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December 2017 1 posts

SCMO | 4 days ago | News Releases, Blogging
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 | 29th November 2017 | 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...

SCMO | 28th November 2017 | News Releases, 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, jus...

SCMO | 27th November 2017 | News Releases, 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 ...

SCMO | 17th November 2017 | News Releases, 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...

October 2017 1 posts

SCMO | 25th October 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 28th August 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 25th August 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 31st July 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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,...

SCMO | 27th July 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
“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 ...

SCMO | 18th July 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 28th June 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 23rd June 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 15th June 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 05th June 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 27th May 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 24th May 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 21st May 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 15th May 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 20th January 2017 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 24th December 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 14th December 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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/ ...

SCMO | 05th December 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 02nd December 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 22nd November 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 16th November 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 02nd November 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 21st October 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 14th October 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 12th October 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 10th October 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
    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

SCMO | 27th September 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
‘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

SCMO | 04th August 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
“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

SCMO | 28th July 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 26th July 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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   ...

SCMO | 22nd July 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 12th July 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 27th June 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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....

SCMO | 24th June 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 15th June 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 14th June 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 09th June 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
  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

SCMO | 17th May 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 10th May 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 07th May 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 06th May 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 14th April 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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...

SCMO | 04th April 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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

SCMO | 14th March 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
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

| 18th February 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
  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...

| 17th February 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
  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

| 23rd January 2016 | News Releases, Blogging
  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 | 20th January 2016 | 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 College, a source of encouragement for our seminarians and an inspiration to other young men to join them here in Rome to continue the long tradition of the Pontifical Scots College.”   Archbishop Cushley issued the invitation on behalf of the Bishops Conference of Scotland and the Pontifical Scots College during a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace 18 January during which the two men discussed a wide range of issues.   “It’s now over two years since the Holy Father sent me to Scotland to bring the joy of Christ’s gospel to all those who live within the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinbu...

December 2015 3 posts

SCMO | 28th December 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Pope Francis has today appointed Monsignor Brian McGee as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The diocese has been vacant since April 2014 when Bishop Joseph Toal became the Bishop of Motherwell. Mgr. McGee is currently Vicar General of the Diocese of Paisley and Parish Priest of Holy Family Parish, Port Glasgow.   Reacting to his appointment, Bishop-Elect McGee said:   “It was very humbling, and indeed frightening, to be informed by the Papal Nuncio that Pope Francis had nominated me to be the new bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. However, after reflection and prayer I now face this mission with quiet but definite confidence. Yes, I remain aware of my limitations but I am even more aware of the power of God’s grace which, with our co-operation, overcomes our shortcomings. Experience has taught me that positively answering God’s invitations is always to our own advantage.”   Bishop-Elect McGee added: “I am excited about coming to the diocese of Argyll and the Isles. It has an ancient and proud heritage whose roots stretch back almost one and a half thousand years preceding even its spiritual father, Saint Columba. Since then, the consistent witness to Christ and the contribution to the National and Universal Church have been immense and I pray that it will continue to be so. I am also mindful of the diocese’s rich Gaelic character and I, although not yet a Gaelic speaker, will endeavour to promote its rightful use in the worship of God.  We have entered into the Year of Mercy. I am inspired by this Jubilee’s ethos and I hope to be a bishop that has an unshakable trust in God’s mercy, unafraid to acknowledge my own need of God’s mercy and one who shows mercy to all, especially those who are most in need. Pope Francis wrote of our Faith Communities being oases of mercy. Please God, as individuals, as parishes and the diocese as a body will be a constan...

SCMO | 15th December 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Bishop Stephen Robson, the Bishop of Dunkeld, delivered the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday 15 December) at 2pm.   In his address he said that cultural change has arguably been Scottish Society’s greatest challenge in the last decade. He called on legislators to “be compassionate about the effects of change” as not everyone can absorb it at the same rate – with some changes having left many people, including the elderly, straggling behind.    The full text of Bishop Robson’s comments are 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   My father was 90 yesterday. He has been badly traumatised by many of the developments in the world around him. Like so many of the elderly, he is ill at ease with modernity; he has had enough of drastic change in his life. So sadly, on his 90th birthday, he said to me: ‘Son, I’m glad to be on the way out.’    But it wasn’t terrorist violence or the threats of war that caused him to feel like this, but rather the endless cultural changes in contemporary society. It brought home to me that my father, and countless others like him, are in culture shock.      Sociologists tell us that ‘Culture shock is the personal disorientation a person feels when experiencing a trauma caused by a clash between unfamiliar world-views’.   In the last decade, cultural change has arguably been Scottish Society’s greatest challenge. And it is not so much social changes as such that are the problem, as rather the increased pace of those changes - that have left many people, and not only the elderly, straggling behind. The result is cultural disorientati...

