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September 2018 1 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, 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 ...

July 2018 1 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, 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...

May 2018 3 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, 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...

SCMO | | News Releases, 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/  ...

SCMO | | News Releases, 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 h...

March 2018 6 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, 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....

SCMO | | News Releases, 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.? ?...

SCMO | | News Releases, 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 par...

SCMO | | News Releases, 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  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org...

SCMO | | News Releases, 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 & th...

SCMO | | News Releases, Blogging
The abusive criticism aimed at politicians like Elaine Smith and Tim Farron might be enough to put Christians off political office for good, warns Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office in The Scotsman.     This follows recent derision of Elaine Smith’s appointment as shadow cabinet secretary for the eradication of poverty and inequality, which some have claimed is untenable because she voted against the redefinition of marriage in 2014.     Mr Horan echoes Pope Francis’ concerns that there is a sustained and ongoing “persecution” of traditional religion.     “For dissenters like Elaine Smith the persecution tends to take the form of bullying and abuse, some of which is obvious and some of which is a little more insidious”, he writes.     He argues that a secular, allegedly progressive religion has taken hold in Scotland attempting to convince people, particularly the young, that it is the only belief system that guarantees freedom; “that its tolerance knows no bounds. The truth is that it guarantees neither”.        He calls on politicians and people of all faiths and none to return to the basics and recognise “the inherent dignity of the human person and the common good”, and to encourage and support those who sacrifice a much easier life to uphold these values and ideals in public office.   Full text of the Friends of the Scotsman article is copied below.      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. An image of Anthony Horan is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/28347749242/in/album-72157670624194861/   2. Full text:     Friends of the Scotsman by Anthony Horan, Director, Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office     The thought police are on the prowl once again, this time critici...

February 2018 2 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, Blogging
In a new national initiative, the Director of the Catholic Church’s Parliamentary Office Anthony Horan has written to Scotland’s Catholic priests asking them to encourage their parishioners to get involved in politics and to make sure politicians are aware of what’s happening in their parishes.       The call to greater political action provides each parish in Scotland with full contact details of their MSP’s and MP’s and suggests inviting local representatives to events such as special Masses, charity events, coffee mornings, and youth clubs to make them as much a part of parish life as possible.        Commenting on the letter, Mr. Horan said:       “The Catholic parish is the centerpiece of the community and it exists to serve all people, including feeding the poor, ministering to the sick, accompanying the lonely, and engaging with young people”.       Mr Horan added:       “Building positive relationships between parishes and elected representatives, will help reveal the truth about the immensely positive contribution the Catholic Church makes to Scottish society”.       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:     An image of Anthony Horan is available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/28347749242/in/album-72157670624194861/   2. The letters will be sent to all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes.   3. Full text of the letter is copied below:     Dear Father   Catholic Parliamentary Office     I refer to the above agency of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and I am pleased to enclose some leaflets telling you a little more about the work of the office.       I am keen to increase the level of involvement of Catholics in political life, and in relation to matters of both national and loc...

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The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has appointed Fr Vincent Lockhart as the National Director for Scotland of the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio Scotland). Announcing the appointment, Bishop Joseph Toal, the Bishop of Motherwell said:     “I am pleased to announce that Fr Vincent Lockhart has been appointed by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples as the National Director for Scotland of the Pontifical Mission Societies (Missio Scotland). Fr Vincent has been acting Director for some time and it is good that his five-year term of Office has been confirmed by the Holy See.”       Bishop Toal added;     “The bishops gratefully acknowledge the dedication and commitment of Fr Tom Welsh to the work of Missio Scotland until his untimely death last year.”     Commenting on his appointment Fr. Lockhart said:     “I feel very honoured and grateful to have been appointed as the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Missio Scotland, and look forward to serving God and the Church in this role together with the bishops, the diocesan directors and the staff of Missio.      Missio is the Pope’s personal mission charity and is an expression of the fact that the Church is a family.  The work of Missio Scotland is to deepen that family bond between the Church here in Scotland and the Church in those countries where it is in need of our spiritual and material support. I place my trust in Pope Francis' prayers and ask for those of the Catholic community of Scotland."   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   Bio: Fr Vincent Lockhart   Fr Vincent Lockhart has been the parish priest of St Monica’s in Coatbridge since 2003 and is the diocesan director for Missio in Motherwell Diocese. In June 2016, he was asked by the bishops to carry...

January 2018 2 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, Blogging
The Catholic Church in Scotland has welcomed Baroness O’Loan’s Conscientious Objection (Medical Activites) Bill which seeks to ensure conscience rights for all medical professionals and received a second reading in the House of Lords on Friday. The Director of the Church’s Parliamentary Office has also called for similar legislation in Scotland.     The Bill clarifies the law to ensure conscience protections are in place for all medical professionals to protect them from discrimination, enabling them to fully participate in their chosen professions and care for patients to the best of their ability.     Commenting on the Bill, Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office said;     “This Bill could restore the fuller right of conscientious objection that was lost when the UK Supreme Court ruled that Glasgow midwives Mary Doogan and Connie Wood did not have a legal right to object to involvement in the abortion process. It is quite astonishing that anybody would deny another this basic right of conscience, a denial which flies in the face of Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights which protects the ‘right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.”     Mr Horan added;     “While the Bill only applies to England and Wales, its progress should be of interest to people in Scotland, where hopefully a similar bill could be presented to the Scottish Parliament. Conscientious objection is a widely respected concept with considerable international and national laws, guidance, and conventions protecting the right, a Scottish Bill would bring Scotland into line with international norms.”     Under the existing law, some medical professionals are not protected from unjust discrimination. GPs, as well as many nurses, midwives, pharmacists, and other medical professionals have limited statutory conscience protection. As a result, some areas of the healthcare profession are becoming increasingly ...

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Following their visit to Calais last year, Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Lead Bishop for Asylum and Migration for England and Wales and Bishop William Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland, issued a joint statement calling for a commitment by the UK Government to help migrants in Calais. Following recent developments, they have issue a further joint statement.     “We welcome the positive aspects of the Sandhurst Treaty which will come into force on 1st February. This agreement, the first treaty on the Calais border in 15 years, will streamline the process of migration from France to the UK. Where currently migrants are forced to wait up to six months, adults will now be able to transfer within 1 month and children within 25 days.     The Government and the Civil Service must be held to account in implementing this decision, especially in applying the Dublin III Regulations which will allow children to be reunited with their families in the UK. This opportunity to bring greater humanity and compassion to the migration system must be grasped by the Government.     We also welcome the UK’s commitment to support France in its provision of accommodation to those previously in the Dunkirk and Calais areas and to greater co-operation in the fight against organised crime, including those responsible for human trafficking. Improving the legal means by which migrants can access the UK will in itself reduce the amount of criminal activity.     However, we are clear that the additional £44.5 million of funding being promised by the UK to France and a proposed tightening-up of border security must not result in further violence and brutality against young migrants whose lives are already marked by destitution and suffering.     We are very pleased with the announcement made by Amber Rudd that the timeframe for the Dubs Amendment has been brought forward to January 2018. However, we strongly regret that this opportunity has not been used to c...

December 2017 2 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, Blogging
Aberdeen Priest, to become Spiritual Director of the Royal Scots College in Salamanca20 December 2017 Fr Stuart Chalmers has been appointed by the Scottish Bishops’ Conference as Spiritual Director of the Royal Scots College in Salamanca. Commenting on his appointment, the Bishop of Aberdeen, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said:“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Fr. Staurt for his great dedication and support, both to me personally, and to the Diocese and I wish him every blessing and success in his forthcoming Iberian endeavours.”Bishop Gilbert added;“The members of the Bishops’ Conference are most pleased that he has accepted this appointment and wish him every blessing and success in his new responsibilities.”Responding to his appointment, Fr. Stuart said;“I am delighted to have been appointed to this post and look forward to the new challenges it will bring. I hope to build on my experience of teaching in Salamanca over the last 5 years and supporting individuals in the diocese of Aberdeen as the prepared for the priesthood.”“I am very grateful to the Scottish Bishops for appointing me and to the parishioners of St. Joseph’s in Woodside and Holy Family in Mastrick for their support.”ENDSPeter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Notes to Editors:Fr. Stuart’s appointment is for a three-year period from 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2020.He will travel to Salamanca on 6 January 2018, where he will be responsible for directing candidates on the Pre-Seminary course in Spain before they continue their studies at the Scots College in Rome. ...

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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 Arc...

November 2017 4 posts

SCMO | | News Releases, 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...

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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, jus...

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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 ...

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Friday 17 November 2017   Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have today (Friday 17 November) published a letter sent to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, urging her to engage in renewed discussions and dialogue on the issue of abortion.   Their letter, which is copied to Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport and Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, follows the recent fiftieth anniversary of the Abortion Act (1967) which took place on 27 October, last month.   The Bishops write that “the Church continues to speak up for the intrinsic value of human life and the good of both the child in the womb and its mother.” Adding, “This is crucially important, in a world where the rights of the weak and vulnerable are increasingly called into question, undermined and attacked.” The Bishops’ letter, expresses “a willingness to engage with Government on this most important issue”   The Bishops also raise concerns about the provision of abortion services in Scotland to women from Northern Ireland and the recent announcement by the Scottish Government to allow some women to take misoprostol, the abortion pill, at home without any clinical support.   Their concerns echo a recent nationwide ComRes poll which found that most people do not support current abortion laws, including (60%) who would like to see time limits for abortion reduced (among women the figure is 70%) and 82% who believe the law should require a waiting period of five days between an initial consultation with a doctor and an abortion taking place.   The Bishops expressed their desire to work with the government to protect human life at all stages, and to speak up for the whole of humanity irrespective of age, colour, creed or socioeconomic status, and to move forward in a spirit of cooperation in search of the truth.   ENDS   Notes to editors:   1. Text of the letter sent to the First Minister is copied below...

