scmo_banner_news.jpg


Pope Francis has sent a special envoy to Glasgow to mark the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, Scotland s only post-reformation canonised Catholic martyr. Cardinal Cormac Murphy O Connor “ the former Archbishop of Westminster - has been asked by the Holy Father to be his special envoy at a Mass in St Andrew s Cathedral, Glasgow at 7.30pm on March 10, St John Ogilvie s feast day.
In his homily, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will highlight attacks on religious freedom, which he will claim, is:

"fragile, not always recognised, not always respected, in some places denied, leading, as we know, to persecution, sectarianism and brutality. St John Ogilvie was a standard bearer for the right relationship between the state and the religious freedom of its citizens. It is important that churches, faith communities and religious bodies are in dialogue with government and civil authorities about what religious freedom and freedom of conscience mean in their circumstances."

Archbishop Tartaglia will also commend ecumenical engagement in Scotland, saying;

"Ecumenical relations between the churches teach us how to live and express our baptismal unity with prayer, dialogue, shared witness in the name of peace and justice, common service to the poor and needy, and with huge courtesy and friendship. If the goal of the ecumenical movement, full visible communion, escapes us still and seems as far away as ever, there is a very real and effective ecumenism of friendship, prayer, witness and service which is a great good and which keeps the hope alive. Oh “ and an ecumenism of martyrdom too, because, as the Pope said, the martyrs belong to all Christians. So, even as the Catholic community rejoices for St John Ogilvie, I offer St John Ogilvie tonight as a martyr for all Scots Christians, so that we may together reap the rich harvest of faith and love which his blood has sowed in our land."

 

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:

You are invited to send a photographer/camera crew/reporter to the Mass at St. Andrew's Cathedral, Clyde Street, Glasgow at 7.30pm2. The full text of Archbishop Tartaglia's homily is shown below.3. John Ogilvie was a convert to the Catholic faith from Banffshire he was educated on mainland Europe before being ordained a Jesuit priest. He returned to his native country to serve for a short time. He was hanged at Glasgow Cross on March 10 1615 after having been arrested for saying Mass and celebrating the sacraments with persecuted Catholics in and around the Glasgow area. He was canonised by Blessed Pope Paul VI in 1976 following the miraculous cure of Glasgow man John Fagan from cancer.

Homily for the Mass for the 400th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie  

As we gather here in St Andrew s Cathedral, Glasgow, to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, I want to offer you three reflections.

1.The first observation arises from the words of two Popes: Blessed Pope Paul VI and Pope Francis. First Blessed Paul VI: Together with many hundreds of pilgrims from Scotland, I was present as a young priest on that October day in 1976 in St Peter s Basilica, Rome, when Pope Paul VI declared John Ogilvie to be a saint. We have great joy , declared Pope Paul VI at the start of his homily for the Mass of Canonisation, in being able to announce to all of God s pilgrim Church on earth the glorious name of a new Saint, that of John Ogilvie, who died a martyr in Glasgow on 10th March 1615. And coming forward nearly 40 years, Pope Francis: Pope Francis , who last year declared Pope Paul VI to be Blessed, has sent us a message, which has been read for us by his Special Envoy Cardinal Murphy O Connor. In his message, Pope Francis invites us to make sure that our thankful and joyful commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie will be an inspiration for us to follow Christ more faithfully, to observe his commandments more faithfully, and, in our present circumstances, to love the Gospel of Jesus and the Church of Christ with even greater ardour.

So a first level of response to this feast is one of thanksgiving and joy for St John Ogilvie. It was a day of thanksgiving and joy in Rome in 1976 when John Ogilvie was declared a saint. It is a day of thanksgiving and joy today when we commemorate the 400th Anniversary of his Martyrdom. John Ogilvie is our saint, our martyr, and we love him. We love him and honour him because he was a Scot, because he was one of our Catholic community, because he was a young Jesuit priest, because he was brave, because he suffered and died for his faith, his freedom and his religion, and because in him we see Jesus on the cross. In a time marked by relativism, by an aversion to speak the truth of faith, and by what sociologists call low intensity religion , St John Ogilvie and the martyrs remind us that there is a line that they will not cross and that faithfulness to Christ is non-negotiable even at the cost of their lives.And along with thanksgiving, joy and pride, we should be moved, as Pope Francis says, to follow Jesus more faithfully, to love the church more ardently, to do God s will more generously. Speaking of his own death, Jesus said to his disciples, ¦unless a wheat grain falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. We are here today after 400 years.