SCMO | 14th December 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The Catholic Bishops of Scotland have launched a new website to support the work of the Scottish Catholic Interdiocesan (SCI) Tribunal.    The launch coincided with the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, when recent innovations introduced by Pope Francis into the Church’s marriage law begin to take force.    The website provides information aimed at helping those you want to petition the Church for a marriage annulment.   Monsignor Peter Magee, SCI Tribunal Officialis said:   “The website is intended, firstly, to help people better understand what the Catholic Church teaches to be the beautiful and solemn reality of marriage as willed by God. Secondly, it tries to help explain why marriages can be invalid, or null, under what conditions, for what reasons.”   “In consequence, what the website does is to try and offer some idea of what a Church Tribunal is and does in regard to these most difficult matters for it is the Tribunal which processes and judges marriage nullity cases, except those reserved by law to the diocesan Bishop himself.”       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:   Earlier this year, Pope Francis made a number of changes to the way the Church deals with annulments. Importantly, he reaffirmed traditional teaching on the “indissolubility of marriage”, while reaching out to many Catholics alienated from the Church because of broken marriages, which can be proven to have been invalid from the start.   For more information about these changes and the work of the SCI Tribunal visit www.scitribunal.org.uk   ...

November 2015 5 posts

SCMO | 23rd November 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
At their meeting in Edinburgh last week, Scotland's Catholic Bishops discussed a wide range of issues and received reports from a number of Departments of the Conference. They also held elections for Office Bearers and assigned Episcopal oversight responsibilities to new members.   ELECTIONS & APPOINTMENTS:   The Conference re-elected the exiting office bearers (President: Archbishop Tartaglia, Vice-President: Bishop Toal & Episcopal Secretary: Bishop Gilbert) for a further 3-year term. They also agreed that office bearers could not serve for more than two continuous terms.   Bishop Nolan was appointed President of the Justice & Peace Commission and Bishop Keenan was given responsibility for the Episcopal oversight of the Department for Ordained Minsitry and Consecrated Life. Bishop Hugh Gilbert accepted a new responsibility for liaising with those in Consecrated Life (Religious).     REPORTS:   The Department of ​Doctrine, Unity & Evangelisation submitted a report on Ecumenism (Ms Liz Taite) and on the Committee for Inter-Religious Dialogue (Sr Isabel Smyth). Archbishop Emeritus Conti also reported on the Joint Commission on Doctrine, The Church: Towards a Common Vision     The Department of ​Sacred Liturgy and Worship submitted reports on the 750th Anniversary of  Blessed John Duns Scotus, and the Divine Office / Psalter and other liturgical matters (Bishop Gilbert)  ​ ​The Department of Catholic Education  report was presented by Mr Michael McGrath, Director of SCES and included an overview of the launch of "This is our Faith" (Senior Phase Programme) recently launched for use in S4/5/6. He also updated the Conference on plans for Catholic Education Week (31 Jan - 6 Feb 2016), issues surrounding recruitment of Catholic teachers and the Catholic Parents Assembly.    The Department of Caritas Scotland, submitte...

SCMO | 23rd November 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The Implementation Plan of the Recommendations of The McLellan Commission may be downloaded here.     The Bishops have approved this Plan as the way ahead in implementing the recommendations of the McLellan Commission, like any plan it can change and develop. If anyone has any comments about the Plan or its working that would help it to develop please email us at implementationplan@bcos.org.uk The closing date for this consultation is December 31st 2015....

SCMO | 18th November 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Mass for France   Following the terror attacks in Paris last Friday Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow, will offer a Mass for France this evening in St Andrew’s Cathedral at 5.15pm. The theme of the Mass will be “hope and solidarity”.     The Mass will be attended by the Lord Provost of Glasgow to represent the city and the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Michael Matheson MSP, who will represent the Scottish Government. The Honorary Consul of France, Dr John Campbell, will do a reading in French during the Mass and will offer a vote of thanks at the end.     Archbishop Tartaglia’s homily is carried below.  Publication of this text is embargoed until 5pm.   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:   1. The event is open to the public and a general invitation is issued to anyone who wishes to come along and remember those who have been affected by recent terror attacks in France and elsewhere.   2. For more information call Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Glasgow on 0141 226 5898.   3. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/camera crew.   Archbishop Tartaglia’s homily      1. We gather for this Mass at St Andrew’s Cathedral following the attacks on Paris last Friday evening. In these cowardly actions of murder and terror, 129 people so far have lost their lives, many are seriously injured, hundreds have been bereaved and saddened, France is in mourning, and, in one way or another, all people of good will throughout Europe and the world will have been affected. It has been a profoundly disturbing time for all of us, for if it happened in Paris in restaurants, at a concert venu...

SCMO | 14th November 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The President of the Bishops' conference of Scotland, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has sent a message of support to the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Vingt-Trois expressing his "sadness at the horrific events which unfolded in Paris last night" Archbishop Tartaglia's message also promises to " join with you in prayer, commending to God’s love and mercy all those who were killed, injured, and bereaved"     The full text of the message is shown below.     ENDS Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 0141 221 1168 mail@scmo.org     Letter to Archbishop of Paris following terror attacks   Dear Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Your Eminence,   I wish to express my sadness at the horrific events which unfolded in Paris last night, where  many people lost their lives in acts of murder and terror.   I want to assure you that  the people of Paris and of all France are in our thoughts and prayers here in Glasgow and throughout Scotland.   We join with you in prayer, commending to God’s love and mercy all those who were killed, injured, and bereaved, and all whose lives have been affected by these tragic events.   Fraternally in Christ,   +Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland ...