October 2017 1 posts

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Archbishop Philip Tartaglia & Cardinal Vincent Nichols sign joint statement on abortion 23 October 2017 The Presidents of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales & The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland have released a joint Statement on Abortion to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Royal Assent of the Abortion Act which takes place on Friday 27th October 2017. The full text of the statement together with an executive summary are shown below: Executive Summary This statement, published by the Catholic Bishops of England, Wales and Scotland, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 UK Abortion Act, is addressed not only to Catholics of our countries, but more broadly to all people who seek to uphold the dignity of human life and protect the unborn child.  Over the last fifty years, the bishops of our countries, along with many other people, have spoken consistently in favour of the intrinsic value of human life and both the good of the child in the womb and the good of the mother.  This anniversary provides an opportunity to lament the loss of life due to abortion and seek a change of minds and hearts about the good of the child in the womb and the care of mothers who are pregnant. Fifty years ago, few envisaged the possibility of that there would be almost 200,000 abortions in Great Britain in 2015.  Every abortion is a tragedy and few consider that abortion is the desirable or best solution to a pregnancy, which may be challenging on account of many different factors.  The complex set of conditions in which a woman finds herself pregnant and may consider having an abortion may limit the exercise of freedom and diminish moral culpability.  When abortion is the choice made by a woman, the unfailing mercy of God and the promise of forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation are always available.  There is always a way home to a deeper relationship with G...

August 2017 2 posts

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Bishop backs “Give Me Five”, Child Benefit Top-up Campaign Monday 28 August 2017   Bishop William Nolan of the Catholic Church’s Justice and Peace Commission has backed the national launch of the “Give Me Five”, Child Benefit Top-up Campaign, to increase Child Benefit in Scotland by £5 per child per week.   The campaign will be launched on Wednesday 30th August 2017 at the Conforti Institute, Calder Avenue, Coatbridge, ML5 4JS at 9.30am.   The “Give Me Five” campaign aims to lift 30,000 children in Scotland out of poverty by increasing child benefit by £5 a week per child. While the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill is welcomed, setting out as it does ambitious targets to eradicate child poverty in Scotland by 2030, this campaign seeks urgent action now to meet the needs of the 260,000 children living in poverty in Scotland today.   For families struggling to make ends meet, £5 a week could mean a week of proper breakfasts, a warm school coat, or the ability to share in out of school activities.   Speaking ahead of the launch, Bishop William Nolan, President of the Catholic Church’s Justice and Peace Commission, said:   “For a growing number of children, this is not the Scotland of equality, fairness and opportunity that our politicians tell us they wish to achieve. I would urge politicians of all parties to support this initiative and act now to reduce the number of our children for whom poverty is destroying their childhood and stifling their future.”   The Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, also backed the campaign, saying:   “It is a political, social and moral imperative that we act now to effect change for the good. The Church of Scotland stands alongside people of all faith traditions, and none, in the move towards fairness for all our children.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media O...

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Friday 25 August 2017 Scottish Parliament to mark the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero.   The Scottish Parliament will mark the centenary of the birth of Blessed Oscar Romero with a visit from the US Catholic Church’s top social justice official on Tuesday, 7 November.   Dr Jonathan Reyes, Executive Director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will deliver Holyrood’s Time for Reflection and an evening lecture entitled “Oscar Romero: A Saintly Path to Social Justice” to a select group of parliamentarians. Dr Reyes is visiting Scotland as a guest of Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh.   “Blessed Oscar Romero is the great saint of social justice and I’m delighted that Dr Reyes has accepted this invitation to come to Scotland in order to share the life, legacy and message of Blessed Oscar with those men and women whom we have elected to Holyrood to help build a more just society for all,” said Archbishop Cushley, 25 August.    Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was born on 15 August 1917. Ordained to the priesthood in 1942, he soon proved to be a popular cleric who responded with compassion and bravery to the plight of El Salvador’s poorest. This courageous witness ultimately resulted in his assassination on 24 March 1980 as he was celebrating Holy Mass. In 2015, Archbishop Romero was declared a martyr for the Catholic faith by Pope Francis and was, subsequently, beatified.   “I would hope Dr Reyes’ visit will introduce our Holyrood parliamentarians to some of the key ideas of Catholic Social Teaching given that Blessed Oscar Romero’s life heroically embodied these principles as a saintly riposte to both unbridled capitalism and state socialism, both of which undermine the dignity of the human person,” said Archbishop Cushley, who also serves as a Patron of the Archbishop Romero Trust.   ...

July 2017 3 posts

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31 July 2017 Retired Bishop publishes his fourth book at 91. The former Bishop of Galloway, Bishop Maurice Taylor has published a book on the Sunday Gospels, written to provide “information, explanation and reflection” and designed to be used by individuals or groups in scriptural discussion and analysis. Commenting on the book, Bishop Taylor said: “This book, is an attempt on my part to respond to the call to share the gift of faith which God has given to me. It is a kind of companion to an earlier book of mine: ‘What Are They Talking About?’ “I hope it provides – information, explanation, reflection, suggestion, resolution. It may be useful, therefore, for individual or communal lectio divina, for small groups’ discussion, for homily preparation or for anyone interested in spending more time with the weekly gospel reading, either before or after hearing it read at Sunday Mass.” Endorsing the book, the present Bishop of Galloway, Bishop William Nolan said: “Once again Bishop Maurice Taylor blends his love of liturgy, his years of pastoral experience and his sharp mind in producing a book which will enhance the celebration of Sunday Mass by making the gospel readings more understandable and relevant to many.” ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 116807968 122291 pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Notes to Editors: For a photograph of Bishop Taylor: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/35413318673/in/album-72157684270818731/ Weekday Thoughts on the Sunday Gospels (227 pages) costs £10.00 (inclusive of post and packing). It is obtainable at: bishopmauricetaylor.org.uk Bishop Maurice Taylor was born in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, in 1926. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1950 and became Bishop of Galloway in 1981, retiring in 2004. He celebrated 65 years as a priest in July 2015. Biography: Bishop Taylor studied philosophy at Blairs College,...

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“Mercy Bus” redefines “Mass” transit. Thursday 27 July 2017   A Scottish bishop will celebrate Mass on a double-decker bus, for the first time in the UK, in Paisley next week. The special bus will set off on its opening tour from the cenotaph at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Monday 31 July 2017.   The bus tour is the brainchild of the ‘Friends of Divine Mercy Scotland’, speaking ahead of the launch, organiser Helen Border said:   “Inspired by the call from Pope Francis to “Go out to the ­people and take the Church to them” we’ve decided to do just that, with a church on wheels, which between Monday July 31 to Saturday August 5 will be in a ­different town each day.”   “There will be priests hearing ­confessions on the top deck of the ‘Mercy Bus’ and ­literature, tea and coffee available downstairs. Everyone is welcome, we hope passers-by will come on board, where they can say a prayer or just chat. Today, so many people are angry and upset, often because they’ve made the wrong choices and want to change. Stepping on board the bus, could be the first step in changing their lives for the better. We hope they’ll come aboard!”   The bus will visit: Paisley, Coatbridge, Greenock, Barrhead and Glasgow over the week-long tour. It will return to Paisley on Saturday 5 August, where Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, will celebrate Mass on board the bus at 2pm.   Commenting on the initiative, Bishop Keenan said:   “This is a fantastic initiative and a wonderful example of evangelisation, which takes the church out into the world. I wish the venture every success and hope it will be the first of many similar initiatives which offer people a route back to a relationship with God.”   The bus together with a driver, has been donated, for a week, by Sir Brian Souter. Commenting on the launch, Sir Brian said;   "This is an innovative idea to bring faith issues to the high street ...

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The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has announced the appointment of Dr Alison Burke as Curator of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection at Blairs Museum. Dr Burke was previously Creative Project Co-ordinator with Aberdeen City Council where she started in 2017 to build creative networks in Education in Aberdeen, working with arts based projects in the city’s schools.   She has also worked with the National Trust for Scotland as Manager of Drum Castle and Craigievar Castle and was awarded the George Waterson Award for Services in Conservation (2015) for conservation management of Drum’s collection and for project managing the creation of a bespoke gallery in partnership with Aberdeen Art Gallery to continue displaying AAG’s choice collection items during its refurbishment.   Dr Burke was also voted Pride of Aberdeen Business Personality of the Year (2016) for her work at Drum Castle which saw a dramatic rise in visitor numbers.   Making the announcement, Bishop Joseph Toal, President of the Heritage Commission of the Bishops’ Conference, said;   “I am delighted that we have secured the services of Dr Alison Burke a leading professional in her field. We welcome Alison to her new post as curator at Blairs Museum to promote and develop and care of the Scottish Catholic Heritage Collection especially preparing and obtaining accreditation for the museum. This is a new era for the promotion of the Heritage of the Catholic Church in Scotland.”   Dr Burke said:   “I am looking forward to getting to know the Blairs Museum collection and working to bring the treasures it contains to a wider audience. The museum houses an internationally renowned collection of fine and decorative art from across Scotland and from the former Scots Colleges throughout Europe, which deserves to be known and seen by as many people as possible. I am excited by the possibilities which this role involves and grateful to the Bishops’ C...