So a harvest there has been, and we praise God for this and we acknowledge the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of St John Ogilvie and the Saints of Scotland.But we really need that harvest to continue to grow, a harvest of faith and of prayer, of family life, of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, of service and of witness. These graces - people of faith, generious-hearted priests and religious, loving families, young people open to God s presence and call- these are the spiritual gifts and graces on which we have always depended and on which rest the future of the Church and of Christian life.  2. And that brings me to my second point “ how Christians of different churches, communities and confessions live together. There is no getting away from it. St John Ogilvie was a victim of the spiritual and social and cultural storm of the Reformation in Scotland which very thoroughly purged almost all of this land of the Catholic Church, of Mass and the Sacraments, of bishops and priests and monks and nuns, of churches, of monasteries, of art and statues, and, with few exceptions, of almost every visible vestige of the pre-Reformation church.

It is a miracle that the Catholic Church survived anywhere in Scotland in any form at all and an even greater miracle that it recovered to some extent. I don t say this with anger or resentment or bitterness, but simply as a fact of history in which in some way God shows his hand, and we need constantly to discern God s unfolding purpose.During those turbulent times, Father John Ogilvie, a Scot from Banffshire, a young convert Catholic Jesuit priest had bravely returned from Europe to Scotland to minister to the beleaguered remnant of the Catholic community. Fr Ogilvie was arrested, imprisoned, tortured, convicted and hanged for treason at Glasgow Cross not far from here 400 years ago today. He was quickly venerated as a martyr throughout Europe. He was declared blessed in 1929 and canonised in 1976. We love St John Ogilvie, we honour him, we admire him, we strive to imitate his faith and his steadfastness.To be honest, I have been wondering for months how to speak about the tumultuous events of that time in a positive and hopeful way which might promote growth and understanding among Christians here in Scotland. And I was amazed to look back at Blessed Paul VI s canonisation homily and I realised that he had faced the same dilemma. And I was delighted and thrilled at how he solved it. He said that he did not want to turn praise and joy and thanksgiving for St John Ogilvie into any kind of polemic. And neither do I. And neither should we.The reality is that Western Christianity has fragmented. We live with confessional divisions which appear more or less insurmountable, and do not look like changing any time soon. At the same time, we thank God that we do not treat each other any more like the way John Ogilvie was treated. And we should remember that at the time of the Reformation, there were Protestants who died for their faith too both in Scotland and elsewhere. Recently Pope Francis received in audience the Right Rev John Chalmers, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Together they reflected on the recent killing of the Coptic Christians in Libya, and Pope Francis uttered words which should make us all think: The martyrs, he said, belong to all Christians. Ecumenical relations between the churches teach us how to live and express our baptismal unity with prayer, dialogue, shared witness in the name of peace and justice, common service to the poor and needy, and with huge courtesy and friendship. If the goal of the ecumenical movement, full visible communion, escapes us still and seems as far away as ever, there is a very real and effective ecumenism of friendship, prayer, witness and service which is a great good and which keeps the hope alive. Oh “ and an ecumenism of martyrdom too, because, as the Pope said, the martyrs belong to all Christians.

So, even as the Catholic community rejoices for St John Ogilvie, I offer St John Ogilvie tonight as a martyr for all Scots Christians, so that we may together reap the rich harvest of faith and love which his blood has sowed in our land.3.And my final reflection perhaps will help us to share our saint more readily: John Ogilvie was convicted and executed for treason. By the time John was executed, his case was notorious and the King wanted to make an example of him. King James VI wanted John to acknowledge the divine right of kings in all matters both spiritual and temporal, such that John would have to repudiate the authority of the Successor of Peter in spiritual matters. John refused to do that despite imprisonment, torture, inducements and the fear of execution. So he was brought to the gibbet where he declared his loyalty to the King and at the same time he made it clear that he was dying for religion alone.Back in 1976, at the Mass of Canonisation, Blessed Paul VI already saw the significance of this. Amazingly, the Pope s words then are strikingly relevant for today. He said: We can today credit St John Ogilvie, along with all the others who suffered for the same cause, with the merit of having heroically contributed with his sacrifice to the task of claiming religious freedom for civilisation ¦.Therefore the saint whom we venerate, St John Ogilvie, far from being a symbol of civil or spiritual discord, softens our unhappy recollection of violence or of the abuse of authority towards religion. St John Ogilvie will help us to resolve religious disputes in the direction of mutual respect, serene study and of faithful adherence to the Truth so as to recover that longed-for unity of faith and love which Christ taught us as the highest expression of his Gospel. And I think we can all say Amen to that!Reliable reports and analyses show us that in today s world, religious freedom “ which some consider to be the first and most cherished human right “ is fragile, not always recognised, not always respected, in some places denied, leading, as we know, to persecution, sectarianism and brutality. St John Ogilvie was a standard bearer for the right relationship between the state and the religious freedom of its citizens. It is important that churches, faith communities and religious bodies are in dialogue with government and civil authorities about what religious freedom and freedom of conscience mean in their circumstances. This is a harvest, a legacy, from St John Ogilvie that all Christians and all people of goodwill can share in and consider their own.

