scmo_banner_news.jpg


Battle against secularism is priority for Christians says Cardinal:  

Preaching at the annual Whithorn pilgrimage yesterday, Cardinal Keith O'Brien called on Scotland's Christians to fight;  

"a constant battle against secularism" which he described as "an almost rising tide in the world of today almost submerging us with its volume and its power."  

Cardinal O'Brien added;  

"It is surely the task of the Christian journeying along the way with and to Christ to say:  
Any standards just will not do! We must follow and maintain the standards of Jesus Christ and try to spread them in the Church and in the world of today ."  

The full text of Cardinal O'Brien's homily is shown below.  

ENDS  


Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office  
5 St. Vincent Place  
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org  





ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO ST NINIAN S CAVE, WHITHORN  

AND ST NINIAN S CHURCH, WHITHORN  
HOMILY PREACHED BY CARDINAL KEITH PATRICK O BRIEN  

SUNDAY 29 AUGUST 2004  

Introduction:  
It is indeed a privilege being gathered here at the mouth of St Ninian s Cave, Whithorn in the company of your retired Bishop, Bishop Maurice and your new Bishop, Bishop  

John. I know that in union with us gathered here at St Ninian s Cave there is a congregation of those less able to make the journey gathered in St Ninian s Church in Whithorn itself uniting in prayer with us at this Mass while Monsignor Boyd celebrates Mass with them in the Church.  



Here in this area we are brought back 1600 years ” to the roots of Christianity in Scotland. Just a few years before the great jubilee of the year 2000 in 1997 at the request of Pope John Paul II, the Christians of Scotland commemorated St Ninian s journey back to his native land bringing the Christian Faith.  

We have with us those two heirs to that long and proud Christian tradition in our country “ Bishop Maurice and Bishop John. They in the restored Hierarchy of Scotland are respectively the sixth and seventh Bishops of Galloway, following the long and proud tradition of bishops in this area. When preaching at Bishop John s Episcopal Ordination I remembered those words in stone in the crypt of the Scots ColIege Rome above the mosaic in honour of St Ninian: Sancte Ninianus Romae Episcopus Consecratus in Patriam mittitur. These words mean: St Ninian, having been consecrated Bishop at Rome, was sent to his native land .  



At this cave ” and along this Galloway coastline as indeed along the coastline of my own native land in County Antrim Northern Ireland there are constant reminders for us of  

Christian journey, constant reminders as we undertake the physical journey to this place. If there is any phrase which would be of practical application as we walk to the cave  

it would quite simply be take the rough with the smooth . There are those stretches of dry packed sand ” but there are also the rough stones and pebbles which remind you with a  

jolt that the journey is not all that easy.  



I use that parallel in my words with you today as we continue our Christian journey ” take the rough with the smooth ; as well as those easy patches along the way there are also  

those sharp reminders that we are indeed Christians on a Christian journey in union with Jesus Christ.  



The rough at this present time:  



Perhaps we could consider the rough at this present time “ just what it is and just how it affects us!  

We could sum up the rough under two principal headings ” headings which I have been considering since my own appointment as a Cardinal last year by Pope John Paul II.  
First of all there is that constant battle against secularism; an almost rising tide in the world of today almost submerging us with its volume and its power.  

So often the things of God don t seem to matter to those around us; the lowest common denominator with regard to behaviour will do; any course of action is regarded as being sufficient at this present time.  

It is surely the task of the Christian journeying along the way with and to Christ to say:  

Any standards just will not do! We must follow and maintain the standards of Jesus Christ and try to spread them in the Church and in the world of today .  

I have summed up my thoughts on this matter quite simply by saying that here in Scotland we do need a ˜re-Christianization ; we need to remind ourselves and others that we have heard the Christian message for the last 1600 years ” just 400 years after Jesus himself was on Earth. But the standards of society in general, and at times the standards of our  

fellow Christians, our fellow Catholics and our own standards, have fallen drastically. We must remind ourselves of these standards day by day. We must remind ourselves that we are indeed a Christian country in a Christian Europe ” while welcoming those of other faiths and of no faith in our midst.  



We do have a Christian heritage and a Christian teaching. I have indicated apparently small ways in which we can remind ourselves and others of our Christian heritage: Christmas stamps and nativity scenes: public stations of the cross and Easter plays or tableaux at Eastertide; ensuring that the Christian message is broadcast on our media. There are many apparently minor ways ” which all mount up into a public display. And following on reminders of Christianity we ourselves must ensure that Christianity is lived in our own homes, in our own communities.  



