scmo_banner_news.jpg


Election Statement from the Catholic Bishops  

Date 28 April 2005  

REFLECTIONS ON THE MOST SIGNIFICANT ISSUES  
OF THE 2005 GENERAL ELECTION  


INTRODUCTION  

The forthcoming election provides an important opportunity for all citizens to decide the character and policy of the next Government. All concerned with the Common Good should take their democratic responsibilities seriously and participate in the electoral process. Such participation, however, should be informed - and in the case of Catholic voters - guided by the teachings of the Church. In this regard, Scotland s Catholic Bishops highlight the following issues as being of fundamental importance:  

THE RIGHT TO LIFE:  

The appalling practice of abortion must always be opposed. Each and every human being is worthy of respect and legal protection from its very beginning. We remain supportive of any amendment to the law which would reduce the number of abortions, especially late term abortions, carried out in the UK.  

New threats to life continue to emerge in the form of human cloning and ˜assisted dying legislation. Euthanasia deliberately conspires at the killing of the patient and must be opposed.  
Palliative care (as provided in hospices) is the morally acceptable alternative to euthanasia.  

The cloning of embryos to provide embryonic stem cells for therapeutic use (so-called therapeutic cloning ) is immoral and cannot be supported. There is a moral and realistic alternative in the use of adult stem cells.  

FREEDOM FROM POVERTY:  

Poverty exists at home and abroad on a dehumanising level. While relative in our own society it is absolute in many parts of the world. Though most in our society have benefited from economic prosperity, many remain excluded. We have a duty, then, to ensure that all have the opportunity to share in the goods of the earth and the prosperity that human work has created.  

In a world where a child dies every 3 seconds and over 100 million children do not go to school we urge all political parties to prioritise the fight against global poverty and work towards making poverty history .  

Hosting the G8 summit provides an unrivalled opportunity to influence development policy. The UK should insist that the EU withdraw its demand for water to be included in the General Agreement on Trade in Services and put pressure on the World Bank and IMF to stop imposing trade conditions on poor countries.  

The UK Government has promised to commit 0.7% of its national wealth in aid to countries in the developing world. Currently, we provide less than half of that. This year our elected representatives must keep their word to the poor by honouring this commitment. It should not have economic policy conditions attached other than to ensure transparency and good financial accounting. Human needs must always take priority over debt repayments.  

PROMOTION OF EUROPEAN HARMONY  

We see European cooperation as a sign of hope for increased international solidarity between nations and peoples. Such solidarity and harmonisation is good for our own society, good for Europe, and good for the world at large. However Europe must not become detached from its ethical and historical origins founded on Christian beliefs and ideals recognizing also the important ethical contributions of other faith communities. The political processes of the European Union should be increasingly responsive and transparent in order that its institutions receive the support and endorsement of Europe s citizens.  

MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY.  

The Church s social policy is based firmly on the family. Marriage is a unique relationship of love between man and woman and is the origin of family life. Laws which obscure this reality or propose alternative relationships as equivalent to marriage cannot be supported.  

SOCIAL JUSTICE  

The Gospel inspires us to show solidarity with all those affected, in whatever way, by injustice. On asylum and immigration, policies are needed which respect the right of people to seek sanctuary/asylum in our country and better their own economic conditions, while contributing to the common wealth of the nation. We support efforts to foster respect for racial, ethnic and religious differences.  

PEACE  

We are called at all levels to promote peace. War must always be a last resort. We should recall the words of the late Pope John Paul II, ˜Wars generally do not resolve the problems for which they are fought and therefore, in addition to causing horrendous damage, they prove ultimately futile. War is a defeat for humanity.  

CONCLUSION  

There are many areas of politics where Catholics can legitimately differ in their views. While the Church has a richly developed social doctrine, it is not her task to engage in the formulation of economic policy, nor is it her role to propose answers to those pragmatic questions which are the responsibility of elected politicians.  

The Church s concern is to propose sure principles on which ethical political, social and economic theories can rest, so as to assist in the promotion of a harmonious and just society committed to the common good  

At this election we have an opportunity of making a difference. We should grasp it.  



