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29 August 2014

Scotland s Archbishops urge Referendum participation

Both of Scotland s Catholic Archbishops; Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow and Archbishop Leo Cushley of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, will this weekend (30 & 31 August) distribute pastoral messages on the Independence Referendum to be read at all Masses.

Both Archbishops will urge participation in the referendum and ask Catholics to engage with the issues being raised in the period up to 18 September.

Archbishop Tartaglia commented:

"The Scottish Independence Referendum is now just a short time away. Along with the Bishops of Scotland, who are deeply conscious of the importance of this referendum, I encourage and urge all those eligible to vote to do so with complete freedom of choice and in accordance with their prayerful judgment of what is best for the future. May God guide us and bless us in whatever choice we make in good conscience.

Archbishop Cushley said:

"I encourage you, in the light of Catholic social teaching, carefully to consider the issues and to do your civic duty on the day itself. No matter the result of the Referendum, I would hope that all Catholics will continue to engage positively in public discourse, and ensure that the Christian message and its values are better expressed and understood, to the benefit of the whole community.   By doing so, our beloved land will be a more just, peaceful and prosperous place for all its citizens.

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

Note to Editors:

1. The full text of both messages are shown below:


My dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
The Scottish Independence Referendum is now just a short time away. Along with the Bishops of Scotland, who are deeply conscious of the importance of this referendum, I encourage and urge all those eligible to vote to do so with complete freedom of choice and in accordance with their prayerful judgment of what is best for the future. May God guide us and bless us in whatever choice we make in good conscience.
 
Yours devotedly in Christ,
 
+Philip Tartaglia
Archbishop of Glasgow



My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
 
On the occasion of the referendum on Scottish independence, I have been approached several times now by some who would like to know where Scots Catholics, or where I personally, may stand on the matter.   To those of you who wish a word from me in this regard, I would say the following.
 
Like everyone else, Catholics are a part of the world.   Urged by the love of Christ, we are called, to be citizens who contribute positively to the common good and who strive always to consider others and their good before our own.   We are called to promote peace, integral human development and authentic human rights, and to have a special care for the poorest and the weakest in society.
 
We are also concerned for the rights of all people, to freedom of conscience and to the right to believe and to practise their faith.   These freedoms are as important as they are fragile, as has been proven all too often, to the dismay and death of many millions. These freedoms are absolutely essential to a modern democratic society and we should always be vigilant of those who would seek to limit them.  
 
Since all of us are made in the image and likeness of God, no matter our race, our beliefs or the way we live, we also have a concern for moral values based upon our common humanity.  
 
The promotion, therefore, of laws which allow us to believe, teach and live our faith and morals is and will always be of concern to us, whether at the Scottish, UK or European levels. So I encourage you, in the light of Catholic social teaching, carefully to consider the issues and to do your civic duty on the day itself.  
 
No matter the result of the Referendum, I would hope that all Catholics will continue to engage positively in public discourse, and ensure that the Christian message and its values are better expressed and understood, to the benefit of the whole community.   By doing so, our beloved land will be a more just, peaceful and prosperous place for all its citizens.  
 
With my prayerful good wishes to you all, I willingly invoke God s blessings upon you.  
 
 
+ Leo Cushley
Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh

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