June 2017 4 posts

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The Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan has sent a copy of the Catholic church’s anti bullying strategy to Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, after a controversial Tweet in which she suggested “inclusive education” was not supported in Catholic schools.   In a message to the Labour leader, Anthony Horan said; “Catholic schools challenge discrimination and bullying on any grounds. The Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) recently hosted a training day for teachers, which focused on anti-bullying and ensured all protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 were covered.”   Mr Horan added; “A meeting held in March of this year to brief Labour MSPs on the work being done to tackle bullying in Catholic schools, was sadly attended by only four of your colleagues. This despite an invite being sent to all MSPs in the Labour group.”   Mr Horan has also offered to meet Kezia Dugdale, together with Barbara Coupar, Director of the Catholic Education Service to discuss anti-bullying strategies being used in Catholic schools.   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: For further information, contact: Anthony Horan - 07903 952 985 The full text of Anthony Horan’s email to Kezia Dugdale is shown below: Dear Ms Dugdale One of your recent Twitter post about an incident at St Kentigern’s Academy in Blackburn, West Lothian, stated: “Proof that the fight for LGBTI equality isn’t over and it’s high time for inclusive education @tiecampaign”. As you will no doubt be aware West Lothian Council has publicly confirmed, that the school concerned has a policy prohibiting the wearing of all non-official school badges. This is why the pupil in question was asked to remove their badge. The same policy...

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In a letter to Scotland’s catholic parishes, the Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan has urged catholic members of the BMA to sign an open letter to the organisation urging delegates to the BMA conference next Tuesday (27 June) to reject a motion calling for abortion to be decriminalised.   In the latter Anthony Horan points out that support from the BMA for decriminalisation could open a door to: “Sex-selective abortions, mail-order abortions and the distribution of abortion pills on school premises” Mr Horan’s letter also points out that liberalising abortion law, “would be in stark contrast to the views of the public, the vast majority of whom want to see a reduction in the number of abortions and in the permitted time limit."   A ComRes poll released last month shows that most people (60%) wanted lower time limits. Among women support for a reduction was even higher at 70%. 61% of Scots were opposed to any moves towards compelling doctors to participate in abortion procedures against their will and 82% believed that there should be a waiting period of five days between an initial consultation with a doctor and an abortion taking place. Crucially, only 1% of those polled wanted to see the abortion time limit raised to birth. These finds reveal a medical association completely at variance with the public it serves.”   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 letter from the Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office is shown below: Doctors to vote on legalising abortion for any reason. On Tuesday 27th June, the British Medical Association (BMA) will vote on decriminalising abortion, potentially making it legal for any reason up to birth. The vote comes after MP’s voted in favour of Diana Jo...

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In December 2016, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Scotland announced that Helen Liddell would Chair the Independent Review Group (IRG) set up as a result of the McLellan Commission Report into the current safeguarding policies, procedures and practices within the Church in Scotland.   The IRG is an autonomous body which will function separately from the Church and will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits as recommended by the McLellan Commission.   The Group met for the first time on 27 May and established working groups to develop and scope the future activities of the IRG. The current membership of the Group is listed below. Further members may be recruited if requirements for additional expertise are identified by the working groups.   Commenting on the IRG Helen Liddell said:   “This Group has been set up six months ahead of schedule and the experience members bring to this vital role is considerable indeed. I am very grateful to them for their willingness to serve.”   “The IRG is committed to ensuring the safeguarding procedures in the Catholic Church in Scotland meet the highest standards and  it will conduct its business with transparency, vigour and compassion.”   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: For further information on the IRG contact Richard Riley:  IRGRiley@aol.com or 07817 540144 Biographical details:   Helen Liddell (Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke) Chair, is a former Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Scotland. She is a member of the House of Lords.    Bartolomeo Biagini is an educational consultant with extensive experience of leadership of children’s services, inspection and review.  He was formerly a lead HM insp...

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The funeral Mass for Eilidh MacLeod, will take place at 11.15am today (Monday 5 June 2017) in the church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Castlebay, Barra. Parish Priest, Fr John Paul MacKinnon will celebrate the Mass which will also be relayed to mourners in nearby Castlebay Hall.   In his introduction, Fr. MacKinnon will say:   “My dear brothers and sisters- today we come together here on our beautiful island of Barra as a family, as “one big family”, to pray as a family for our dear beautiful Eilidh MacLeod. Eilidh was taken from us at such a young age- and we are hurting and in pain with the loss of Eilidh from our lives.”   In his homily, Fr. MacKinnon will remind mourners:   “Eilidh packed a lot into her 14 years. 14 happy years. That’s so important for us to remember today- Eilidh was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. The last thing in Eilidh’s life was happiness- she had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice Cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idols concert-Ariana – she was the happiest she had ever been- and that’s what we hold onto today- the happiness of Eilidh’s life. Those memories of Eilidh will live on in all our hearts. Every year of her life was precious to us and we thank God for blessing us with her precious life.”   “Roddy and Marion were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Shona & Laura were blessed with a wonderful sister, our island was blessed to have such a young talented girl growing up on it. Even though there is a great sadness here today there is a great thankfulness to God for blessing us with Eilidh’s life. Our loss is heaven’s gain.”   Fr. MacKinnon will also offer thanks on behalf of Eilidh’s parents, saying:   “On behalf of Roddy & Marion and all the MacLeod Family I thank you all for being here today f...

May 2017 4 posts

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Fr. John Paul MacKinnon, parish priest on the island of Barra will urge the island community to come together and pray together this weekend as the islands of Barra & Vatersay struggle to come to terms with “a devastating week”.   Preaching at Mass tomorrow (Sunday 28 May) he will say:   “A week which began normally for so many has turned out to be real “living nightmare” especially for two of our island families. Today we face the reality that one of our teenage girls- Laura MacIntyre, aged only 15, is in Hospital in Manchester fighting for her life with her parents by her bedside. And sadly another of our beautiful teenage girls- Eilidh MacLeod, aged only 14 has died tragically in Manchester because of the terrible atrocity of the terrorist bombing”   Fr. MacKinnon will also say;   “I have spoken to both families, to both sets of parents and they have asked me to tell everyone that they are so grateful for all your love and support, prayers and messages. Their hearts are broken, their lives have changed forever but they are lifted up by the love and support of their island and also by the wider world.”   While urging parishioners, to “Come together, be together and pray, pray continuously as the early Apostles and followers of Jesus did in their own time of need.” “Praying to the Holy Spirit to come down upon our islands and communities and families and especially upon the MacLeod Family & MacIntyre Family.”   Referring to 14 year old Eilidh MacLeod, he will say;   “God has a special place for our dear beautiful Eilidh, she will be united forever with God’s Holy Angels. She will forever see the glory of God face to face and will forever be in God’s love. She will forever be loved and remembered by her family and by all her many friends. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.”   ENDS Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place&n...

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The Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Bishop Brian McGee has travelled to Barra to visit the families of Eilidh MacLeod and Laura MacIntyre. Both teenagers attended the concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday night, at which Salman Abedi launched a suicide bomb attack, killing 22 and injuring 64 concertgoers. Laura MacIntyre, 15, is in hospital with serious injuries, while her friend Eilidh MacLeod, 14, is still missing.   Bishop McGee joined local Parish Priest, Fr. John Paul MacKinnon visiting relatives of both girls last night (Tuesday) and saying Mass for the families this morning (Wednesday). After Mass the Bishop and Fr. John Paul visited Castlebay High School, where both girls were pupils, to speak to teachers and staff.   Bishop McGee said:   “This is a time of terrible anguish for the MacLeod and MacIntyre families. Spending time with the relatives of both girls was a reminder of the human cost of acts of terror. Such acts leave families broken, lives scarred and innocence destroyed, my thoughts and prayers are with the families at this traumatic time.”   Fr. John Paul MacKinnon said:   “Barra is an island of close bonds and deep faith. The ripples of pain spreading out from the terrible events in Manchester on Monday night are amplified here in such a small community. While everyone in the community is affected, it is the families of Eilidh and Laura who are in the greatest pain. The Church joins with the whole community in praying for them and offering them every support.”   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...