Prepared by the Bishops Conference of Scotland. April 2005  

Subscribe to Updates
Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 44 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

Two former Anglicans to be ordained Catholic priests in Scotland

| 5 hours ago | Blogging

Two former clergy who served as Anglican ministers will be ordained as Catholic priests this week as part of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, set up in 2011 by Pope Benedict to bring former Episcopalian and Anglican clergy and their people into the Catholic Church.     Rev Simon Beveridge who lives near Whithorn in Dumfries and Galloway will be ordained a priest in Whithorn in Galloway by Bishop William Nolan on Thursday 14th December.  Before being received into the Catholic Church he served as a Vicar in the Church of England from 1987 before becoming a Royal Navy Chaplain in 1993 serving with the Commando Royal Marines and latterly as Regional Navy Chaplain (North), based at Faslane on the Clyde.     There is one ‘secret occupation’ that Deacon Beveridge is very proud of.  He was an amateur jockey!  As he explained, “I trained as an amateur jockey at the British Racing School at Newmarket attending the Amateur National Hunt Course, with race horse trainer, Jimmy Frost, enjoying my first full season racing Point to Point 2006-7 and achieved a winner at Wadebridge in Cornwall.   “That season culminated in me representing the Royal Navy in The Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown Park where I met a spectacular end by being run out into the rails by two loose horses when leading nine lengths clear of the rest of field!  I have firm intentions to provide a home for a couple of retired race horses once our new home, the Mill, is completed and the paddocks are ready.”   The head of the Ordinariate in the UK is Monsignor Keith Newton.  He was a former Church of England Bishop and is married and cannot therefore be a bishop in the Catholic Church.  Although he has the authority of a bishop in many things, he is not able to ordain men to the priesthood and invites other bishops to do so on his behalf.     Monsignor Newton said, “I am delighted by the welcome the Ordinariate has been shown by Bishop Nolan and Archbishop Cushley.  Their willingness to ordain these me on my behalf to serve the Catholic Church in the Ordinariate as well as their understanding of our unique situation and their words of encouragement have been much appreciated and I look forward to being with them for these ordinations.” Fr Beveridge will begin the task of forming an Ordinariate presence in Galloway while assisting, when available, in the parishes of Kirkcudbright, Dalbeattie, Whithorn, Wigtown, Newton Stewart, with Gatehouse of Fleet and Castle Douglas. Rev Cameron Macdonald, who lives in Nairn, was ordained as an Episcopalian minister in 1990 and served at St Columba’s Episcopal Church in Nairn before becoming an Army chaplain in 1995. He served with 3 and 4 Regiment Army Air Corp in Suffolk and then in Croatia as part of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force and later in Germany with the Royal Green Jackets, going on a Tour of Duty to Bosnia. He later served with the 39 Engineers and in Cairo, Gibraltar, America, Oman and Canada. He will be ordained priest on Saturday (16th December) by Archbishop Leo Cushley in St Columba’s, Edinburgh, and will assist Fr Len Black, the senior Ordinariate priest in Scotland, in serving the growing number of Ordinariate people in Scotland. Fr Black said, “This is an exciting time for the Ordinariate in Scotland and having these two new priests working with me will allow us to provide more opportunities for people to experience our unique liturgical traditions which Pope Benedict described as “a prophetic gesture” that would contribute positively to the developing “the restoration of full ecclesial communion in the context of which the mutual exchange of gifts from our respective spiritual patrimonies serves as an enrichment to us all”. 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 ...

Catholic Church suggests Hate Crime review, offers opportunity to consolidate rather than separate legislation