SCMO | 03rd November 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Public service is "worthy, generous and good“ Bishop tells MSP’s   Bishop Hugh Gilbert, the Bishop of Aberdeen, delivered the Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament today (Tuesday 3 November) at 2pm.    In his remarks he quoted Pope Francis who has spoken of "politicians with soul, people who have chosen deep down to be with others and for others” and also referenced Orcadian writer, George Mackay Brown.   The full text of Bishop Gilbert’s comments are 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               Before being bishop, I am a Benedictine monk. And I lived in a monastery which, thanks to an Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1560, became a ruin for 400 years! This Thursday its restored church will be re-dedicated.           It’s a privilege to be in this restored Parliament and to offer, simply, encouragement. Public service as a member of parliament, a legislator, as a member of government perhaps, is something worthy, generous, good. To use an old word, noble. I hope you hear this sometimes! Pope Francis has spoken of ‘nurses with soul, teachers with soul, politicians with soul, people who have chosen deep down to be with others and for others.’               Cicero was a senator with soul. Robert Harris’ novels have been recalling him. He laid the foundations of our political, legal and linguistic culture. He coined the word humanitas - achievement enough. His Republic is a summons to political engagement. ‘I simply state this..: nature has given to mankind such a compulsion to do good, and such a desire to defend the well-being of the community, that th...

October 2015 1 posts

SCMO | 27th October 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Commenting on the House of Lord's vote on Tax Credits, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia said:     “I hope the Government will be mindful of the concerns raised by members of the House of Lords in the debate on tax credits. I urge them to adopt a compassionate and humane approach when amending the benefits system remembering always the vulnerabilities of so many dependent on it.”     ENDS      Cav Ronnie Convery Director of Communications Archdiocese of Glasgow 196 Clyde Street Glasgow G1 4JY   Tel: 0141 226 5898...

September 2015 2 posts

SCMO | 22nd September 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
For the first time ever, the Catholic Church in Scotland will be officially represented at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, between 22 and 25 September 2015.       The delegation will be led by Bishop John Keenan of Paisley and include Fr. Nicholas Monaghan from the Church’s National Commission for Marriage and the Family. They will be joined by John Deighan, former Parliamentary Officer of the Bishops Conference, now director of SPUC Scotland and his wife Angela, as well as Fr. John McGinley from the Archdiocese of Glasgow.       The World Meeting of Families, from 22 September – 25 September, is an international event of prayer, catechesis, and celebration that draws participants from around the globe. It seeks to strengthen the bonds between families and to witness to the crucial importance of marriage and the family to all of society.     The event is sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and the host diocese, and the theme for this World Meeting is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.”     Speaking ahead of the gathering, Bishop John Keenan of Paisley said,     “We are happy Scotland is sending a strong delegation to this meeting. I cannot forget bring struck by the words of Pope St John Paul when he said, 'As the family goes, so goes the world'. He reminds us that the renewal of the Church as well as the safety and prospering of the human race depends on a culture of stable and happy marriage and family life.”     Bishop Keenan added:     “Pope Francis too identifies the crisis of the natural ecology as, in essence, a crisis of within our human ecology, of which the family is the heartbeat. Indeed you could almost see all the threats to our world best when you see the effect they have in undermining natural families. So I have high hopes for this World Meeting of...

SCMO | 11th September 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Catholic Bishops offer support to refugees. In a letter to Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the President of Scotland’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference has offered to assist the Scottish Government in accepting refugees. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has written in support of the First Minister’s response and "inspired by Pope Francis" to "offer the assistance of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland in any plans that may emerge in the months to come to support and assist the new arrivals to our country" The letter sent on behalf of all of Scotland’s eight Catholic Dioceses also offers to; "place our parish resources at the service of those 21st century newcomers who find themselves in greatest need” The full text of Archbishop Tartaglia’s 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 The First Minister of Scotland The Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon 10 September 2015 Dear First Minister, Earlier this month Pope Francis called upon every Catholic parish community in Europe to offer support to refugee families currently fleeing to our continent from the Middle East. He said. “In front of the tragedy of the tens of thousands of refugees escaping death by war or hunger on the path towards the hope of life the Gospel calls us, asks us to be ‘neighbours’ of the smallest and most abandoned.” In the days since, the UK Government has unveiled its plan to accept up to 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years and I note that your government is fully committed to cooperating with the UK authorities in whatever action needs to be taken to help alleviate this humanitarian crisis. In support of your response and inspired b...

