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Scots Catholic

Calling Scotland's 841,000 Catholics to unite as one voice

Scots Catholic Blog


Pope Francis' Meeting with Abuse Victims not a Publicity Stunt

Posted on July 14, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (120)

A member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has responded to criticism of the Holy Father's motives following his recent meeting with victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

Don't make our mistake: A top dutch regulator and former supporter of euthanasia has warned the Westminster Parliament that assisted suicide leads to mass killing

Posted on July 10, 2014 at 9:09 AM Comments comments (94)
Theo Boer
Dutchman Theo Boer, a European regulator of assisted suicide, has warned the UK not to go down the road of introducing it into law. 
Boer told MPs that assisted suicide is a slippery slope towards mass killing of the sick and he urged the UK not to do it, saying that 'once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely to ever go back in again.'
A bill, introduced by Labour peer Lord Falconer, is currently making its way through the UK Parliament and is scheduled to come back before the House of Lords next week.  If passed it will allow doctors to prescribe poison to terminally ill and mentally ill alert people who wish to kill themselves.
Mr Boer spoke about his experiences in the Netherlands where the number of assisted deaths has doubled in just six years and there are real fears that the law is being abused.
Mr Boer, a supporter of euthanasia in the past admitted that he was 'wrong - terribly wrong, in fact' to have believed regulated euthanasia would work.  He also said, 'I used to be a supporter of the Dutch law.  But now, with 12 years of experience, I take a very different view.'
Click here to read the full article at Mail Online:

Pope Francis describes abuse in the church as a ‘sacrilegious cult’ and says it will not be tolerated

Posted on July 7, 2014 at 9:24 AM Comments comments (0)
Pope Francis, during morning Mass at the Church of Santa Marta, has said that he “will not tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual” and has vowed to “do everything in our power to ensure that these sins have no place in the Church.”
The Mass was attended by six victims of clerical abuse and the Pope praised them for their courage to speak the truth.  He described their abuse as something more than despicable actions, suggesting the perpetrators’ actions were like a “sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God.”
The Pope then sought the forgiveness of all abuse victims, not only for the grave sin of abuse, but also for omissions on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse.
The Pope, not for the first time, emphasised the need for the Church to develop better policies and procedures for the protection of minors.
In a telling reference to scripture the Pope referred to Jesus’ words to Peter after his resurrection when he said “Go back and feed my sheep.”  The Pope said he would add to that: “let no wolf enter the sheepfold.”
Click here to read the full text of the Pope’s homily:

Dwelling on the Word of God: Jesus: the only Way (Friday 16th May 2014)

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 7:53 AM Comments comments (29)
The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Today’s Gospel (John 14:1-6):
'Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
Jesus said:
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. 
No one can come to the Father except through me.’'
It is interesting that Jesus tells his disciples to not let their hearts be troubled and to trust in God still.  There is a suggestion here that the disciples’ faith may be waning somewhat, that they may be struggling with what they are witnessing in Jesus.  And who could blame them?  Here is a man, living in their midst, who is the saviour of the world!  Here is God made man eating and drinking among them, performing miracles day after day!  Their simple human minds must have struggled to take it all in; to appreciate who Jesus really was.  Perhaps the disciples were also struggling with other people around them who did not share their faith and who would mock them for believing in this Jesus character; this Galilean who supposedly worked miracles and claimed to be the Son of God.
So Jesus, knowing the disciples minds, encourages them to continue to trust in God and also to trust in him.  He wants them to keep the faith despite troubling thoughts and doubts.  He wants them to keep the faith despite the abuse they may receive from those who don’t share the same conviction of faith.
And isn’t this so true of our world today?  Don’t we as Catholic people struggle to maintain our strong faith in an increasingly secular world?  Whether it be in the workplace, in the home, or even on Facebook or Twitter, don’t we find ourselves in a struggle to keep the faith where that faith is deemed to be yesterday’s news and worthy only to be consigned to the dustbin of history?  Is it not a struggle to defend our faith because of our basic belief in the right to life from conception to natural death?  Is it not a struggle to defend our faith because we see marriage as between one man and one woman?  Is it not a struggle to defend our faith when we see the sinfulness of some Catholic clergy who abused young children in their care?
Yet Jesus comes to us here and now and urges us to trust in God and to trust in him, just as he did with the disciples around two thousand years ago.  He tells us that he has prepared a place for us in his Father’s house.  We have a home in Heaven!  There is actually a place for each one of us in the Kingdom of God!
But how do we get there?  That is the very relevant question asked by St Thomas, and Jesus gives him an earth shattering reply when he says ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one can come to the Father except through me.’ 
It is only through Jesus that we can get to God and the place he has prepared for us.

