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Scots Catholic

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

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Christ’s Call to Love our Neighbour as Scottish Referendum Draws Ever Closer (Dwelling on the Word of God, Sunday 7th September 2014)

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (3)
 
This Sunday’s second reading (Romans 13:8-10):
 
Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of mutual love. If you love your fellow men you have carried out your obligations. All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbour as yourself. Love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour; that is why it is the answer to every one of the commandments.
 
 
The importance of loving others can never be over-stressed, especially not for a Christian.  To love others - our neighbours - is to live as Christ himself instructed.  That is how important it is!  It is a direct instruction from Jesus.
 
It is quite often a difficult thing to do – to love our neighbour - but the bottom line is that it must be done.  If we love Jesus and want to follow in his footsteps, we need to love other people.  That is why Paul, in this reading, suggests this commandment sums up all of the other commandments.  If we keep this one commandment to love our neighbour then we will never do anything to hurt our neighbour. 
 
Can you imagine a world where nobody hurts anybody else?  That is what Jesus wants and that is what we must strive for!  There can be no excuses.  It will not wash to say that it is pointless to try and live like this because too many people disobey the commandment.  It will not wash to say it is too difficult or impossible.
The time for excuses has passed.  We must now act and do as Christ has asked.  Do we want eternal life?  Of course we do!  Then we must do as Christ instructs.  Do we want to live a happy life here on earth?  Of course we do!  Then we must do as Christ instructs. 
 
Here in Scotland we are at a pivotal moment in the future of our country.  On 18 September we will vote in a referendum on independence.  Sadly, some of the debate around the referendum has tipped into intolerance and even aggression in some instances, including among Christian people.  This would be a good time for the Christian people of Scotland, and indeed all the people of Scotland, to remember Christ’s call to love our neighbour.  Remember, this commandment is ‘the answer to every one of the commandments’.
 

Scottish Parliament Sympathetic to Plight of Persecuted Christians

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 7:06 AM Comments comments (1)
The Scottish Parliament yesterday had a fairly detailed discussion on the plight of Christians around the world.
 
Click the link, below, and then click ‘Persecuted Christians’ to find out what was discussed: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=9439&mode=html
 
 
 

Sectarianism Not Caused by Denominational Schools

Posted on December 13, 2013 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (8)
 
It’s what so many of us have been saying for years.  With a distinct lack of evidence to support the view of a vociferous minority, the government is on the verge of committing itself to the view that denominational (or faith) schools do not cause sectarianism.
 
While other countries with faith schools have known this all along we in Scotland have, for some reason, fumbled our way to this conclusion over a great many years.
 
The Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland, set up by the Scottish Government, was tasked with debating the issue of sectarianism in Scotland with a view to tackling the problem in the most effective manner.  It focused primarily on the specific form of sectarianism arising from Catholic-Protestant tensions which, as the report states, ‘are part of the historic legacy of Scotland’.  
 
There are a number of issues tackled in the report, including marches and parades, and also sectarianism at football matches.  But perhaps the most interesting statement comes at section 28 and under the banner of education. It states: ‘We do not believe that sectarianism stems from, or is the responsibility of, denominational schooling, or, specifically, Catholic schools, nor that sectarianism would be eradicated by closing such institutions.’
 
For many, many years I have wondered why so many people are obsessed with the idea that Catholic schools cause sectarianism.  As a kid who attended a Catholic school I never had any difficulty mixing and playing with friends from different schools and different backgrounds.  I know of many other people who had the same experience.  And in my adult life I continue to mix with people from a different background to my own. 
 
Thankfully, the government has now recognised that denominational schools are not the problem.  And why would they be?  Sectarianism in Scotland existed BEFORE denominational schooling was introduced.  Logically speaking, sectarianism will continue to exist AFTER denomination schools are removed.  Thankfully, however, this is not something we need to worry about given the content of this report.
 
We should be delighted at the way our children are educated in Scotland.  We have produced many, many talented people over the years for such a small country and both our denominational and non-denomination schools have contributed to this great achievement.
 
To read the full report, click this link: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/12/6197/0
 

Do you engage with your politician?

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 11:38 AM Comments comments (0)
Scottish Parliament
 
With the proposed legislation on same-sex marriage and renewed discussions around the subject of abortion, it would be interesting to know just how many of us actually engage with our politicians on important issues.
 
I write this off the back of a fairly productive and interesting email discussion with my own MSP where the topic of same-sex marriage was discussed quite openly and forthrightly.
 
While the outcome of the discussion was disappointing in that my MSP was unable to respond to all of my concerns, particularly those around perceived public opinion on the matter and an alarming disregard for the democratic process by the government, it was, however, encouraging in the sense that I had the opportunity to contact my MSP with considerable ease and I had a direct link through which to make my views clear.
 
Crucially, I urged my MSP to consider my views when voting on this issue.  As the electorate we have the right to encourage our elected members to vote in a specific way.  My MSP confirmed that he wouldn’t be voting as per my wishes but I had made my point.  Interestingly he told me how many people had contacted him regarding the issue of same-sex marriage and he also told me how many people were for/against the proposed new legislation.  It was incredibly close and one or two people could easily swing the majority.
 
It is crucial we use these direct links to our politicians, be they MSP’s, MP’s, MEP’s or even local councillors, and tell them how we feel about specific issues.  If we don’t then how can they possibly be expected to take account of our concerns?  If you are going to feel let down by the government at least put up a fight and make your feelings known.  It’s your basic entitlement.  And if you aren’t satisfied with the response, remember your dissatisfaction the next time you are at the polling station.
 
To contact your member of the Scottish Parliament click here: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/msps.aspx
 
To contact your member of the UK Parliament click here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
 

World Medical Association reaffirms its strong opposition to euthanasia

Posted on August 20, 2013 at 6:35 AM Comments comments (0)
The World Medical Association has once again reaffirmed its continued strong opposition to euthanasia, reports Peter Saunders on his Christian Medical Comment blog.
 
The WMA’s resolution on euthanasia states that:
 
Euthanasia, that is the act of deliberately ending the life of a patient, even at the patient’s own request or at the request of close relatives, is unethical.  This does not prevent the physician from respecting the desire of a patient to allow the natural process of death to follow its course in the terminal phase of sickness.
 
It also says the following with respect to assisted suicide:
 
Physicians-assisted suicide, like euthanasia, is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession.  Where the assistance of the physician is intentionally and deliberately directed at enabling an individual to end his or her own life, the physician acts unethically.  However the right to decline medical treatment is a basic right of the patient and the physician does not act unethically even if respecting such a wish results in the death of the patient.
 
Despite the culture of death which is rapidly spreading throughout our world, as correctly predicted by Blessed John Paul II, it is encouraging to hear that our doctors are firmly of the opinion that euthanasia is wrong.