August 2015 2 posts

SCMO | 18th August 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Following the publication earlier today a “Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures” by a Commission chaired by the Very Rev Dr Andrew McLellan, the Catholic Bishops of Scotland have welcomed the report and accepted its recommendations in full.   The report comprises a detailed assessment of all aspects of Safeguarding within the church and can be viewed here: www.mclellancommission.co.uk   In the report preface, Dr. McLellan notes: “The invitation to chair this Commission came from the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in Scotland. When I accepted it I made it clear that I did not feel that my first responsibility was to them. My first responsibility was, and has been through all our work, to those who have been harmed.“   Dr. McLellan adds: “The fact that the Bishops commissioned a Minister of the Church of Scotland to carry out this review demonstrated an ecumenical trust, which could not have been guessed at in Scotland thirty years ago. I appreciate that generosity of spirit.“   In the Report, the Commission set out 8 principal recommendations:   1. Support for the survivors of abuse must be an absolute priority for the Catholic Church in Scotland in the field of safeguarding. The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland should make a public apology to all survivors of abuse within the Church.   2. The “Awareness and Safety” manual should be completely revised or rewritten.   3. There must be some external scrutiny and independence in the safeguarding policies and practices of the Catholic Church in Scotland.   4. Effectiveness and improvement must be measured at every level of safeguarding in the Church.   5. A consistent approach to safeguarding is essential: consistent across    different parts of Scotland and consistent across different parts of the Church.   6. Justice must be done, and justice ...

SCMO | 17th August 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
CALL NOTICE Church responds to McLellan Commission Report You are invited to send a reporter, photographer, camera crew to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Clyde Street, Glasgow on Tuesday 18 August for 1pm, when Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, will formally respond to the publication of the Report of The McLellan Commission. Scotland’s Catholic Bishops invited Dr. Andrew McLellan to establish a Commission to undertake a review of all aspects of safeguarding policy, procedure and practice within the Catholic Church in Scotland in November 2013. The Commission will publish its Report on 18th August 2015, at 11am.   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 the course of the 1pm Mass at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Archbishop Tartaglia who is President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland will respond to the Report of The McLellan Commission in his homily. 2. Broadcasters wishing to record the homily should arrive at the Cathedral by 12.30pm. For more information, contact: Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Glasgow, 07735 224789, Ronnie.Convery@rcag.org.uk 3. For information on the Report of The McLellan Commissioncontact: Christina Kelly, Managing Director, Golley Slater - Tel: 0141 204 7800 / 0131 220 8787 / 0787 558 1955 Email: christina.kelly@golleyslater.co.uk...

July 2015 1 posts

SCMO | 14th July 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Vatican appoints Paisley Priest   Acting on the proposal of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, the Vatican Congregation for the Clergy has appointed Fr.Daniel Fitzpatrick as the next Rector of the Pontifical Scots College succeeding Monsignor John Hughes. Fr Fitzpatrick will take up his new post on 1st August 2015.    A medical doctor prior to his ordination to the priesthood in 2001, Fr.Dan has been the Vice-Rector of the Scots College in Rome since February 2012.   A native of Paisley, Fr Dan Fitzpatrick was a parishioner of St.Mirin's Cathedral Parish, where his mother Margaret remains a parishioner.    He attended St.Catherine's Primary School Annexe and St.John Ogilvie Primary School (both Paisley) prior to his secondary education at St.Aloysius College, Glasgow.    He studied medicine at    Glasgow University where he qualified as a doctor. Dr Fitzpatrick was training in general surgery when he felt the call to the Priesthood. He began his priestly formation at the Scots College Rome in 1995.   Reacting to his appointment he said:"I am deeply humbled to have been nominated by the bishops as the next Rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome. Having been on the staff for over three years as Vice-Rector, I am aware of the importance of the seminary in the history of the Church in Scotland and of the vital role it continues to play in forming priests for the future".   In thanking Monsignor Hughes he also thanked the whole College community for its spirit:"I would like to thank Mgr John Hughes who departs after six years as Rector for his work and encouragement and indeed the whole college community for their commitment and enthusiasm for the Gospel".   Reflecting on his experience and the task ahead Fr.Dan said:"I have been greatly blessed all my priestly life and pray that I will be able to guide our men through their years for formation to ordination and look forward to welcoming the new men that God calls through the prayers...

June 2015 4 posts

SCMO | 18th June 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia welcomes publication of Pope Francis Encyclical Laudato Si on care for our common home.Commenting on the publication today (18 June) of  the Pope s Encyclical letter, Archbishop Tartaglia said;     "I welcome Pope Francis wide-ranging instruction,  Laudato Si (Praise Be) on the care of God s creation as a timely and profound response to what is increasingly seen as an immensely pressing concern and unavoidable moral imperative to care justly and effectively for our natural environment which is shared by human beings and by all the creatures of the earth.     Pope Francis proposes a much-needed vision of an integral ecology which is able to articulate the fundamental relationships of the person: with God, with one s self, with other human beings, and with the creation. In this vision, the Pope is able to address such key environmental themes as pollution and climate change, the loss of biodiversity, global inequality and the decline in the quality of human life.   Pope Francis puts our moral responsibility for the creation at the centre of our religious duties: For human beings ¦to destroy the biological diversity ¦.by causing changes in its climate; ¦to contaminate the earth s waters, its land, its air, and its life “ these are sins . From now on, our examination of conscience needs to include these things too.   And the Pope calls for a global ecological conversion which will change attitudes and policies and action with regard to the the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet, with regard to the inter-connectedness of everything in the world, with regard to technology and economics and progress. The Pope wants a forthright and honest debate, not just on individual environmental policies, but on an integral ecology for human flourishing and for the protection of the earth.   Based firmly on the Catholic tradition, and relying upon insights from other religions, from phi...