Vatican hits back at UN interference on the dignity of the human person

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 10:38 AM Comments comments (1)
Holy See will consider UN observations on child abuse by clergy but will not take on board abortion criticism
The United Nations has accused the Vatican of failing to sufficiently protect children from paedophile clergy, claiming that it has “adopted policies and practices which have led to the continuation of abuse”.  There is also concern that many children are still at risk of abuse today and has requested swift action be taken to identify perpetrators and deal with them accordingly.
While recent moves by Pope Francis have suggested a more robust approach to child abuse by clergy, there is clearly a lot of work still to be done and the Church must ensure it does as much as it can to combat these horrific crimes.  These crimes simply have no place in the Church and, while the Church is full of sinners, it does not mean that the Church should sit back and do nothing about it. 
While the full extent of the Church’s work to eradicate such behaviour is still not known and is, I suspect, more widespread than many in the mainstream media believe, this is an opportunity for the Vatican to set out its stall to deal with the matter once and for all.  Thankfully the Vatican has already put in place new procedures to combat these crimes and, further, Bishops across the world, including the Bishops of Scotland, are starting to look at their own processes and put in place new protections.  In Scotland, the Bishops Conference sent a letter to all parishes across the country in November 2013 detailing its plans to tackle child abuse (click here to access the letter).  Among the plans was the publication of a safeguarding audit between 2006 and 2012, giving details of any safeguarding incidents in that time.  There will also be an external review of safeguarding protocols and procedures undertaken by the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland, and a statistical review of abuse cases between 1947 and 2005.   Details of the Bishops’ safeguarding service can be accessed by clicking here.  For many, these reviews and new processes will not be enough but there is no doubt that it is a significant step in the right direction for the Church.
Sadly, however, in delivering its recommendations, the UN felt the need to criticise the Church for its stance on abortion and contraception.  The Vatican, in response, stated: "The Holy See does, however, regret to see in some points of the Concluding Observations [by the UN] an attempt to interfere with Catholic Church teaching on the dignity of human person and in the exercise of religious freedom. The Holy See reiterates its commitment to defending and protecting the rights of the child, in line with the principles promoted by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and according to the moral and religious values offered by Catholic doctrine." 
The Holy See quite rightly refers to the UN’s very own Convention on the Rights of the Child in making its point.  The UN, through the Convention, claims that ‘all human beings, rich and poor, strong and weak, male and female, of all races and religions, are to be treated equally and with respect for their natural worth as human beings’.  All human beings except the very weakest it would seem; those who cannot speak for themselves.
While the UN is correct to urge the Church to correct past mistakes and do its utmost to ensure they are not repeated, the UN must look at its own human rights failings, particularly those relating to the unborn. 

Incredible Witness of Faith in the Face of Vile Abuse

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 3:52 PM Comments comments (1)
This is a truly disturbing yet very real account of an encounter between pro-abortion activists and pro-life faithful at the Cathedral in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Please note that the video contains some disturbing images.