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A new poll out today (Sunday 21 May) shows that most people (60%) would like to see time limits for abortions reduced, among women the figure is 70%. ComRes interviewed 2,008 British adults online between 12th and 14th May 2017. Data was weighted to be representative of all GB adults. 61% of Scottish respondents opposed any moves towards making it mandatory for doctors to have to participate in abortion procedures against their will, while 51% oppose moves to compel pharmacists to prescribe a pill against their will, if they believe that pill will end the life of an unborn child. The poll also showed overwhelming support (76%) for the proposal that doctors, should “verify in person that a patient seeking an abortion is not under pressure from a third party to undergo the abortion”. 65% oppose tax-payer money being spent on abortions overseas, while 82% of Scots believe, the law should require a waiting period of five days between an initial consultation with a doctor and an abortion taking place, in order to ensure that the mother has had enough time to consider all of the options available to her. Responding to the findings, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said; “This weekend (20/21 May) in parishes across Scotland a letter from the Catholic Bishops will be read at all Masses, urging voters to engage with our democracy and to remember that human life at every stage of development is precious and must be protected.  As we remind our politicians that abortion is always morally unacceptable, it is heartening to see that a majority of our fellow citizens do not support the current abortion laws.” Archbishop Tartaglia added: “I welcome the fact that not only is there no demand for time limits to be raised but 70% of women would like to see them reduced, that 82% of Scots would like to see a statutory waiting period introduced after a consultation and before an abortion takes place and that over ha...

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Monday 15 May 2017 Society “will be judged on how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable citizens” say Scotland’s Catholic Bishops in pre-election letter. In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic churches in Scotland this weekend (20/21 May) Scotland's Catholic Bishops, will urge parishioners to participate in the 2017 General Election and to be informed by the teachings of the Church. The detailed statement will list; Human Life, Marriage and the Family, Poverty, Asylum and Religious Freedom as key areas. Will say; “Any laws which permit the wilful ending of life must always be rejected as reprehensible and unjust.” While urging Catholic voters, to “remind our politicians that abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia are always morally unacceptable.” The letter will also say; “The wellbeing of society depends on the flourishing and health of family life and those in authority should respond to this with policies that create economic and other advantages for families with children.” While noting that “poverty continues to be a scourge for many at home and abroad, while too many people still struggle to make ends meet.” Addressing religious freedom, the Bishops’ message states; askes voters to make sure that their candidates are “committed to the right of people not to be forced to act against their conscience.” The letter concludes; “Our nation, our Parliament, and our Government will be judged on how it treats its poorest and most vulnerable citizens.” Commenting on the letter, the Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan said; “This General election provides an opportunity for Catholics to take their beliefs into the polling station and elect members of parliament who share their concerns.” ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org Note to Editors: The full text of the l...

January 2017 1 posts

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His Excellency Archbishop Antonio Mennini, who has served as Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain since December 2010, has been appointed by Pope Francis to serve in the Holy See Secretariat of State and will take up his new post in Rome next month.   Reacting to the announcement, Archbishop Philip  Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland said:   “On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, I congratulate him on his appointment and thank him for the attentive concern he has shown for the Catholic Church in Scotland on his many visits to our country. He has always been a welcome guest in Scotland and his wise counsel has  been valued by the Scottish Bishops.”   “I thank His Excellency for the sensitive and helpful way he has fulfilled his role as the representative of the Holy Father to our Bishops' Conference and to the Catholic Church in Scotland, and for his readiness to convey the specific reality of the Catholic Church in Scotland to the Holy See. On behalf of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland and of the entire Catholic community, I assure him of our prayers as he embarks on his new mission.”   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...

December 2016 4 posts

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24 December 2016   Bishop pays tribute to former MP who became a Priest.   Bishop William Nolan, the Bishop of Galloway has paid tribute to Fr. George Thompson who died peacefully yesterday (23 December 2016) aged 88 at Senwick Nursing Home in Borgue.   Bishop Nolan said: “Father George Thompson was a man whose life was inspired and motivated by a deep faith in Jesus Christ. A faith he put into practice by embracing three vocations: teaching, politics and the priesthood. In each of these he sought to serve God and to serve others. We give thanks to God for all the good that he did throughout his life.”   Bishop Nolan added: “The people of Galloway have been blessed by his commitment to public service, but as Bishop of Galloway I am particularly grateful to him for his years of service as a priest. We commend Fr. George Thompson in our prayers to the loving mercy of God. May he rest in peace.”   George Thompson was elected as the SNP MP for Galloway in the October 1974 General Election. Losing the seat in 1979 to the Conservative candidate, Ian Lang. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Galloway in St Teresa's, Dumfries, in 1989. He served as assistant in St Teresa's, Dumfries, as Parish Priest in St Margaret of Scotland in Irvine, and as Parish Priest in St Peter's, Dalbeattie. He retired in 2005.   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 funeral will take place in St Teresa's, Dumfries at 11am on Friday 6 January 2017, Bishop Nolan will be the Principal celebrant. The body will be received into the Parish the previous evening at 7pm. Biography: Fr. George Thompson: Born in Glenkens, (11 September 1928) he lived with his parents and younger brother in a gamekeeper's cottage. He spent two years in the for...

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Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has expressed concern at a proposal to close half of Glasgow’s job centres.     The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has indicated it intends to close 8 of the 16 job centres in the city.     Commenting on the proposal, Archbishop Tartgalia said:     “I am very concerned by the Department of Work and Pensions’ proposals to close half of Glasgow’s Job Centres. Sadly, Glasgow has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Scotland, and suffers high levels of deprivation as a result.  Closing offices in some of the most deprived areas of the city, risks reducing access to support for those who need it most.”     “Tens of thousands of people will potentially have to travel further at additional cost to attend their appointments, while risking severe sanctions if they are even a few minutes late. I hope this proposal will be reconsidered in a way which respects the dignity of claimants and meets their needs.”   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: Archbishop Tartaglia is the Archbishop opf Glasgow and the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. An image of Archbishop Tartaglia is available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/25510264473/in/album-72157666531058155/ ...

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Monday 5 December 2016   The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has today announced that Baroness Helen Liddell will be the first ever Chair of the Independent Review Group (IRG) an autonomous body, which will function separately from the Church and which will review safeguarding standards and carry out independent audits.     Announcing the appointment, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference said:     “I am most grateful to Baroness Liddell for agreeing to become the first Chair of the Independent Review Group, which will review and audit the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding work. In accepting the recommendation of the McLellan Commission to create an independent group, it was clear that a chairperson of national stature and proven competence would be required and I believe, that in Helen, these qualities are perfectly met.”     “On behalf of the bishops of Scotland I welcome her appointment and look forward to working with her as we continue to implement in full the safeguarding recommendations presented to us last year.”     Responding to the appointment, Baroness Liddell said:     " This group will be a transparent and fearless means of ensuring that the McLellan Commission recommendations are implemented in full. We owe it to the survivors to ensure that their suffering is never repeated."       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:   In November 2013, Scotland’s Catholic Bishops announced that they had asked Dr Andrew McLellan to carry out an external Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures designed to “review the suitability and robustness of safeguarding procedures and the...

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The Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office has moved to the capital to be closer to the Scottish Parliament.   Since the inception of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 the parliamentary office had been based in Glasgow.   Director, Anthony Horan, believes the relocation of the office to Cowgate in the Old Town will enhance his work with parliamentarians and stakeholders.   He said: “I'm absolutely delighted to confirm the completion of the Catholic Parliamentary Office's move to the church house of St Patrick's, Edinburgh.    “Monsignor Philip Kerr, parish priest of St Patrick's, has made me feel most welcome and I am privileged to have an office so close to the church and the celebration of the Mass.    “It is critical to the proper functioning of the Catholic Parliamentary Office that I, as Director, am accessible to our elected representatives and their teams, and that they are accessible to me. That is why the location of our new office, a ten minute walk from Holyrood, will be such an advantage.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168(T) 0141 204 2458(F) 07968 122291(M) pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org     Notes to Editors   The Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office is now located at: 5 South Gray's Close, ‪40 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TQ. Further enquiries contact 0131 556 6771/07903 952 985 A picture of Anthony Horan outside the new office is available to download at https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/31226026132/in/album-72157670624194861/ ...

November 2016 3 posts

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Beneath the dome of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and amid the skirl of the Scottish bagpipes, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh has unveiled what is thought to be the world’s first interactive, GPS-powered, Holy Mass and Confession finder app.   “This is a little bit of smart technology that could make a big impact on how the Catholic Church brings the mercy of God and the joy of the Gospel to our contemporary world,” said the Archbishop, Tuesday 23 November in Rome.   “The Catholic App” has been developed over recent months by the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh in conjunction with with Scottish technology company Musemantik. By simply pushing a button on their iPhone or tablet, the app user will be guided by GPS to their soonest or nearest Holy Mass or Confession.   “Websites are losing popularity – what is needed to engage with the mobile generation is an app that is smart and personal, an app that is like a companion, a friend that takes the initiative to inspire you – that’s the vision behind the Catholic App,” said Dr Maciej Zurawski, Founder and CEO of Musemantik.   The Edinburgh-based company now hopes that many other Catholic dioceses from around the world will purchase their new app with five other dioceses in Scotland already expressing a keen interest.   Archbishop Cushley was joined for the launch at the Vatican by Pipe Sergeant Mauro Nenci of the City of Rome Pipe Band and Monsignor Dario Viganò, Prefect of the Vatican’s newly created Secretariat for Communication.   “I congratulate Archbishop Cushley, the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh and the Catholic Church in Scotland for being so imaginative in responding to the Holy Father’s call to bring the mercy of God to modern society by means of modern communications,” said Monsignor Viganò.     “That&rsquo...