SCMO | 11th June 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The funeral of Charles Kennedy MP, will take place in St. John the Evangelist, Caol, Fort William on Friday 12 June at 12 noon.   The Principal Celebrant will be Monsignor James MacNeil, Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The Parish Priest Fr. Roddy McAuley, will preach the Homily.   The readings for the Mass will be:1st Reading: Ecclesiastes: 3:1-7, 11Psalm: 1392nd Reading: St. Paul's Letter to the Romans: 8:31-35, 37-39   Fourteen children from St. Columba s R.C. Primary school, Lochyside, which Charles Kennedy attended as a child, will sing the Psalm, O God, you search me and you know me . The family have chosen the following hymns: Christ be beside me, Our God loves us, I the Lord of sea and sky, Soul of my Saviour, How Great thou art. The text of the homily of Fr. Roddy McAuley is shown below. (Embargoed - 00.01 12 June 2015) ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org     Notes to Editors: 1. At the request of the Kennedy family, no cameras will be permitted in the church. A pooled audio feed from within the church and a video feed from within the church grounds of the church entrance, will be provided to broadcasters by the BBC. Further information from Kathy LongAssistant Editor, BBC News, Scotland Bureau, 07834 845 610. The Press Association will provide still pictures of the church entrance. Picture desk number is 0207 963 7156 2. A designated media area will be in place directly opposite St John's church and will be managed by Police Scotland Communication Officers at all times. Contact: 01786 896000With Media parking is available at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Moor Road (first on the right after St John's Road).   3. Limited access to the church for designated vehicles will be managed by police officers with members of the media directed to the location outlined above.  No access to the ...

SCMO | 11th June 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The funeral of Charles Kennedy MP, will take place in St. John the Evangelist, Caol, Fort William on Friday 12 June at 12 noon.The Principal Celebrant will be Monsignor James MacNeil, Administrator of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The Parish Priest Fr. Roddy McAuley, will preach the Homily.Fourteen children from St. Columba s R.C. Primary school, Lochyside, which Charles Kennedy attended as a child, will sing the Psalm, O God, you search me and you know me .The family have chosen the following hymns: Christ be beside me, Our God loves us, I the Lord of sea and sky, Soul of my Saviour, How Great thou art.Brian McBride, a friend of Charles Kennedy will offer a eulogy after Communion.John Cameron, a close family friend of the Kennedy s, will lead the musicians who also played at Charles parents funeralsFr. Pat Brown, Chaplain to the Westminster Parliament and Monsignor Thomas Wynne, of St. Margaret's Roy Bridge, a friend of the Kennedy family, will concelebrate.    Fr. McAuley will not be available for interview, Mgr MacNeil will be available for interview by arrangement on Friday 12 June.     ENDSPeter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.orgNote to Editors:At the request of the Kennedy family, no cameras will be permitted in the church. A pooled audio feed from within the church and a video feed from within the church grounds of the church entrance, will be provided to broadcasters by the BBC. Further information from Kathy LongAssistant Editor, BBC News, Scotland Bureau, 07834 845 610...

SCMO | 02nd June 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Reacting to the news of Charles Kennedy s death, Archbishop Philip  Tartaglia, President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, said;   Charles Kennedy s death at the tragically premature age of 55 is a great  loss not only to politics in our country but to the principles of civic  and civilised engagement. His wisdom and courtesy were a mark of his  highland upbringing, his political skill grew from his sharp intellect and  his humility and concern for others was testament to his deeply held  beliefs.   He will be mourned by his family, by many in the world of politics and  within the church, by the parishioners of St. John s Parish in Caol and  beyond.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this time. ENDS   Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org   ...

May 2015 2 posts

SCMO | 14th May 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic parishes in Scotland this weekend (16/17 May, 2015) to mark the 49th  World Communications Day, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia calls on all Catholics to embrace the role of the family as the true building block of a good society, which can be used as a force for dialogue and reconciliation and acknowledges the role of modern media in enabling families to share their stories, faith and forgiveness with others. Archbishop Tartaglia reflects on Pope Francis call to Catholics around the world to see families as a resource rather than as a problem for society and invites families to be examples of Christ s love, kindness and fellowship.   The theme of this year s World Communications Day message is Communicating the Family “ a Privileged Place of Encounter with the Gift of Love. Archbishops Tartaglia says, It is at the heart of the family that we learn communication has a religious dimension in the form of prayer.   The children who learn to listen, respect and share at home will become what Pope Francis calls a ˜force for dialogue and reconciliation in society . In his message, Pope Francis says that it is in the family that we realise that others who have preceded us, have made it possible for us to exist and generate new life and do something good and beautiful.   Adding, This virtual circle is at the heart of the family s ability to communicate among its members and with others ¦the model for all communication.   ENDS   Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org   Notes to Editors: The full text of the letter appears below Archbishop Tartaglia is the President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland   49th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY TO BE READ/PUBLISHED/DISTRIBUTED AT ALL MASSES  ON 7TH  SUNDAY OF EASTER           16/17 JUNE 2015   My dear brothers...