I am more than happy to make Blessed Paul VI s concluding words at the Mass of Canonisation of St John Ogilvie in 1976 the concluding words of this homily for the 400th Anniversary Mass of his Martyrdom. Here are the words of Blessed Pope Paul VI to the Scottish pilgrims on that joyful occasion: We are happy to recognize in this sympathetic and heroic figure of a man, a saint and a martyr the symbol of your own religious, strong and generous land. And in Saint John Ogilvie we willingly greet a glorious champion of your people, an ideal exemplar of your past history, a magnificent inspiration for your happy future. We honour in Saint John Ogilvie an outstanding member of that Society of Jesus which has given so many other valiant soldiers like him to the cause of Christ and of civilization. In him we jubilantly greet a beloved son of the Catholic Church, a typical citizen of the world who is called to discover the light for its harmony, progress and peace in the faith of Christ ¦.

In Saint John Ogilvie, Scotland has given to humanity a great hero of freedom and of faith.  St Andrews s Cathedral, Glasgow10th March 2015  

Subscribe to Updates
Subscribe to:
Like   Back to Top   Seen 106 times   Liked 0 times

Subscribe to Updates

If you enjoyed this, why not subscribe to free email updates ?

Subscribe to News updates

Enter your email address to be notified of new posts:

Subscribe to:

Alternatively, you can subscribe via RSS

‹ Return to News

We never share or sell your email address to anyone.

I've already subscribed / don't show me this again

Recent Posts

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

| 29th November 2017 | Blogging

Catholic Church suggests Hate Crime review, offers opportunity to consolidate rather than separate legislation     Church comments come in response to the Scottish Government’s Review of Hate Crime legislation, chaired by Lord Bracadale: http://www.gov.scot/About/Review/Hate-Crime-Legislation     The review is charged with considering whether existing hate crime law represents the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice.     Commenting on the review, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan who submitted a detailed response on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said:     “This process is an opportunity, ultimately, to ensure that the legislation is just and that every group is protected. This does not have to be a “zero sum game” where one group “wins” and another “loses” but rather could be an opportunity to rationalise and simplify legislation. A desirable outcome would be a single aggravation such as section 74 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003. Applied to all protected characteristics equally, it would be a simple and straightforward “message.” which would foster harmony in that all groups would be treated equally in the eyes of the law.”     Mr Horan added;     “It is important that any legislation, preserves judicial discretion recognising that Scotland has a Criminal Justice System populated by highly trained prosecutors and Judges. They are best placed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of individual cases and should be free to do so in the absence of their decision being “politicised” by legislation which creates a perceived “scandal” where none exists.”     The Church response also highlights Scotland’s long history of anti-Catholicism and urges Government recognition be given to the historic roots of present conflicts. Pointing out that for over twenty years successive Scottish Governments have dedicated significant resources into programmes and projects designed to tackle the symptoms of sectarianism. The submission adds, that in the same period the growth in such funding has been matched by an increase in religious hate crime.       The response notes, that “an opportunity exists to acknowledge that anti-Catholic sectarianism is qualitatively and quantitatively different from other types of religious hate crime in Scotland. Instances of anti-Catholicism outnumber all other type of religious hate crime combined, in a country where Catholics represent only 16% of the population. This is a product of the Reformation Parliament of 1560 and its condemnation of Catholic doctrine and worship including the ban on the celebration of all Catholic sacraments. No other religion or belief has ever been so proscribed in Scotland, the legacy of this proscription continues to the present day. A recommendation by this review, that the Scottish Government consider issuing a collective, retrospective apology could go some way towards building, repairing and renewing bonds between communities harmed by historical wrongdoing. It could also be the first step in addressing historical iniquities.”     ENDS     Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Note to Editors: The full text of the response to the Hate Crime Review, is shown below: Response ID ANON-T58X-H9EZ-S Submitted to Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland Submitted on 2017-11-22 14:43:00  What do we mean by hate crime legislation and why does it exist?  Do you consider that the working definition, discussed in this chapter, adequately covers what should be regarded as hate crime by the law of Scotland?  Yes Please give reasons for your answer.:  The definition discussed in this chapter is only ...

