scmo_banner_news.jpg


Cardinal O'Brien contributes to Summit on Sectarianism.  

Speaking at this morning's ' Summit on Sectarianism' hosted by Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell Cardinal Keith O'Brien welcomed the initiative and stressed the willingness of the Catholic Church to contribute to such an anti-sectarian event.  

In his contribution, the Cardinal highlighted two themes; the Act of Settlement as a hindrance to religious tolerance and the benefits of a Charter of Religious Freedom.  

Referring to the Act of Settlement, the Cardinal said;  
"Although it may be argued that this is a piece of arcane legislation very unlikely to affect any of Scotland s Catholics directly “ that would be to miss the point, which is that its effect is indirect “ it causes offence and is hurtful. No other religious group in the UK is similarly excluded or stigmatized in law."  

He added;  

"While the Scottish Executive is not responsible in any way for this legislation nor able to repeal or amend it “ an acknowledgement from them that they; Accept it is offensive, and encourage their Westminster colleagues to repeal it, would be symbolically important and warmly welcomed."  

Cardinal O'Brien also proposed that consideration be given by the Executive to promoting a Charter of Religious Freedom containing six key principles.  

The full text of Cardinal O'Brien's contribution 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  




Cardinal O Brien  
Address to Summit on Sectarianism  

Thank you for this opportunity to contribute to this important event. I congratulate the First Minister and all in the Scottish Executive in their determination to challenge the bigotry which can accompany sectarianism. We all know that tensions and friction inevitability arise between individuals and between groups in society. Differences of opinion or customs or religious practice can sometimes be an excuse for some to resort to violence, intimidation or unjust discrimination.  

The Scottish Parliament made a notable contribution in combating unjust discrimination when it stated as far back as December 1999 That the Parliament believes that the discrimination contained in the Act of Settlement [1701] has no place in our modern society . It is beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make a change in this area but its powerful message was an important gesture in recognising the injustice of legislation which discriminates solely against Catholics. My predecessor Cardinal Winning spoke strongly on this issue declaring of the Act of Settlement, its continued presence on the statute books is an offensive reminder to the whole Catholic community of a mentality which has no place in modern Britain.  

I also raised the issue last week in regard to the announcement that Prince Charles is to marry when I said I am saddened to think that were Mrs Parker-Bowles a Catholic, the Prince of Wales would by marrying her, automatically lose his right to succeed to the Throne as would his heirs .  

Other forms of unjust discrimination can be manifest as anti-social behaviour and the Executive has made great efforts in tackling anti-social behaviour in our communities through recent legislation. It is consistent with that approach that various causes of anti-social behaviour be addressed. Today s conference highlights an important strand in that work.  

It is important that we work together in addressing the tensions that arise out of living together in society and encountering the diversity of faiths which are the reality in many communities. Where these differences lead to tensions of whatever level the answer is not to eradicate differences. The One Scotland Many Cultures campaign is I believe a good illustration of this fact. Diversity is often a strength and a good; it respects human freedom and dignity. Fostering the good of every member of society means protecting the legitimate rights of people to hold to their legitimate beliefs and values and to manifest these publicly with respect for the common good of all.  
I assure the First minister that his endeavour to do this, he has the support of the Catholic community.  

Recently we have had much media attention around the health of Pope John Paul II, it has been heartening to see and hear the concerns of so many people of all faiths. Only just over a week ago, Dr Alison Elliot, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland took the opportunity at the Time of Reflection in the Scottish Parliament to convey her good wishes for the pope. I think that exemplified the good relations among the Christian Churches in Scotland.  

I would like to make two proposals today.  

Firstly, that the Act of Settlement 1701 be the focus of investigation with a view as to how the offensive elements of it can be repealed.  

Secondly, I would like to propose that to foster goodwill among people of all faiths and none that a Charter of Religious Freedom be promoted.  

I say this following on the words of Pope John Paul II in a recent address to diplomats of the world.  

He said In your service as diplomats you are rightly concerned to protect the freedom of the peoples you represent ¦Freedom is a great good, because only by freedom can human beings find fulfilment in a manner befitting their nature. Freedom is like light: It enables one to choose responsibly his proper goals and the right means of achieving them. At the very heart of human freedom is the right to religious freedom, since it deals with man's most fundamental relationship: his relationship with God. Religious freedom is expressly guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ¦.  

There need be no fear that legitimate religious freedom would limit other freedoms or be injurious to the life of civil society. On the contrary: together with religious freedom, all other freedoms develop and thrive, inasmuch as freedom is an indivisible good ¦ Neither should there be a fear that religious freedom ¦ would intrude upon the realm of political freedom and the competencies proper to the State: The Church is able carefully to distinguish, as she must, what belongs to Caesar from what belongs to God  

In a charter of Religious Freedom, if it be accepted, I suggest the following principles as a basic model:  


1. The right to religious freedom is grounded in respect for human dignity.  

2. Individuals should not be forced to act in a manner contrary to their religious beliefs, nor should they be restrained from acting in accordance with their religious beliefs.  