SCMO | 12th May 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Science and religion intertwined writes Bishop Keenan. Writing in today s Scotsman (12 May 2015) Bishop John Keenan, the Bishop of Paisley describes the Catholic Church and the science as "conjoined twins in the advancement of knowledge Dogmatic certainties are as likely to be found in both science as they are in religion writes Bishop Keenan, but rather than competing, science and religion should complement one another. Bishop Keenan claims that no one should feel "compelled to make a choice between science or religion, presuming that aligning ourselves with one entails rejecting the other. Adding "finding the really important truths of existence needs both faith and science working somehow in harmony." The full text of Bishop Keenan s article appears below. ENDSPeter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.orgNote to Editors:Bishop John Keenan is Scotland s youngest Bishop. He was appointed Bishop of Paisley by Pope Francis in February 2014 http://www.scmo.org/articles/pope-francis-appoints-new-bishop-of-paisley.htmlHe is a graduate of the University of Glasgow (LL.B) and the Gregorian University, Rome (S.T.B., Ph.L)Bishop John Keenan12 May 2015Friends of the Scotsman Dispassionate readers, who have studied the Galileo caricature of a war between science and religion will know that, for almost two thousand years either side of that sorry, somewhat isolated affair, the Catholic Church and the science lab have been conjoined twins in the advancement of knowledge. On Easter Sunday morning this year as Christians gathered to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead, scientists deep underground at CERN were also gathering excitedly to switch on the Large Hadron Collider for first time since it had been temporarily shut down.   Before giving up the ghost the Collider had already accomplished its mission of discovering what we speak of so easily as the ˜God ...

April 2015 1 posts

SCMO | 10th April 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
In a pastoral letter which will be read at all 500 Catholic churches in Scotland this weekend (11/12 April) Scotland's Catholic Bishops, will urge parishioners to participate in the 2015 General Election and to be informed by the teachings of the Church. The detailed statement will list; Life, the Family, the economy, Human Freedom, Peace and Evangelisation as key areas. It will say; "The dignity and value of every human being should be at the heart of politics.   The sanctity of human life, protected from its beginning to its natural end, is not a single issue.   It is the fundamental issue. " "Politicians should defend the institution of marriage and the family as the basic unit of society on which so much depends" "The first consideration for any economic policy should be the dignity of the person, not the pursuit of profit" "Nuclear weapons represent a grave threat to the human family" The letter will also say, that "on serious issues some politicians who profess a Catholic faith remain silent “ or even surrender “ in the face of grave ethical injustice." and call on   "a new generation of Catholics to join political parties and to dedicate themselves to political service in a way that remains faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."     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 letter appears below A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops Conference of Scotland  on the General Election Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ On the Seventh of May the people of Scotland will vote in what may be the most unpredictable General Election in generations. While each of us alone will decide whom to vote for, the teachings of the Church can offer us a guide as we attempt to reach an informed judgement that advances the common good.   Casting a vote is both a civic duty and a Christian moral obligation...

March 2015 5 posts

SCMO | 23rd March 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Scotland s Catholic Bishops have thanked their Parliamentary Officer Mr John Deighan for his resolute and dedicated service to the Bishops Conference over the past 16 years. Mr Deighan, who leaves to take up the post of Chief Executive Officer of SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) Scotland next month became the Catholic Church s Parliamentary Officer in 1999 at the inception of the Scottish Parliament. Commenting on the move, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops Conference said; John has provided dedicated and energetic service to the church in Scotland for 16 years and we wish him well in his new role. His ability to skilfully analyse political developments and track legislative changes has been immensely helpful to the Bishops Conference. The Archbishop added; The links between the church and SPUC in Scotland are already strong, but they will be strengthened and renewed as a result of John s appointment. Responding to the Archbishop s comments. John Deighan said; I have been privileged to work with the Scottish Bishops during a period of great political and parliamentary change and thank them all for their support and friendship over many years. The greatest human rights challenge of our time is the right to life from conception. SPUC had been an outstanding organisation in its efforts to defend unborn children and those threatened by euthanasia. I greatly look forward to leading the organisation as it continues its work in this vital area and to continued collaboration with the Bishops Conference. I am confident there is much we can do to bring the justice of our cause to the attention of our fellow citizens and our politicians.   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:1.      John Deighan was appointed Parliamentary Officer to the Bishops Conference in June ...

SCMO | 20th March 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The Catholic Church in Scotland has welcomed the decision of Pope Francis to accept the resignation of Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien from the rights and duties of a Cardinal. In what is an unprecedented action, Cardinal O Brien has now removed himself from the key duties that pertain to the office of Cardinal: the election of any future Pope and the assistance of the Holy Father in the governance of the Universal Church. Cardinal O Brien will also be reduced to a strictly private life with no further participation in any public, religious or civil events. Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh said; As most people are aware, Pope Francis is a good and prayerful man whose character embodies justice and mercy. I am confident therefore that the decision of the Holy Father is fair, equitable and proportionate, Cardinal O Brien s behaviour distressed many, demoralised faithful Catholics and made the Church less credible to those who are not Catholic. I therefore acknowledge and welcome his apology to those affected by his behaviour and also to the people of Scotland, especially the Catholic community. Today s announcement follows the decision by Pope Francis to send a personal envoy, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, on a fact-finding mission to Scotland last year. Based upon that investigation “ the content of which is fully know only to Pope Francis and Archbishop Scicluna “ Pope Francis has reached his canonical conclusion. Cardinal O Brien s decision followed a private discussion with Pope Francis. This was preceded by a period of prayer and penance in order to allow the Cardinal to reflect upon his misconduct. Archbishop Cushley added: For my own part, I would like to express sorrow and regret to those most distressed by the actions of my predecessor. I also pay tribute to those who had the courage to come forward to speak to Archbishop Scicluna. I hope now that all of us affected by this sad and regrettable episode will embrace a spirit of f...