The other emphasis on which I have placed a great deal of hope at this present time is with regard to marriage and family life.  
You are as aware as I am of the ways in which standards with regard to marriage and family life have fallen drastically over the last few decades. I think back to some 40 years when I was ordained a priest ” it was the norm for young couples to enter into the Sacrament of Matrimony and to have a family; it was most unusual for anyone to declare publicly that they were living a lifestyle different from that norm; when not all Catholic marriages were  

successful there was no public display as to how the Church was wrong and ˜they were right. How different it is in Scotland at this present time!  

I do appeal for better preparation for marriage; I appeal for young people to consider calling Christ into their union in the Sacrament rather than simply living together; I ask that children be welcomed into our families as a gift from Almighty God; and I urge every possible help and care be given by both Church and State to ensure that marriages do thrive at this present time, surviving those rough times which fall in the paths of everyone.  

A reminder of the smooth:  

It would be wrong on this occasion if I did not remind you also of the ˜smooth given us by Christ to help us along the way.  

Christ is indeed with us ” in prayer and sacraments ” as he was here in this place with St Ninian some 1600 years ago. It is indeed very moving to realise that in this very spot perhaps Christian prayer was offered in Scotland for the first time. Here we can imagine St Ninian repeating the words of the Our Father from Sacred Scripture and handing those words on to those who would listen to him; as a priest and as a bishop it is reasonable to assume that St Ninian offered the Sacrifice of the Mass in this place; and can we not also assume that he spoke and taught of the standards of Jesus Christ, of the necessity of living true to these Christian standards, and of the basic Christian values of marriage and family life as taught by Jesus Christ himself.  

Perhaps we can consider another great ˜smooth on our pathway through life ” our union with the whole Catholic Church throughout the world.  

Perhaps we do not think of this often enough ” and of the constant call to prayer from our Church and the means of prayer offered to us. Just recently we have celebrated the Year of the Rosary and in a few weeks time we will begin our celebration of the Year of the Eucharist. Perhaps the title of that last ˜year will remind us of the strength of the Church and that the Church is indeed formed from the Eucharist.  

We have the teaching of Christ Sunday by Sunday at Mass and in our Catechism; we realise the value of the lay faithful in our Church at this present time as they grow stronger not just in their faith but in their commitment to service; we realise as never before in Scotland the tremendous and vitally important role of the lay faithful in the Church and in society.  

Conclusion:  
Here on this rocky shore as I remind you to take the rough with the smooth, I ask you to remember that the smooth will help us over those rough patches.  

Go forward confidently remembering those wonderful words of Pope John Paul II at the beginning of the new millennium: Launch out into the deep!  

As Ninian and those early apostles of the faith in our land were not frightened to launch out into the deep neither must we be frightened.  

We are not on any sort of ˜losing side ! We sing: Christ is for us who can be against! .  

We are with Christ and heirs to a long and proud Christian tradition. The world is waiting to hear again that Christian message ” and we must be among those who spread it in our own land and further afield.  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 99 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

MERCY BUS TO STOP AT PARLIAMENT 

| 05th September 2018 | Blogging

A double decker bus promoting the Catholic faith will visit the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Thursday 6 September) when Bishop John Keenan, the Bishop of Paisley will meet MSP’s and parliamentary staff.     The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland are taking the Mercy Bus to the Scottish Parliament to spread the joy of the Gospel. The bus toured Scottish towns last year and more than 1,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets were given out on the streets of Scotland.     Commenting on the initiative, Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley said:       “The Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.  Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. I’m sure the visit to the Scottish Parliament will be no different and look forward to meeting politicians and members of the public and bringing the message of the Mercy Bus to them.”       Supporting the initiative, Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office said;     “The Mercy Bus is an excellent initiative, giving the Scottish public the chance to learn more about the Catholic faith and practising Catholics the opportunity to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The Friends of Divine Mercy team are doing something quite incredible through this initiative, something the Catholic faithful in Scotland should celebrate.     “As Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office I am particularly delighted that the Mercy Bus will visit the Scottish Parliament. I hope that MSPs will recognise the positive message that Friends of Divine Mercy are trying to convey through the Mercy Bus and that Catholic MSPs and their staff in particular will enjoy the experience.”     ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org   Notes to editors:   1.For further information please contact Anthony Horan on 07903 952985   2.You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to the Scottish Parliament (Main Entrance) at 1pm on Thursday 6 September 2018 where the bus will be based until 2.30pm.   3. Bishop Keenan will be on board the bus and will be joined by Roseanna Cunningham MSP   4.The bus is a Stagecoach Dennis Alexander Trident, fleet number 18334, of Kilmarnock depot and is 55 registered. Sir Brian Souter has donated it with a driver. It’s been branded with the Mercy logo.   5.Image of the bus can be downloaded here: https://www.rcdop.org.uk/events/friends-of-divine-mercy-scotland-with-the-mercy-bus   * Roseanna Cunningham is sponsoring the Mercy Bus at the Scottish Parliament as an MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire....