| 29th November 2017 | Blogging

Catholic Church suggests Hate Crime review, offers opportunity to consolidate rather than separate legislation     Church comments come in response to the Scottish Government’s Review of Hate Crime legislation, chaired by Lord Bracadale: http://www.gov.scot/About/Review/Hate-Crime-Legislation     The review is charged with considering whether existing hate crime law represents the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice.     Commenting on the review, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan who submitted a detailed response on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said:     “This process is an opportunity, ultimately, to ensure that the legislation is just and that every group is protected. This does not have to be a “zero sum game” where one group “wins” and another “loses” but rather could be an opportunity to rationalise and simplify legislation. A desirable outcome would be a single aggravation such as section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. Applied to all protected characteristics equally, it would be a simple and straightforward “message.” which would foster harmony in that all groups would be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”     Mr Horan added;     “It is important that any legislation, preserves judicial discretion recognising that Scotland has a Criminal Justice System populated by highly trained prosecutors and Judges. They are best placed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual cases and should be free to do so in the absence of their decision being “politicised” by legislation which creates a perceived “scandal” where none exists.”     The Church response also highlights Scotland’s long history of anti-Catholicism and urges Government recognition be given to the historic roots of present conflicts. Pointing out that for over twenty years successive Scottish Governments have dedicated significant resources into programmes and projects designed to tackle the symptoms of sectarianism. The submission adds, that in the same period the growth in such funding has been matched by an increase in religious hate crime.       The response notes, that “an opportunity exists to acknowledge that anti-Catholic sectarianism is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other types of religious hate crime in Scotland. Instances of anti-Catholicism outnumber all other type of religious hate crime combined, in a country where Catholics represent only 16% of the population. This is a product of the Reformation Parliament of 1560 and its condemnation of Catholic doctrine and worship including the ban on the celebration of all Catholic sacraments. No other religion or belief has ever been so proscribed in Scotland, the legacy of this proscription continues to the present day. A recommendation by this review, that the Scottish Government consider issuing a collective, retrospective apology could go some way towards building, repairing and renewing bonds between communities harmed by historical wrongdoing. It could also be the first step in addressing historical iniquities.”     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 Note to Editors: The full text of the response to the Hate Crime Review, is shown below: Response ID ANON-T58X-H9EZ-S Submitted to Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland Submitted on 2017-11-22 14:43:00  What do we mean by hate crime legislation and why does it exist?  Do you consider that the working definition, discussed in this chapter, adequately covers what should be regarded as hate crime by the law of Scotland?  Yes Please give reasons for your answer.:  The definition discussed in this chapter is only ...

Archbishop Leo Cushley delivers Time for Reflection in Scottish Parliament

| 28th November 2017 | Blogging

Delivering the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today, (Tuesday 28 November 2017), Archbishop Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh celebrated Scotland’s Patron, Saint Andrew.   Commenting on the legacy of St Andrew he said: “the university town, his name, and his flag, all remind us of something that’s been here, doing a lot of good for a lot of people, for many centuries: and that is the civilizing influence of fair laws, of just courts, of a belief in objective truth, of standards of behaviour, of mutual respect, of helping others who need a hand.”   “No matter your beliefs”, he added, “there are still one or two of these things that we can all agree are worth holding on to.”   Commenting on Archbishop Cushley’s reflection, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:     “As we approach the feast of St Andrew it is fitting that Archbishop Cushley be invited to deliver the Time for Reflection. It is important that as a society we honour our saints and there is no doubt that St Andrew has a special place in Scottish hearts.     “I am personally delighted to see our Catholic bishops in the Scottish Parliament and I am extremely grateful to the Presiding Officer and his team for their warm welcome and kind hospitality. It is also a fitting opportunity to thank all those politicians who work for the common good of our society, particularly our Catholic MSPs who commit themselves to loving service in an increasingly testing environment.”     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: Full text of Archbishop Cushley’s Time for Reflection is copied below. Time for Reflection by Archbishop Leo Cushley As we all know, 30 November, just around the corner, is St Andrew’s Day.  It’s our national day, just as the English choose to celebrate St George, the Irish St Patrick and the Welsh St David. The Welsh found a local lad to celebrate as their national patron; the English have an Armenian soldier, popular among the Crusaders of the high middle ages; the Irish chose a Briton, maybe even from what is now Scotland; and the Scots have a Galilean fisherman.   Who got the best patron? Well, the English picked someone brave and chivalrous; the Welsh picked someone holy; the Irish picked someone fiery and outspoken; and we picked… a fisherman.  Why a fisherman?  Well, I have a theory, and it’s nothing to do with smokies: so, get comfortable, because here it comes.   You see, the English used to have St Peter as their national patron, and he was the first Pope.  At that time, the Scots had St Columba as their national patron; good local choice, but not quite up to competing with the first Pope; so, the Scots changed their national patron to St Andrew.  Now, Andrew wasn’t the first pope, but he was the first man to be called to follow Jesus.  And in the middle ages, that counted for something… Over a thousand years ago, his relics were brought to the town known now St Andrews, and the kings and people of this country built a cathedral in his honour there.  I’m told that, for centuries, St Andrew’s Cathedral was the largest building in the whole of Scotland, and pilgrims came from all over Europe to visit it.   Today, we’re still proud of Andrew, but in a vague, distant way. Yet he, the university town, his name, and his flag, all remind us of something that’s been here, doing a lot of good for a lot of people, for many centuries: and that is the civilizing influence of fair laws, of just courts, of a belief in objective truth, of standards of behaviour, of mutual respect, of helping others who need a hand.  And that’s probably the best thing about having Andrew as national patron: no matter your beliefs, there are stil...