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The annual meeting of Media Officers and Spokespersons of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) meets in Glasgow from 16 - 19 November, the first time the gathering has been held in Scotland. Representatives from over 25 European Bishops' Conferences will attend to discuss the theme: "Communicating the Christian message where commonly shared values are lacking".   The meeting of Media Officers, will be expanded on Thursday 17 November when delegates will be joined by Bishops responsible for communications across Europe. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland will welcome Bishop Jose Ignacio Manila Aguirre, Bishop of San Sebastián and President of the CCEE Commission on Social Communications, together with other Bishops from across Europe.   Welcoming the delegates to Glasgow, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, said:   "On behalf of the Bishops Conference of Scotland and of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I extend a warm welcome to Glasgow, my home town, and to Scotland, to the Annual Conference of the Media Officers and Spokespersons of the European Bishops’ Conferences. The theme of this meeting, Communicating the Christian message where commonly shared values are lacking is a well-chosen and timely thematic for our times and for our situation in Scotland and in Europe."   Director of the Catholic Media Office, Peter Kearney said:   "We are delighted to be able to host this important meeting in Scotland as we consider one of the greatest challenges we all face - how to communicate the Christian message to increasingly secular societies. This is a challenge we share with all of our colleagues across Europe, in many ways, it is made more difficult by the fact that for most of its history, Europe was the heart of Christendom."   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director  Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168 07968 122291 pk@scmo.org...

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In a response to a letter sent by the former Chair of the Commission examining Safeguarding Protocols in the Catholic Church, the Assistant General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference has rejected claims that the recommendations produced by the McLellan Commission are not being implemented.   In a letter sent to the Bishops' Conference by Rev. Andrew McLellan, the former commission chair claims that action is not being taken, survivors are not being supported and independent scrutiny is not being introduced.   Responding to the letter, the Assistant General Secretary of the Conference, Fr. Tom Boyle said;   "Last  August the Bishops’ Conference welcomed the McLellan Commission Report and accepted its recommendations in full, undertaking to implement them all. This commitment has not diminished in any way, every recommendation will be implemented.   Three months later, the Bishops published a detailed Implementation plan, describing how all of the recommendations would be acted upon. The plan was posted online and open to consultation and comment.   As Dr.McLellan had informed the Church that all the records of the Commission had been destroyed and he could not divulge which survivors had been consulted, approaching those individuals was not possible. That however does not mean that survivors need’s have not informed policy. One survivor who met Archbishop Tartaglia spoke of feeling "more at peace now, than for a long time" While the Raphael: Opening the Doors to Healing Counselling Service for anyone abused within the Church was launched in October 2015, two months after the publication of the McLellan Report.   An independent review group as recommended by the Commission is being established. A chair has accepted and the members are being confirmed. They will be announced after the December meeting of the Bishops' Conference. The group's first task will be to review the progress of the first 12 months of t...

October 2016 4 posts

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Friday 21st October 2016, St.Mirin   Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Funeral Mass for his predecessor Bishop John Mone (Bishop of Paisley, 1988-2004) in St.Mirin’s Cathedral Paisley.  He will be accompanied by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Bishop Brian McGee and other Scottish Bishops, along with the priests of the Diocese of Paisley and the other Scottish dioceses, principally the Archdiocese of Glasgow where Bishop Mone was a priest for 32 years prior to his consecration as a bishop.  Numerous nieces and nephews of Bishop Mone and other relatives and friends will be in attendance along with a great many of the faithful of the Diocese of Paisley among others.     Archbishop Tartaglia was Bishop Mone’s immediate successor as Bishop of Paisley (November 2005) prior to becoming Archbishop of Glasgow (September 2012).  Bishop Brian McGee was a priest of the Diocese of Paisley until becoming Bishop of Argyll & the Isles (February 2016), he was ordained as a priest by Bishop Mone in St.Mary’s Greenock on 29th June 1989.   The other Scottish Bishops who are attending are:   Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Bishop of Aberdeen, Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway.   They will be joined by the following retired Scottish Bishops:   Bishop Maurice Taylor, Bishop Emeritus of Galloway, Bishop Peter Moran, Bishop Emeritus of Aberdeen.   Apologies have been received from Archbishop Leo Cushley of St.Andrews & Edinburgh and the other Scottish Bishops who cannot attend.   The Church of Scotland is represented by Rev. Ann McCool, Moderator of Greenock & Paisley Presbytery, and Rev.Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey.   Civic dignitaries attending the funeral will include George Adam MSP and representatives of the three local authorities which comprise the Di...

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Tributes have been paid to Bishop John Mone, former Bishop of Paisley, who died Friday 14 October aged 87.   Bishop John Keenan, current Bishop of Paisley has issued the following statement:   "We announce the sad news that Bishop John Mone died peacefully this morning just before 6.00am in the Holy Rosary Residence, Greenock.  He was taken unwell an hour or so before and passed away tranquilly.   Bishop John was a holy man of God who was a gentle and faithful pastor of his people and who was dearly loved by the faithful, clergy and religious of Paisley diocese.  May he rest in peace.   Our condolences go to his family who will thank God for his good life along with the people of the diocese. Our heartfelt gratitude to Mother Stephen, the sisters and staff of the Holy Rosary Residence who cared for him lovingly to the end.  Bishop John was given special spiritual care by Mons. Gerry Gallagher and we remember him too in our prayers."    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   A picture of Bishop Mone is available to download here https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157675088823316       2.  The date of Bishop Mone’s funeral will be advised in due course.       3.  Biography:   Born in Glasgow, 22nd June 1929, John Aloysius Mone was educated at Holyrood Secondary School, Sulpician seminaries in France of Issy-les-Moulineaux and Paris, Institut Catholique, Paris.   He was ordained priest in Glasgow, 12th June, 1952.   He served as:   Assistant Priest, St. Ninian’s, 1952 – 74 Assistant Priest, Our Lady and St. George, 1975-79 Parish Priest, St. Joseph’s, Tollcross, 1979-84 Scottish National Chaplain, Girl Guides, 1971 Chairman, Scottish Catholi...

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Wednesday 12 October 2016   Archbishop Welcomes Moderator-Designate   Following the announcement, that the Rev Dr Derek Browning, will become Moderator of the general Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May 2017, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said:   “The Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland welcomes the news of the nomination of Dr Derek Browning as Moderator- Designate of the Church of Scotland and offers him our prayerful good wishes for his term of office.”   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...

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    Bishop and Minister launch local book   6 October 2016   The Bishop of Paisley, Bishop John Keenan and the Minster of Paisley Abbey, Rev. Alan Birss have joined local author and retired head teacher Tom Higgins to launch a book on the first Catholic school in Paisley. The school was established in October 1816 and was run by a committee of 12 Protestants and 12 Catholics, a cooperation highly untypical of its time and place. Early teaching was provided by two French priests, who had fled to Paisley as refugees from the French Revolution, they also provided private tuition for the offspring of Paisley’s emerging Protestant entrepreneurs, while at the same time undertaking pastoral work among the growing Catholic population. One of them, Abbe Despraux, saw the need for a school while several local businessmen, Protestant clergyman and professionals shared his vision and responded to his local appeal. The Catholic school emerged from their negotiations. The book “The Paisley School” marks the 200th anniversary of the school’s founding in October 1816. The school initially occupied a building in Dyers Wynd, with 57 day scholars and 46 evening scholars. It moved to Orr Square in 1822. The school was eventually taken over by the St. Mirin’s mission (parish) in 1845.   Commenting on the book, Bishop John Keenan said: “This booklet offers a well written and easily accessible history of the first Catholic school in Paisley diocese, telling the fascinating personal story of the faith and pioneering spirit that brought it into being.  It is also an encouraging tale of cooperation between Catholics and Protestants, providing a fascinating account of challenges faced and friendships formed by unlikely collaborators.”   Bishop Keenan added; “The very existence of the Paisley school was due largely to the support of the Protestant population of the town, something which could not hav...

September 2016 1 posts

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‘The democracy project is in serious trouble around the world, and the basic reasons for that are cultural’ writes George Weigel, the Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Centre, Washington, in The Scotsman, Tuesday 27 September.   The last decade has proven, writes Weigel, that a culture without agreed moral reference points to guide its public life cannot sustain democratic self-governance over time. Democracy, he argues, will ultimately fail if not sustained by “men and women committed to the dignity of the human person as the first principle of just governance and dedicated to the pursuit of the common good.”   The answer to the West’s cultural incoherence, Weigel claims, lies not in a new authoritarianism, xenophobic nationalism or in a mythologised past; but in a rebuilding of the political culture of the West on the basis of moral truths: truths which come to us from both revelation and reason.   The full text of George Weigel’s article can be found below.   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168(T) 0141 204 2458(F) 07968 122291(M) pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors   1. George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.   2. At 7pm on Tuesday October 4th, George Weigel is speaking at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Edinburgh on the topic of "Converting the Culture: The New Evangelisation and the Future of the West”.  3. An image of George can be downloaded at https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/albums/72157673253637281.   Evangelical Catholicism and the Future of Democracy   In a small book published in 2005, The Cube and the Cathedral, I raised a question that is even more urgent today than when the book was f...

