release on 3 March 2013 in which he announced his retirement from public life, stating: “I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended, I apologise and ask forgiveness. To the Catholic Church and people of Scotland, I also apologise. I will now spend the rest of my life in retirement. I will play no further part in the public life of the Catholic Church in Scotland." With the agreement of the Holy See, he subsequently moved to the north of England. 5.  Following an apostolic visitation to Scotland led by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, the Holy See announced on 20 March 2015 that Pope Francis had "accepted the resignation of Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the rights and duties of a Cardinal". The Holy See Press Office O'Brien stated that Cardinal O’Brien would not take part in future papal elections, act as papal adviser, or take part in Vatican congregations and councils and would lose other roles of a cardinal. 6.  Funeral arrangements for Cardinal O’Brien are still to be finalised but will be done so in coming days in consultation with the Holy See and Cardinal O’Brien’s family. 7.    Suggested commentators and potential interviewees for the media;       * Ian Dunn, former Editor of the Scottish Catholic Observer. Ian was 10 years with the Scottish Catholic Observer until January 2018. Tel: 07908 871858   * John Deighan, former Parliamentary Officer for the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. John worked alongside Cardinal O’Brien for many ...