SCMO | 20th March 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Statement from Cardinal Keith O'Brien. Responding to the decision of Pope Francis to accept his resignation from the rights and duties of a Cardinal, the following statement has been issued by Cardinal Keith O'Brien: I wish to repeat the apology which I made to the Catholic Church and the people of Scotland some two years ago now on 3rd March 2013.   I then said that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me. For that I am deeply sorry . I thank Pope Francis for his fatherly care of me and of those I have offended in any way.   I will continue to play no part in the public life of the Church in Scotland; and will dedicate the rest of my life in retirement, praying especially for the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, for Scotland, and for those I have offended in any way .   ENDS   For more information contact David Kerr at the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh on 0131 623 8914 or 07903 621 232   David.Kerr@staned.org.uk...

SCMO | 10th March 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
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 KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent Place...

SCMO | 03rd March 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
In October of 2014 the Little Sisters of the Poor announced, that due to a shortage of Vocations they could no longer continue their mission at the Wellburn Care Home in Dundee, bringing to an end 152 years of caring lovingly for the vulnerable elderly in Dundee.     On   27th February 2015, the Little Sisters verbally accepted an offer from the Diocese of Dunkeld to continue the vital mission of care and support for the infirm elderly at Wellburn, by allowing the Diocese to take over the Home. The legal and practical arrangements for the transfer of mission will be worked out over the coming months. Sr Joseph Christine, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters on behalf of the Congregation said:   The Little Sisters, are delighted to be able to entrust the continuation of their essential work to the Diocese of Dunkeld.   We are very happy with the arrangements being negotiated and wish Bishop Stephen and the Diocese of Dunkeld God s blessing in continuing the work of our Foundress, St Jeanne Jugan. Commenting on behalf of the Diocese of Dunkeld, Bishop Stephen Robson said: The Catholic Church believes, that the continued operation of Wellburn will best serve the infirm and elderly and protect their rights, interests and dignity, by continuing the loving service and care of those in need. I have known the Little Sisters since I was a child and have always had a great love and respect for them and their work.   We will be happily blessed indeed if we can achieve their level of service and love and dedication.   ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org...

February 2015 4 posts

SCMO | 23rd February 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Catholic Church endorses Jewish call for end to anti-Semitism. The Catholic Church in Scotland has endorsed the all-party statement condemning anti-Semitism and released by the Jewish community today. Bishop John Keenan, Bishop of Paisley said; "In 1965, Pope Paul VI in the document Nostra Aetate proclaimed; "in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.    This unequivocal denunciation of anti-Semitism ushered in a new era in Catholic-Jewish relations. It was followed  almost 20 years later when Pope John  Paul II described  the Jewish people as; "our elder brothers in the faith of Abraham. when visiting a synagogue in Rome. Since then Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have visited Israel and restated the importance of the spiritual patrimony, which we share. Bishop Keenan added: Mindful of our  unique bond with Judaism, recent murderous attacks on Jews across Europe and a growing tide of anti-Semitic incidents at home are upsetting for Catholics to witness. We deplore such intolerance and hatred and commit ourselves to peaceful coexistence and respect. The Jewish community in Scotland is small, located mostly within the Diocese of Paisley and according to some reports it is shrinking as many Jews decide to seek security and safety among larger communities elsewhere in the UK or in Israel. Their departure is Scotland s loss, as a nation we will be culturally and spiritually impoverished without a Jewish community and we should do all that we can to affirm and assure Scotland s Jews that they are valued, welcomed and safe. In the Diocese of Paisley, we look forward to the forthcoming Jewish-Catholic joint campus school, its construction in partnership with the civic authorities in East Renfrewshire is a sign of ...

SCMO | 13th February 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
The Episcopal Ordination of Fr William Nolan as the new Bishop of Galloway will take place at the Grand Hall, Kilmarnock on Saturday 14 February 2015 at 11am. Fr. Nolan was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Galloway in November 2014 by Pope Francis and will be ordained at the ceremony in Kilmarnock on 14 February, by Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh. Speaking ahead of his Episcopal Ordination Bishop-Elect Nolan said; As I leave behind East Kilbride and the people to whom I have ministered the past 20 years, I think of a farewell card I received from local school children. In large letters, it read Pastures New not only do I move to new pastures I also encounter a new flock. I look forward to what for me are the new pastures of Galloway, and getting to know the flock, the people whom I will serve as bishop. Unexpected though the call to be Bishop of Galloway was, I know that contentment and fulfilment are found in following the will of God, and I hope, that together with the people of the diocese we may we face the future together, trusting in God who is the one shepherd of us all. As well as Archbishop Cushley, the Papal Nuncio, HE Archbishop Antonio Mennini, will attend, representing Pope Francis, together with bishops from Scotland, England and Ireland.   ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org   Notes to Editors: 1. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the ordination on Saturday 14 February 2015 at 11am, to the Grand Hall, 9 Green Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 3BN The hall will be open from 10am and the Mass of Ordination will begin at 11am. The Grand Hall has a capacity of 950, while overspill accommodation will be provided in the nearby Kay Park Church (350) together with live audio & video relays of the ceremony. The Ordination will be streamed live online and archived so it can be wat...