August 2016 1 posts

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“Faith should be allowed to play a role in public life” writes newly-appointed Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office.   Writing in today's Scotsman (Thursday 4 August) Anthony Horan counters claims that society is becoming less religious simply because increasing numbers of people no longer tick a “church” box on census forms suggesting this doesn’t mean they are not interested in the spiritual dimension of life or religious belief. Rather, the national census still shows that most Scots consider themselves Christian, while an overwhelming majority describe themselves as "spiritual".    Quoting Pope Francis, he says, “Our various religious traditions serve society primarily by the message they proclaim. They call individuals and communities to worship God, the source of all life, liberty and happiness”.   Whilst pointing to an increase in the number of Catholic in Scotland and across the world, Anthony sets out his mission to promote the Catholic faith and Social Teaching “in a way that positively engages secular society.”   The full text of Anthony’s article can be found below.   ENDS       Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168(T) 0141 204 2458(F) 07968 122291(M) pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors   Anthony Horan was appointed Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office last month and took up his post 25 July.  http://www.scmo.org/index.php?page=news-releases&perma=1469178133&article=catholic-church-appoints-new-parliamentary-office             2.   A picture of Anthony is available to download here  https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/sets/72157670624194861/with/28347749242              3. Full text: Friends of the S...

July 2016 4 posts

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Pope Francis has today announced the creation of an Eparchy in Great Britain for the faithful of the Syro-Malabar Rite. The Syro-Malabar Church is an early Christian community in India which traces its origin to the arrival of St. Thomas, the Apostle, in 52 AD.   The Eparchy which is a jurisdiction similar to a Diocese will be governed by an Eparch. The Pope has appointed Fr. Joseph Srampickal, a priest of the Eparchy of Palai, at present Vice-Rector of Propaganda Fide College as the first Eparch.   The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is one of the 22 Eastern (Oriental) Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome. It is the second largest Eastern Catholic Church after the Ukrainian Church and the largest of the St Thomas Christian (Nazrani) denominations with 4.6 million believers.   There are currently five Syro-Malabar chaplains in Scotland serving communities in the dioceses of: St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dunkeld, Glasgow and Motherwell.   Commenting on the announcement, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said;   “The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland welcomes the establishment by Pope Francis of an Eparchy for the Syro-Malabar Catholic communities of Great Britain including those in Scotland. We congratulate Fr. Joseph Srampickal, on his nomination as the first Eparch (Bishop) of this new ecclesiastical jurisdiction.”   Archbishop Tartaglia added;   “The Catholic Church in Scotland shares the joy of our Syro-Malabar communities which are notable for their religious devotion and for the seriousness with which they regard Catholic family life and the transmission of the faith to their young people and children.”   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 No...

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The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, has sent a message of support to the Archbishop of Rouen, Mgr Dominique Lebrun expressing his “deep sorrow and shock” at the horrific events in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray today (26 July).   Archbishop Tartaglia offered prayers for the repose of the soul of Father Jacques Hamel and for the people of France, Germany and other places “so cruelly targeted by men of evil intent”.   The full text of Archbishop Tartaglia’s message can be found below.   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 To Mgr Dominique Lebrun, Archbishop of Rouen. Your Excellency, I write to express the deep sorrow and shock of the Catholics of Glasgow and Scotland at the news of the horrific attack on the church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray. We are truly appalled at the series of attacks which have been perpetrated on France and her people over recent weeks. This latest incident represents a new and shocking development – namely the attack on people engaged in the worship of God in a sacred place. We pray for the repose of the soul of the priest killed and for the recovery of those injured.  We pray for the people of France, Germany and other places so cruelly targeted by men of evil intent in recent weeks. May God have mercy on us all. Kyrie Eleison. Yours in solidarity and prayer, +Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland   ...

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The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, has announced the appointment of a new Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference offered congratulations to Anthony Horan who will direct the work of the Catholic Parliamentary Office from 25 July 2016.   Archbishop Tartaglia said:   “I congratulate Anthony on his appointment as Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office. Together with all the bishops I look forward to working with him in future as he represents the Church in the political sphere. Anthony’s demonstrable knowledge of and commitment to his Catholic faith will be a tremendous asset to the Catholic Parliamentary Office. I wish him every success in his new post.”   Anthony Horan commented:   “I am honoured to have been appointed Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. I look forward to engaging with Scotland’s parliamentarians and the political system, developing friendly and positive relationships in the process. I am extremely grateful to Scotland’s Catholic Bishops for giving me this opportunity to work for them and to develop the work of the Parliamentary Office.”   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. Anthony was most recently employed as a Senior Solicitor/Acting Legal Manager with Glasgow City Council.   2. Photographs of Anthony with Archbishop Tartaglia are available here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/sets/72157670624194861/with/28347749242   ANTHONY HORAN CV   EDUCATION & MEMBERSHIPS    2003 Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors by the Law Society of Scotland; Admitted as a Notary Public by the Law...

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The Bishops of Scotland have called on the UK government to honour its commitment as a key signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferations Treaty (1968) and work towards the disposing and elimination of all nuclear weapons.   In a statement, Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops highlight the ‘immorality of the use of strategic nuclear weapons due to the indiscriminate destruction of innocent human life’ that their use would cause, and endorse Pope Francis who has said that “Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations”.   A parliamentary vote on the renewal of Trident nuclear weapons system is expected to take place on Monday 18 July.   The full text of the Bishops’ statement can be found below.     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 Statement on nuclear weapons The Bishops of Scotland have for a long time pointed out the immorality of the use of strategic nuclear weapons due to the indiscriminate destruction of innocent human life that their use would cause. The renewal of Trident is questioned not just by those concerned with the morality of nuclear weapons themselves but also by those concerned about the use of scarce financial resources.
 Lives are being lost now because money that could be spent on the needy and the poor is tied up in nuclear arsenals. We endorse the words of Pope Francis: “Spending on nuclear weapons squanders the wealth of nations”. The United Kingdom, permanent member of the UN Security Council and declared nuclear power, signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968. That treaty binds signatories who do not have nuclear weapons not to acquire them, but it also binds those who do have nuclear weapons to work towards the disposing ...

June 2016 5 posts

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The Diocese of Galloway has appointed the first lay woman Chancellor. Ann Tierney will take up her post on Friday 1 July.   Commenting on the appointment, Bishop Bill Nolan of Galloway said:   “I am delighted that Ann Tierney has agreed to accept this post. She has been the PA to my two predecessors, Bishop Taylor and Bishop Cunningham. She is well respected by the clergy and laity of the Diocese and she is eminently qualified to carry out this role.”   Ann commented:   “I have been with the diocese for the last thirty years and have carried out a wide variety of tasks during that time. It is an honour to have been considered for this position and I now look forward to the additional challenges which this new appointment will bring.”   The position of Chancellor in most Dioceses is carried out by a priest, but can be fulfilled by a lay person. Ann Tierney is the first lay woman to hold this post.   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. In canon law the Chancellor’s primary role is to maintain the curial records, but in practice in most Dioceses the Chancellor has a wider role. In the Galloway Diocese, as Chancellor, Ann Tierney will have responsibility and oversight for the running of the Diocesan Office. For most people the Chancellor will be the key person and first port of call in their dealings with the Diocese. 2. A photograph of Ann Tierney is available on request....

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Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh says a vocation to the priesthood is a path to happiness and fulfilment for those who respond generously to the call.   “Throughout my own life, I have found priests to be among the happiest, most fulfilled, most dedicated people I know, and I am proud to be one of them.  There’s nothing quite like it, and I mean that in a good way,” said Archbishop Cushley, 24 June 2016.   The Archbishop made his comments in a homily at St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Edinburgh as he ordained two men – Fr Jamie McMorrin and Fr Tony Lappin – to the priesthood of Jesus Christ.   “Let your lives be an inspiration and example to others of the love of Christ.  Pray often for your people, not for yourselves. Preach the Gospel first by your lives, and then in your homilies, “ said Archbishop Cushley addressing the two ordinands directly.   “Above all, be a loving father to the people entrusted to your care.  You are the pastors of this Church’s future: we look to you to lead us by your words and example.”     Father Tony Lappin hails from Loanhead in Midlothian. Until recently, he was a student at the Pontifical Beda College in Rome. He will soon take up a new post as assistant priest at three parishes in Livingston: St Andrew’s, Craigshill, St Theresa’s, East Calder and St Philip’s, Dedridge. He will be resident at St Theresa’s, East Calder.   Father Jamie McMorrin is from Kinghorn in Fife. Until recently he was a student in Rome at the Pontifical Scots College. He will soon take up a new post as assistant priest at St Francis Xavier’s, Falkirk, St Anthony’s, Polmont and Our Lady of the Angels, Camelon.   ENDS   The full text of Archbishop Cushley’s homily is reproduced below.   Homily on the occasion of the ordination to the pri...