Scottish Bishop to visit Calais migrant camp

| 27th November 2017 | Blogging

Scottish Bishop to visit Calais migrant camp.Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway, and President of Justice and Peace Scotland, will travel to Calais with Danny Sweeney, Justice and Peace Scotland’s Social Justice Co-ordinator, on 28th and 29th November, to the visit the migrant camp there. The visit is in unity with the work of the Catholic community in Calais, along with many others, and in solidarity with those in Calais seeking asylum and safety from situations of persecution and conflict.The Justice and Peace Scotland representatives will be guests of the Maria Stobkova Catholic Worker House in Calais, where local authorities have imposed measures to limit the distribution of food, provisions for showers, and possession of tents for migrants, to prevent the establishment of another camp.The visit is in response to increasing numbers of predominately unaccompanied young people returning following the destruction of the migrant camp, usually referred to as ‘the jungle’ in October last year. Speaking ahead of the visit Bishop Nolan said;“Though the migrant camp has been removed from Calais, and the media have moved on, there are still vulnerable young people there, unaccompanied children. Our visit is to see at first hand the plight of these children and to highlight the need for the British and French governments to care for them not neglect them.”Danny Sweeney said:“The situation in Calais, and other areas of northern France should be a national shame to the UK. We take in far fewer refugees than other European nations, particularly the countries which border conflict regions who bear the brunt of the current situation. “Pope Francis has recently reminded church and political leaders across Europe that we have to reflect seriously on Jesus’s words ‘I was a stranger, and you welcomed me’. To leave these children forgotten and abandoned in Europe, at risk of abuse, exploitation, and modern slavery is a damning indictment of our country. As we approach the season of Advent, all of us need to remember who we’re seeing when we set up our nativity cribs - a displaced, migrant family searching for shelter, who had to flee the powers of the state to Egypt to keep Jesus safe.”Bishop Nolan is undertaking this visit in order to witness first-hand the work being done to support young migrant and asylum seekers in Calais by the Catholic community and others, and to meet with those living in Calais seeking sanctuary. The visit is also to express solidarity with the young people who appear to have been abandoned by both French and British governments, and raise the profile of this issue in both public and political discourse in Scotland. Bishop Nolan will be joined in Calais by Bishop Paul McAleenan who chairs the English and Welsh Bishops’ Office for Migration Policy.Honor Hania, Chair, Justice and Peace Scotland, said "As a strongly prolife organisation, Justice and Peace Scotland has watched with growing concern the situation for refugees in and around Calais, with especial concern for the children. We hope this visit will raise awareness of their plight and that something positive and practical can be done to help.”Notes to editors:1. For further information, contact: Daniel Sweeney - on 07891579831 oroffice@justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk Tel : 0141 333 0238Facebook : Justice and Peace Scotland Twitter : @JandPScotland2. A background briefing on the Calais camp is shown below.ENDSPeter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.orgBriefingBackground(This background summary is taken from the Human Rights Watch report ‘Like Living in Hell’; Police abuses against child and adult migrants in Calais, July 2017 .)Until the end of October 2016, a sprawling, squalid shantytown on the edge of Calais, known colloquially as “the Jungle,” held between 6,000 and 10,000 refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, including many unaccom...