Catholic Church in Scotland aims to bring healing and justice to abuse victims as it sets out new safeguarding initiatives

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 7:52 AM Comments comments (11)
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has today announced details of three safeguarding initiatives to tackle abuse by people of trust within the Church.  The initiatives, which will be introduced over the next year, are as follows:
1.  Immediate publication of all Diocesan safeguarding audits from 2006-2012, giving a statistical breakdown of reported safeguarding incidents during those years.  The audits may be viewed by clicking this link:
2.  An external review of safeguarding protocols and procedures which will review the suitability and robustness of safeguarding procedures and the quality and rigour of their implementation nationally.  As you may have seen in the news, the Bishops have appointed the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan to direct this initiative.  Dr McLellan is a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and a former Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons.
3.  A statistical review of all historic cases of abuse from 1947 – 2005.
The introduction of these initiatives heralds a significant move by the Catholic Church in Scotland and is a move to be welcomed by all.  Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, in a letter read out in each parish on Sunday, said: “We recognise the trauma and pain that survivors of abuse have suffered and we are committed to providing for them both justice and healing.” 
The Archbishop, who admitted 2013 had been a test of faith for Catholics, also said: “The Church is committed to consolidation of our safeguarding practices, the renewal of trust in our unshakeable commitment to atoning for abuse in the past, guarding against abuse in the present and eliminating abuse in the future, and supporting those who have been harmed.”
In commenting on his role, Dr McLellan said, “My appointment is a generous sign of respect not simply for me but for the Church of Scotland; and I am pleased to be able to help the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland in what has been for them a difficult year.  But my first concern is not to support the Catholic Church, rather, it is to seek the best protection to many vulnerable children and adults.  In pursuing that aim I will be determined to discover the truth and to make clear recommendations.  I am very much encouraged by the independence I will have in selecting the membership of the panel, detailing its remit and deciding on its timescale; and by the assurance I have been given that the Catholic Bishops will accept our recommendations.”

The words of both the Archbishop and Dr McLellan are not soft, nor are they vague.  The Church is clearly committed to trying to do as much as possible to right some serious wrongs and, furthermore, to make sure those wrongs do not occur in the future.  The hurt and pain suffered by victims in the past will never fully heal.  We must hope the Church gives them as much help and support as it possibly can and we must also ensure we remember them in our prayers.  The future, we must hope, is going to be very different in the Catholic Church in Scotland.

Miss World: "I'm against Abortion" and "Sex is for Marriage"

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (35)
In a frank interview to a local broadcaster, the 2013 Miss World Megan Lynn Young (pictured), revealed a number of truths about her own beliefs on some of the most important topics in our world today.
In an interview likely to send shockwaves throughout an increasingly secular western world, 23 year old Miss Young from the Philippines boldly expressed her firm belief that abortion is wrong and that sex is something sacred to the sacrament of marriage.
When asked about the subject of abortion, Miss Young stated, "Abortion is wrong....I'm pro-life....and if it means killing someone who's already there, then I'm against that, of course."
On the subject of sex Miss Young, going against the grain of much of society today, boldly stated, "Sex is for marriage, that's my belief."
And when the interviewer challenged her about how a woman as gorgeous as her could say no to sex she simply replied, "You say no." 
Thanks for confirming that Miss Young because, yes, it really is that simple!  Despite what others may say and despite what you might read in your newspaper or magazine, or see on television, or even hear from the government, it really is as simple as saying no.  If Miss World can do it, I gather most of the rest of us can too!
Miss Young also offered some advice to those who are reluctant to have sexual relations saying, "If they try to push you, you step away, because that person doesn't value you, doesn't value the relationship as much....if the guy is willing to sacrifice that, it means a lot."
To read more on this interview and to watch video footage check out the following link:

Bishop of Aberdeen Apologises for Abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey School

Posted on August 5, 2013 at 10:12 AM Comments comments (0)
Bishop Gilbert apologised to victims
Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen has apologised on behalf of the Church for the abuse of children at a Catholic boarding school in the north of Scotland.  This follows an earlier apology by the Benedictine order which previosuly ran the school.
Monks at Fort Augustus Abbey School allegedly abused children over a number of years.
The Bishop spoke of his horror and shame at the abuse and has already stated that the Church will cooperate fully with police who have confirmed they will be investigating the matter.  He also spoke of having to acknowledge the sins and failures of the Church and committed to working hard to make sure it does not happen again.  He invited people to pray for the victims.
A detailed report is currently being prepared by the Church which will detail historical cases of abuse dating back to the 1950’s.  The report should be available sometime next year.