MERCY BUS IS BACK ON THE ROAD

| 27th July 2018 | Blogging

The Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland are taking the Mercy Bus back out on the road this summer to spread the joy of the Gospel from a double-decker bus.   Fr Joe Burke will open the tour in Johnstone Square, Renfrewshire on Monday 30 July 2018 at 11 a.m.   Last year, over 200 people boarded the Bus and more than 1,000 Miraculous Medals and Divine Mercy Chaplets were given out on the streets of Scotland.   Organiser Helen Border said:   “Everyone is welcome to come along and visit our ‘church on wheels!’ Today, people find forgiveness hard to accept and sometimes even harder to give. Taking the church to the people shows that the Lord loves and cares for them and wants them to return to him.”   “There will be priests hearing confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ with literature, tea, coffee and home baking available downstairs.”   The bus will visit: Johnstone, Coatbridge, Greenock, Cumbernauld, Glasgow and Paisley. Holy Mass will be celebrated by Father Stephen Baillie, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s in the Diocese of Paisley on board the bus at 2 p.m. on Saturday 4 August 2018 at Paisley town centre.   Commenting on the initiative, Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley said:     “Up and down the UK the Mercy Bus has been a great initiative of the New Evangelisation Pope John Paul II hoped for.  Its presence in the heart of town centres is welcomed by shoppers and workers of all faiths and none, as a joyful and hopeful presence of God in their midst. They see the Church coming to be among them with the Good News of God’s mercy very close at hand so they can reach out and touch it, or simply rejoice in its nearness.  The Mercy Bus works because so many lay men and women reach out to shoppers in the environment of the Bus and invite them to go in to chat with the priests inside or receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So the Mercy Bus is a sign of the essence of the Church where lay faithful go out to their peers to welcome into the pastoral care of priests who teach and heal.”   ENDS   Notes to editors:   1. For further information please contact Helen Border on 07786097147.   2. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew to Houston Square, Johnstone at 11.a.m. on Monday 30 July 2018 when the bus will be blessed by Fr Joe Burke and begin its journey.   3. The bus is a Stagecoach Dennis Alexander Trident, fleet number 18334, of Kilmarnock depot and is 55 registered. Sir Brian Souter has donated it for a week’s use with a driver. It’s been branded with the Mercy logo.   4. Image of the bus can be downloaded here: https://www.rcdop.org.uk/events/friends-of-divine-mercy-scotland-with-the-mercy-bus   5. DATES, TIMES AND VENUES Monday 30 July 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Houston Square, Johnstone, Renfrewshire Tuesday 31 July 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Quadrant Shopping Centre, 126 Main Street, Coatbridge Wednesday 01 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cathcart Square, Greenock town centre, Greenock Thursday 02 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Antonine Centre, Tryst Road, Cumbernauld Friday 03 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Buchanan Street, outside the Concert Hall, Glasgow Saturday 04 August 2018 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Paisley High Street, Paisley where Fr Stephen Baillie will be celebrating Holy mass at 2 p.m....

Bishop calls on UK Government to sign and ratify Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