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Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley, will tomorrow (Thursday 16 June 2016) ask Scots to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with those who are persecuted and oppressed for their religious faith.   Addressing more than a thousand Catholic school pupils at the Aid to the Church in Need youth rally at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes at Carfin, near Motherwell, on Thursday 16 June, Bishop Keenan will commend the bravery of keynote speaker, 20-year-old Sarmad Ozan who fled Mosul, northern Iraq after it was seized by IS in 2014.   Bishop Keenan will call on Scotland’s political leaders to renew their commitment to religious freedom and “show compassion for those fleeing unimaginable violence and intolerance”. Quoting Pope Francis the Bishop will say, “Persecution is the daily bread of the Church, Jesus said so himself, it is a reality and has been part of the history of Christianity for 2000 years.”   He will say, “A great number of our fellow Scots have paid with their lives for their religious beliefs, not least of all our own Saint John Ogilvie, martyred just a few miles from here at Glasgow Cross, for refusing to accept the King’s spiritual jurisdiction”.   “We unite today in prayer to bear witness to the atrocities committed against Christians and all those who are persecuted and oppressed for their religious beliefs. We ask those in power in Scotland and across the world to show a renewed commitment to religious freedom and a gentle compassion for those fleeing unimaginable violence and intolerance“.   ENDS   Note to Editors   1. The Youth Rally, Thursday 16 June, (10-2pm) is organised by the Scottish office of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the Catholic charity for persecuted Christians. For more information, contact Michael J Robinson, ACN 01698 337 472 or 07908 033878.    2. Bishop John Keenan of Paisley and Bishop Jose...

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Bishop John Keenan, the Bishop of Paisley delivered the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday 14 June) at 2pm.   In his address, he quoted the Gospel according to Matthew, saying ‘…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven’.   He added, ‘…the good MSP does not want to govern in a way that prefers his own supporters but with a heart that serves the whole people, so that we all suffer rainy days together and enjoy the sunshine equally and to the full’.    ENDS   Note to Editors: The full text of Bishop Keenan’s reflection can be found below. A photograph of Bishop Keenan can be downloaded here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139632090@N07/26086936366/in/album-72157666531058155/     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org   Time for Reflection   Holyrood Parliament, 14 June 2016   Every day the Church celebrates Holy Mass and the Gospel reading for today’s Mass, which Pope Francis and parishes all over the world have heard, is this:   Jesus said, ‘You have learnt: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike. For if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’   Here Jesus gives us a new idea about being perfect, of how to become the politician of the year in his book. And it is that, even if our politics must be founded on loyalty to our party, o...

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  Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh is marking the 125th anniversary of a landmark Papal encyclical – Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum – by re-proposing its social teaching as “enormously relevant to modern-day Scottish society’s pursuit of the common good”.   “At the foundation of Pope Leo’s vision was an unshakable belief in the intrinsic value of every man, woman and child,” writes Archbishop Cushley in The Scotsman, 9 June, 2016.   “The measure of any political, moral or economic order was to be the degree to which it threatened or enhanced the life and dignity of the human person.”      Written in 1891, Rerum Novarum – Latin for Of New Things – sought to develop traditional Catholic social teaching and apply it to the contemporary ills of a rapidly industrialising society.     Archbishop Cushley suggests that the upholding of human dignity – upon which the common good is based – is best achieved through the application of two further principles of Catholic social teaching: solidarity and subsidiarity.      “It [solidarity] willingly, even lovingly, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the most vulnerable in society: the poor, the sick, the elderly, the unborn. The primeval question “Am I my brother's keeper?” is given a very clear, affirmative response.”     Meanwhile the principle of subsidiarity proposes that neither central government nor any larger society should substitute itself for the initiative and responsibility of individuals and intermediary bodies within civil society.   To illustrate his point, Archbishop Cushley gives two practical examples: local empowerment and the married family. The Archbishop recognises that a “familial ideal is not always possible in reality”. “We all know friends – including members of...

May 2016 4 posts

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The President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has offered congratulations to Barbara Coupar on her appointment as the next Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES).   Archbishop Tartaglia said:   “I wish to congratulate Barbara Coupar on being chosen as the next Director of SCES. I have no doubt that Barbara will continue to develop the excellent work of SCES which now has a very significant profile both nationally and internationally for its work of supporting Catholic education in Scotland and for representing Catholic education to government, local authorities,  professional educational bodies and to the media. I know I speak for the Bishops' Conference of Scotland in wishing Barbara every success in her new post.”   Barbara who started teaching in 1998 and gained a Bachelor of Divinity in 1996 from the University of Glasgow commented:   “I am honoured and delighted to have been appointed as the next Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service.  I hope that I can continue the positive legacy that Michael McGrath has built, while serving the Church and Scottish Catholic schools in a creative and faithful way.”   Congratulating his successor, Michael McGrath, outgoing SCES Director, commented:   “I am delighted that the Bishops have moved swiftly to appoint Barbara as the next SCES Director.  I know that she will bring great energy, skill and commitment to the post.  I wish her and all who work to support Scotland’s Catholic schools every success in the years ahead.”   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. Barbara's start date is the 20 June 2016   2.  A full biography of Ba...

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Archbishop Leo Cushley was joined by St Margaret of Scotland (1070–1093) to unveil the poster being sent to every Catholic parish in the country to advertise this year’s St Margaret’s Summer Pilgrimage in Dunfermline on Sunday 12 June.   “The summer pilgrimage in honour of St Margaret should be a fantastic family day – that’s why we want to extend the invitation to take part as far and wide as possible,” said Archbishop Cushley, 10 May at St Margaret’s Chapel in Edinburgh.   Joining the Archbishop to launch the event was 30-year-old Fife actress Katie Milne dressed as St Margaret.   “St Margaret is such a remarkable historical figure in Scotland's story as well as a fabulous role model for young Scots today – especially young women – it's an honour to represent her here today.”   The roots of the summer pilgrimage dates back to June 1250 when the relics of Saint Margaret were translated to a new shrine in Dunfermline Abbey following her canonisation that year by Pope Innocent IV. An annual summer pilgrimage to Dunfermline soon emerged becoming a celebrated fixture within Scottish national life until the late 16th century. It was then re-established in 1899 and continued again until 1974. Last year saw the pilgrimage revived after an absence 41 years.   “Last year’s event was a tremendous success with numbers attending far in excess to expectations and everybody having an enormously enjoyable day – this year should prove to be even better,” added the Archbishop.   The revived summer pilgrimage is the initiative of the local Catholic parish in Dunfermline, St Margaret’s Memorial Church. In 2015, they invited parishes within the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh to attend. Following the success of last year’s event, this year they are extending the invitation to all the Catholic parishes in Scotland – 452 pa...

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In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic parishes in Scotland this weekend (7/8 May, 2016) to mark the 50th World Communications Day, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia calls on all Catholics to communicate with mercy and pay attention to the needs of those we communicate with, always remembering their innate human dignity.   The Pope’s theme for this year’s World Communications Day is: ‘Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter’ Archbishop Tartaglia, President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, echoes Pope Francis’ invitation to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy, when he says:   “The need to speak with care and compassion is especially important in the digital world of social media. As Christians we must always build bridges and open doors to dialogue and understanding.”   In his message Pope Francis said, “What we say and how we say it, our every word and gesture, ought to express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all. Love, by its nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing.”   Adding, “If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.”   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168(T) 0141 204 2458(F) 07968 122291(M) pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Notes to Editors:   50TH  WORLD  COMMUNICATIONS  DAY   My Dear brothers and sisters in Christ   This year’s Communications Sunday message is addressed to us during the Holy Year of Mercy and in his theme, Pope Francis invites us to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy.   At first sight, that may seem an odd request, we may think of communications as purely functional;  the means by which we impart or convey i...

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THE first ever Catholic Cardinal of Myanmar/Burma will use a visit to Scotland to ask Scots to support his country during its transition to democracy after decades of military rule.   Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the Archbishop of Yangon (Rangoon), who has promised to provide a ‘voice for the voiceless’ in his home country is coming to Scotland from May 8-11 as a guest of Missio Scotland, SCIAF, Aid to the Church in Need and Christian Solidarity Worldwide.   During his trip to Scotland, Cardinal Bo will celebrate Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow, talk to more than 250 pupils from schools in the Motherwell Diocese and take part in a civic reception at Glasgow City Chambers. The Cardinal will also meet Dr Angus Morrison, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, speak to politicians and interfaith leaders and be a guest of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.   Speaking ahead of his visit, Cardinal Bo said: “My country now stands on the threshold of hope. After over half a century of brutal oppression at the hands of successive military regimes and after more than 60 years of civil war, we now have the possibility to begin to build a new Myanmar, to develop the values of democracy, to better protect and promote human rights and to work for peace.”   Cardinal Bo added: “Your beautiful nation, Scotland, has wrestled with its own questions in recent years over its political status and destination as a country. You have grappled with debates over autonomy, self-determination and indeed, religious diversity. So I would like to learn from you.   “I look to our friends around the world, including in Scotland, to help my country ensure that every person in Myanmar, of whatever race or religion, has their rights protected, without discrimination.”   ENDS   Note to editors:   1. You are invited to send a reporter, photographer, ca...