Archbishop Leo Cushley delivers Time for Reflection in Scottish Parliament

| 28th November 2017 | Blogging

Delivering the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today, (Tuesday 28 November 2017), Archbishop Leo Cushley, the Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh celebrated Scotland’s Patron, Saint Andrew.   Commenting on the legacy of St Andrew he said: “the university town, his name, and his flag, all remind us of something that’s been here, doing a lot of good for a lot of people, for many centuries: and that is the civilizing influence of fair laws, of just courts, of a belief in objective truth, of standards of behaviour, of mutual respect, of helping others who need a hand.”   “No matter your beliefs”, he added, “there are still one or two of these things that we can all agree are worth holding on to.”   Commenting on Archbishop Cushley’s reflection, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:     “As we approach the feast of St Andrew it is fitting that Archbishop Cushley be invited to deliver the Time for Reflection. It is important that as a society we honour our saints and there is no doubt that St Andrew has a special place in Scottish hearts.     “I am personally delighted to see our Catholic bishops in the Scottish Parliament and I am extremely grateful to the Presiding Officer and his team for their warm welcome and kind hospitality. It is also a fitting opportunity to thank all those politicians who work for the common good of our society, particularly our Catholic MSPs who commit themselves to loving service in an increasingly testing environment.”     ENDS   Peter Kearney  Director  Catholic Media Office  5 St. Vincent Place  Glasgow  G1 2DH  0141 221 1168 07968 122291  pk@scmo.org  www.scmo.org Notes to editors: Full text of Archbishop Cushley’s Time for Reflection is copied below. Time for Reflection by Archbishop Leo Cushley As we all know, 30 November, just around the corner, is St Andrew’s Day.  It’s our national day, just as the English choose to celebrate St George, the Irish St Patrick and the Welsh St David. The Welsh found a local lad to celebrate as their national patron; the English have an Armenian soldier, popular among the Crusaders of the high middle ages; the Irish chose a Briton, maybe even from what is now Scotland; and the Scots have a Galilean fisherman.   Who got the best patron? Well, the English picked someone brave and chivalrous; the Welsh picked someone holy; the Irish picked someone fiery and outspoken; and we picked… a fisherman.  Why a fisherman?  Well, I have a theory, and it’s nothing to do with smokies: so, get comfortable, because here it comes.   You see, the English used to have St Peter as their national patron, and he was the first Pope.  At that time, the Scots had St Columba as their national patron; good local choice, but not quite up to competing with the first Pope; so, the Scots changed their national patron to St Andrew.  Now, Andrew wasn’t the first pope, but he was the first man to be called to follow Jesus.  And in the middle ages, that counted for something… Over a thousand years ago, his relics were brought to the town known now St Andrews, and the kings and people of this country built a cathedral in his honour there.  I’m told that, for centuries, St Andrew’s Cathedral was the largest building in the whole of Scotland, and pilgrims came from all over Europe to visit it.   Today, we’re still proud of Andrew, but in a vague, distant way. Yet he, the university town, his name, and his flag, all remind us of something that’s been here, doing a lot of good for a lot of people, for many centuries: and that is the civilizing influence of fair laws, of just courts, of a belief in objective truth, of standards of behaviour, of mutual respect, of helping others who need a hand.  And that’s probably the best thing about having Andrew as national patron: no matter your beliefs, there are stil...

Scottish Bishop to visit Calais migrant camp

| 27th November 2017 | Blogging

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

Scottish Bishops ask First Minister for renewed discussions and dialogue on abortion

| 17th November 2017 | Blogging

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.   2. A copy of the recent joint statement on abortion by Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia is copied below.   3. ComRes Poll Findings are available here: http://www.scmo.org/index.php?page=news-releases&perma=1495378800&article=scots-support-reduced-abortion-  time-limits-and-sta   4.  Interviews with Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office are available on request. Please contact:  Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office T: 0131 556 6771 M: 07903 952 985 E: ahoran@rcpolitics.org 5. Other Media Enquiries contact: Scottish Catholic Media Office 0141 221 1168 mail@scmo.org Letter sent to First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon Dear First Minister Joint Statement of Bishops of Scotland and England & Wales on the fiftieth anniversary of the Abortion Act 1967 Friday 27 October, marked the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the 1967 Abortion Act. To coincide with this the Bishops of Scotland and England & Wales released a joint statement on abortion, which we enclose for your information.  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. This is crucially important, in a world where the rights of the weak and vulnerable are increasingly called into question, undermined and attacked. We urge political leaders, governments and secular authorities to see that all humanity is worth protecting; a task which is the responsibility of us all. Refusing to recognise the intrinsic value of both lives is profoundly destructive of humanity. The Church remains deeply concerned about the continued use of the Abortion Act and its consequences, including the tragic compromising of human life and the damage done to women who feel that they have no other choice than to have an abortion. It is also concerned about the provision of abortion servic...