3. Religious bodies have a right to manifest and teach the social relevance of their religious beliefs.  

4. Religious bodies have a right to establish and maintain corporate institutions and services and conduct them in accordance with their religious beliefs and values.  

5. Because the right to religious freedom is exercised within society, it ought to be subject to the laws which ordinarily safeguard justice and civil order.  

6. Civil authorities do not have the right to command or inhibit acts of religion which are outside their proper competence.  



In working for the common good of Scottish society a climate of tolerance in regard to the rights of others to follow their faith will contribute to a stronger nation. I sincerely hope today s efforts and the work surrounding this event will help bring about that climate.  

Subscribe to Updates

Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 90 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

New Safeguarding Manual comes into force

| 60 minutes ago | 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...

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia backs ‘journalism of moral integrity’

| 10th May 2018 | Blogging

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, has written to all 500 Catholic parishes this weekend (12/13 May) to mark World Communications Day.     This year, Pope Francis has chosen ‘Truth’ as the theme of his Communications Day message and bemoaned the persistent spread of “fake news”. In his letter, based on the Pope’s theme, Archbishop Tartaglia writes:     “Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good and beautiful.”     Pope Francis has urged Catholics to:     “…contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and of rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.”     Calling on Catholics to be partners in this quest for truth Archbishop Tartaglia says: “Truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather truth involves our whole life…it carries with it the sense of support, solidarity and trust. Journalists are called to be protectors of news and to promote the truth”     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 Archbishop Targtaglia Letter is copied below. 2. Full text of Pope Francis message for World Communications Day is copied below. My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ In his message for Communications Sunday this year, Pope Francis reminds us that Communication is part of God’s plan for us, allowing us to express and share all that is true, good, and beautiful. But he warns us, that when we yield to our own pride and selfishness, we can distort our ability to communicate. The capacity to twist the truth is a human failing. Today we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as “fake news”. This has caused the Pope to make truth the theme of this year’s communications message, when he urges us to: “contribute to our shared commitment to stemming the spread of fake news and to rediscovering the dignity of journalism and the personal responsibility of journalists to communicate the truth.” The term “fake news” refers to the spreading of disinformation online or in the traditional media based on non-existent or distorted data designed to deceive and manipulate the reader by mimicking real news. Social networks can allow untrue stories to spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage. Such disinformation can discredit and demonise while fomenting conflict and spreading arrogance and hatred. Preventing and identifying the way disinformation works calls for a profound and careful process of discernment. So how do we defend ourselves? The most radical antidote to the virus of falsehood is purification by the truth. In Christianity, truth is not just a conceptual reality that regards how we judge things, defining them as true or false. Rather, truth involves our whole life. In the Bible, it carries with it the sense of support, solidity, and trust. We discover and rediscover the truth when we experience it within ourselves in the loyalty and trustworthiness of the One who loves us. This alone can liberate us, as in the words of the Gospel according to John: "The truth will set you free". To discern the truth, we need to discern everything that encourages communion and promotes goodness. I would like to quote at length from the Pope’s message and urge you to read his text in full which is available on the website of the Catholic Media Office at www.scmo.org. The Pope says; 'The best antidotes to falsehoods are not strategies, but people: people who are not greedy but ready to listen, people...

Archbishop Leo Cushley celebrates first ever Mass in Scottish Parliament

| 28th March 2018 | Blogging

28 March 2018     Today, 28 March, at 12.30pm Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh, will celebrate what is believed to be the first ever Mass in the Scottish Parliament. All MSPs are invited to attend mass, which takes place during Holy Week.     Commenting on the occasion, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:     ‘The celebration of Holy Mass, the summit of Catholic life, is an opportunity to express prayers for the work of our elected representatives and for the common good of society. Of course, Holyrood means Holy Cross, so in that sense, parliament is a most fitting place for this historic celebration.’       Archbishop Leo Cushley said:     "It is a great privilege to be officially invited to offer Holy Mass within the Scottish Parliament, the first such invitation since the parliament's re-establishment 19 years ago. It is a generous gesture which seems to recognise that Catholics are valued participants in the civic life of contemporary Scotland, where we seek to work with others in advancing the common good."      ENDS   Peter 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. Images will be available from Paul McSherry on at paul.mcsherry@ntlworld.com or 07770393960....

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

| 22nd March 2018 | 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.? ?...