April 2016 2 posts

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To mark the 400th anniversary of priestly formation the seminarians from the Pontifical Scots College in Rome will have a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican later today (Thursday 14 April)   They will be accompanied by Archbishop Philip Tartaglia and Archbishop Leo Cushley and by the staff of the College the Rector, Fr. Daniel Fitzpatrick, the Vice Rector, Fr. Gerald Sharkey and the Spiritual Director, Fr. Mark Cassidy.   Archbishop Tartaglia said:   “I am very pleased to be participating along with Archbishop Leo Cushley at the Audience Pope Francis has kindly agreed to grant to our College in Rome to mark the 400th Anniversary of the Mission Oath following the  Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie. This encounter with the Holy Father will be a huge encouragement to our young men who are preparing for the priesthood at the Scots College. I will be  honoured to give the opening address of greeting to Pope Francis.”   Commenting on the visit, Fr. Daniel Fitzpatrick said:   “It is a great honour for the whole College as we celebrate 400 years of Priestly Formation in Rome to be able to spend time with Pope Francis. Moments like these remind the seminarians of the great tradition that they now are part of.”    The full text of Archbishop Tartaglia’s address can be found below.   Photographs of the seminarians with Pope Francis will be available here: http://www.photovat.com/index1.htm     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   Your Holiness,   Together with my brother Archbishop, Leo Cushley, of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and in the name of the Rector and of the whole community of the Pontifical Scots College, I would like to thank your Holiness f...

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In a letter which will be read in all of Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes this weekend (9/10 April) Scotland’s eight Catholic Bishops will urge parishioners to "be active participants in shaping a better society” not simply "passive spectators” they will also encourage greater participation in the political process, suggesting; "you might well consider it worthwhile to join a political party”  while reminding Catholic voters that "Only if you use your vote can you make a difference and influence our political leaders.”   The call to get involved in the election, scrutinise candidates and parties and vote on 5 May comes as the Scottish Parliament gains several extra powers including responsibility for legislation regarding abortion. The full text of the letter is shown below.   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 To  be  read  at  all  Masses  9/10 April  2016 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ   1. It is the duty of every Catholic to try to influence society for the better.  The bishops urge you, therefore, to exercise your democratic right and responsibility to vote in the forthcoming Scottish Parliamentary elections.   2. Keep in mind that the Scottish Parliament now has more powers than before and has a greater say, therefore, in determining the welfare of society.  As well as existing powers over education and health, the parliament has been given more control of the economy, with greater ability to raise and lower taxes.  It will also have responsibility for legislation regarding abortion in Scotland.   3. Please make your views known to the candidates and the parties.  You have two votes in the elect...

March 2016 1 posts

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Summary of Meeting and Decisions   SUNDAY TRADING:   The Bishops' agreed to endorse a letter drafted by the Christian Institute on the subject of a proposed change in Sunday trading law in England & Wales. Although Employment Law is a reserved power to Westminster it could have knock on effects on the rights of Scottish workers. The letters are addressed to Scottish MP's. The text of the letter is shown below:   "Dear Sir,   On Wednesday the Westminster Parliament will vote on whether or not to liberalise Sunday trading laws in England and Wales.   Some might suggest that this is not a matter for Scotland but this is plainly not the case.   The shop workers union USDAW has clearly demonstrated that any further liberalisation of Sunday trading law in England and Wales will cost Scottish workers dearly as a result of the consequential erosion of Sunday premium pay in Scotland.   The expert legal opinion written by the leading employment lawyer John Bowers QC, meanwhile, makes it clear that the new Sunday trading employment provisions - introduced to protect people in England, Wales and Scotland from being compelled to work on Sundays - are flawed. While at first glance, therefore, this might not seem to be an issue for Scotland, we submit that it most certainly is.   We would call on all Scotland’s Members of Parliament to stand up for Scottish workers and for Scotland this Wednesday and to vote for the amendment to delete the Sunday trading provisions from the Enterprise Bill."   EDUCATION:   Director of SCES, Michael McGrath reported on efforts being made to encourage Catholic students to consider teacher training. Archbishop Tartaglia's letter on the subject had generated interest and it was hoped that similar appeals would be made in future.    Consideration is being given to how best to celebrate/commemorate the transfer in 1918 of Catholic schools into the state sector. ...

February 2016 2 posts

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  Archbishop Cushley praised the “long and distinguished history of the Church of Christ in Argyll and the Isles” in his homily on the occasion of the Ordination of Mgr. Brian McGee as Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.   The Episcopal Ordination of Monsignor Brian McGee as the new Bishop of Argyll and the Isles took place at St. Columba’s Cathedral in Oban today, Thursday 18 February at 7.00pm.The new Bishop was consecrated by Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh.   In his homily, Archbishop Cushley, spoke of the journey of St Columba to Iona 1,400 years ago, where he and his successors became “the undisputed religious and moral leaders of the people” While the monks of Iona “were known and respected throughout Europe for centuries”   Archbishop Cushley said: “Scotland itself owes Columba a deep debt of gratitude for the faith’s benign and gentle influence upon our society, something whose positive impact can be felt to this day.”   The full text of Archbishop Cushley’s Homily is shown below.   The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, said:   "I congratulate Mgr Brian McGee on his nomination and consecration as Bishop of Argyll&the Isles and look forward to welcoming him to the Bishops' Conference. When I was Bishop of Paisley, Brian was one of my priests. He was a dedicated pastor and a thoughtful priest. I have no doubt that he  will make his own distinctive and valuable contribution to the deliberations of our Conference."   ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168 07968 122291 mail@scmo.org www.scmo.org   Images from the ordination available for download from FlickR.   Homily on the occasion of the Ordination of the Right Reverend Brian McGee as Bishop of Argyll and the Isles &nb...

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  The Episcopal Ordination of Monsignor Brian McGee as the new Bishop of Argyll and the Isles will take place at St. Columba’s Cathedral in Oban on Thursday 18 February at 7.00pm.    Speaking ahead of his Episcopal Ordination Bishop Elect-McGee said; "I am very much looking forward to my Ordination as Bishop of Argyll. Although it is a challenging vocation God's grace and the kindness of so many people has greatly encouraged me.  I ask for people to pray for me as I prepare".    The new Bishop will be consecrated by Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh.   Commenting on the ordination of Bishop Elect McGee, Archbishop Cushley said; “Bishop-elect McGee is a good man, a fine priest and a seasoned pastor who brings many years of experience to bear in his new role as Bishop of Argyll & the Isles.”    “His own family has roots in the north of Ireland, just like St Columba who travelled in the 6th century to Iona in order to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to consolidate it among the peoples of his own language and culture – so Bishop-elect McGee now follows in his saintly footsteps.”     The Papal Nuncio, HE Archbishop Antonia Mennini, will attend, representing Pope Francis.    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. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the ordination on Thursday 18 February. The Cathedral will be open from 5.30pm and the Mass of Ordination will begin at 7.00pm. Please email the Catholic Media Office - mail@scmo.org - if you wish to send a representative.      2. Photographs of Bishop Elect McGee will be available on request. Please con...

January 2016 2 posts

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  Tributes have been paid to Bishop Ian Murray, former Bishop of Argyll & the Isles, who died yesterday (Friday 22 January) aged 83.   Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said:   “On behalf of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland I would like to offer Bishop Murray’s family our deepest and most prayerful sympathies,”   “During his active years as a bishop, Ian Murray played a full part in the life and work of the Bishops’ Conference contributing with humanity, faith and humour to everything that we did. He will be sorely missed. May God rest his generous soul.”   The Scottish Bishops are currently gathered in session at the Royal Scots College in Salamanca, Spain, an institution to which Bishop Murray had a lifelong bond as both student and, subsequently, rector. They celebrated a Mass for him in the College this morning.   “When we heard the sad news this afternoon, Archbishop Tartaglia immediately halted proceedings and we paused to pray for the repose of Bishop Murray’s soul,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley.   “Ian Murray was a happy priest, a good bishop and a father to his people with a particular corner of his heart for the students of the Royal Scots College in Spain.”   Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell who, is also a former Rector of the Royal Scots College and Bishop Emeritus of Argyll & the Isles, said;   “We will remember Bishop Murray with great fondness both as Emeritus Bishop of Argyll & the Isles and also his wonderful contribution to the Royal Scots College in Spain,”   “We ask God to grant him eternal rest after his fruitful and happy ministry as a priest and bishop in Scotland – and we appreciate all that he did for the Church in our country over the past 60 years of his priesthood.”   Monsignor Jamie MacNeil, D...

SCMO | | News Releases, Christianity
Pope Francis has been officially invited to visit the Pontifical Scots College in Rome to help mark this year’s 400th anniversary of its founding as a seminary.   “The Pontifical Scots College has a truly remarkable history and, so, it would be wonderful if Pope Francis could join us as we celebrate that past with pride while looking to the future with great confidence and trust in the Lord,” said Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh 20 January.       The Pontifical Scots College in Rome was founded in 1600 by Pope Clement VIII to provide an education for young Scottish Catholic men who, due to the laws against Catholics, could not receive a Catholic education at home.   Inspired by the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, the sixteen students studying at the College vowed on 10 March 1616 to return to Scotland as priests, just one year after the saint’s execution at Glasgow Cross.   “It would be a great honour for the College and for all the young men studying with us if the Pope Francis is able to join us to mark 400 years of priestly formation,” said Fr Daniel Fitzpatrick, Rector of the Pontifical Scots College.   “I am sure the Holy Father’s presence would be a great blessing to the C