| 25th May 2018 | Blogging

25 May 2018   Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, will tomorrow (Saturday 26 May) at 12 noon join other Church leaders and campaigners in calling for the Secretary of State to sign and ratify the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.   Taking part in the Pentecost Witness at Faslane Naval Base alongside representatives of the Church of Scotland and Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Nolan will call on the Secretary of State to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the Treaty.   Commenting ahead of the event tomorrow, Bishop Nolan said:   “We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against God’s creation.”   The Treaty opened for signature at the United Nations on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, it will make the possession, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law.   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Notes to Editors: 1. Full text of the letter sent to the Secretary of State is copied below 2. An image of Bishop Nolan is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/25508101134/in/album- 72157666531058155/ Full text of Letter Dear Secretary of State, As you are aware, the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons opened for signature at the UN on 20 September 2017. Once ratified, this treaty will make the possession use and threat of use of nuclear weapons illegal under international law. We believe in the dignity and right to life of every human being and that nuclear weapons violate that dignity and threaten that life. It is evident that the use of nuclear weapons would have indiscriminate and devastating humanitarian consequences that would extend beyond the borders of any single nation state. The World Council of Churches has stated ‘that as long as such weapons exist, they pose a threat to humanity and to creation’. Pope Francis has condemned not just the threat of use, but the possession of nuclear arms as they serve to create a culture of fear for all humankind and consume vast amounts of human and financial resources that could be better used for human development. The threat of nuclear arms poisons the soul of humanity, and their use by any state or leader would be an immoral act against humanity and against creation. Those signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons agreed not to develop, test, produce, manufacture, acquire, possess, stockpile, transfer or receive nuclear weapons. The 122 governments so far who have signed the Treaty recognise along with countless numbers of people throughout the world that we have lived with these weapons for far too long and that they must now be outlawed and eliminated. Successive governments of both major parties have affirmed their commitment to multilateral disarmament for the last 50 years, however the decision by Parliament to spend billions of pounds renewing the UK’s arsenal of mass destruction in times of austerity is not a commitment to peacebuilding and is contrary to our commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The British Government, by signing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, would be taking a positive step towards fulfilling those commitments. We, the undersigned, ask you to urgently develop and publish a transition plan so that the UK is ready to sign and ratify the treaty at the earliest opportunity. We pledge to continue to do our part to realise a world without nuclear weapons. Bishop William Nolan President of the Scottish Catholic Bishops’ Justice and ...

New Safeguarding Manual comes into force

| 21st May 2018 | Blogging

In a letter sent to all Catholic parishes over the weekend, Bishop Joseph Toal, who is responsible for Safeguarding on behalf of the Bishops ofScotland,has marked the publication of new national Safeguarding standards which come into force on Monday 21stMay.   In his letter, Bishop Toal commends the publication of ‘In God’s Image’, a new and extensive manual which offers comprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding in the Catholic Church.   On behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, he writes:   “Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.”   The publication of these new materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been implementing the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in 2015, with rigorous oversight by an Independent Review Group chaired by Baroness Helen Liddell.   Bishop Toal states that engagement with survivors will continue to be an important task for the Church:   “For some years now, each Bishop has been meeting with survivors and will continue to do so. Given the profound and sensitive nature of this issue, such encounters take place discreetly, at times and paces suited to the needs of survivors.”   Adding:   “Through the protection and care we show to all, and through the compassion, healing and justice we offer to those who have survived abuse, we must continue to renew, rebuild and restore faith and hope in the church by offering faith and hope to one another. “   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors:   The new manual can be viewed here:    https://ingodsimage.bcos.org.uk/      Full text of the letter sent to parishes is copied below.   Pastoral Letter for distribution to Congregations on Pentecost Sunday 2018   My Dear People,   I write, on behalf of all the Bishops of Scotland, to draw your attention to the publication of our Church’s new Safeguarding materials which come into force on 21stMay 2018.  These include ‘In God’s Image’, the document which offerscomprehensive guidance and instruction on every aspect of Safeguarding, including compliance with new Safeguarding standards.  This hasbeen shaped by the recent experience and developing expertise of those involved in the front line of Safeguarding in the Church, both in Scotland and internationally.In ratifying this publication, the Bishops have taken the opportunity to repeat and renew apologies made to those who have suffered any form of abuse, at any time, by anyone representing the Church.     Your Bishops want you to know that we aspire to the highest standards of care and protection of all, and we are committed to rebuilding trust and confidence in the ways in which we ensure that children, young people and vulnerable adults are kept safe.  We are most grateful to the teams of Safeguarding personnel in all Dioceses and to over 9,000 trained volunteers who support the work of parishes and religious congregations across Scotland.     The publication of these materials marks the end of a period in which the Church has been working quietly, but tirelessly, to implement the recommendations of the McLellan Commission that reported in August 2015.     Since 2013 we have published annual audits of allegations reported to us each year. Last month, we also published a historical review of non-recent cases of abuse, covering the period 1943–2005. The publication of our annual audits, the historical review and our new Safeguarding materials demonstrate our ongoing commitment to openness and transparency.     We recognise, however, that pu...