SCMO | 08th February 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Scotland's Catholic bishops have been advised by the US priest appointed by Pope Francis to run the Commission for the Protection of Minors. Monsignor Robert Oliver travelled to Salamanca in Spain to address the bishops during an in-service session at the end of January. The bishops met to discuss the care of survivors of abuse and invited Mgr. Oliver to lead them in their discussions. In an opinion article in today's (Sunday 8 February) Sunday Times, Bishop Joseph Toal, admitted that the church had to learn from past failings and contnue to develp best practice in collaboration with others.  He also describes how the church must "demonstrate to survivors a willingness to listen and an expression of understanding in the context of carefully prepared personal meetings." Bishop Toal also reveals that the church in Scotland is committed to acting on Pope Francis' call to be "spiritually united with those who have suffered and their families". The full text of Bishop Toal's article is shown below:   ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org   Bishop Joseph Toal   Sunday Times 8.2.15 Last September, Pope Francis named U.S. priest, Monsignor Robert Oliver as  the new secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.  The commission, whose members include survivors of clerical sexual abuse,mental health professionals and experts in civil and church law, is tasked  with laying out a pastoral approach to helping victims and preventing abuse. The Pope established the Commission to advise him directly and to propose  initiatives to encourage local responsibility within the Church,  highlighting best practice from around the world and developing programmes  of training for the whole Church in this important area. In recognition of the importance of such work, at their annual In-service  meeting at the Scots College in Salamanca...

SCMO | 03rd February 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Following today's vote in the House of Commons to allow three person embryos, Bishop John Keenan, the Bishop of Paisley said; "The proposed techniques fail on a number of ethical grounds which should concern us all: They destroy human life, since in order to construct a disease free embryo, two healthy ones will have to be destroyed. The technique is not a treatment, it does not cure anyone or anything, rather it seeks to remove anyone affected by certain conditions from the human gene pool. Destroying those who have a particular disease and presenting it as a cure or as progress is utterly disingenuous and completely unethical. No other country in the world has licensed these procedures. A majority of responses to the Department of Health consultation opposed the proposal. Experts are divided on the advisability of the techniques and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) have suggested only that the procedures are "not unsafe". Mitochondrial Donation completely destroys and distorts the natural process of fertility. It is surprising that a society which increasingly favours and supports natural and "environmentally friendly products and services should countenance the genetic modification of human beings. How can we object when scientists genetically modify plants but not when they do the same with people?"   ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org...

January 2015 3 posts

SCMO | 26th January 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow, arrived home earlier this evening Monday 26th January.   A spokesman for Archbishop Tartaglia said: "The Archbishop was able to travel with the other Scottish Bishops as had been scheduled. It is expected that he will now undertake a period of convalescence. The Archbishop wishes to thank the medical team of the University Hospital Salamanca for their care. He also expresses his thanks to the Rector and staff of the Royal Scots College, to his fellow Bishops, the Catholic community in Scotland, and all who have prayed for him and expressed their good wishes.   He is grateful to the First Minister for her good wishes and to Rt.Rev.John Chalmers, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, for the prayerful good wishes of the Church of Scotland. He also extends his thanks to everyone who offered prayers and good wishes by text, email or twitter. The Archbishop is humbled and deeply grateful."     ENDS Peter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org...

SCMO | 24th January 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
Updated medical bulletin on Archbishop Tartaglia.Following earlier news release:  Archbishop Tartaglia suffers heart attack A spokesman for Archbishop Tartaglia said:"The Archbishop condition has markedly improved.   This afternoon he will leave the University Hospital of Salamanca and return to the Royal Scots College.   It is hoped that he will be able to return to Scotland next week.   He remains in good spirits and is now supported by his brother Canon Gerard Tartaglia who has traveled from Scotland to be with him.   The Bishops are delighted at this good news"ENDSPeter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org...

SCMO | 23rd January 2015 | News Releases, Christianity
After feeling unwell, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia was admitted to hospital in Salamanca on Thursday 22 January. Following initial treatment and tests at the University hospital in Salamanca it has been confirmed that he has suffered a heart attack.The Scottish   Bishops are currently attending an in-service week at the Scots College in Salamanca, Archbishop Tartaglia is President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland.Archbishop Tartaglia is conscious today (Friday) and in good spirits, he has been visited by other Scots bishops attending the meeting.  The Archbishop will remain in hospital in Spain until he is well enough to return home. Further medical updates will be released if any change in the Archbishop s condition takes place.Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Glasgow have been informed of the Archbishop s illness and special prayers will be said this weekend throughout the Archdiocese for his recovery.ENDSNote to Editors:1. No one from the Archdiocese will be available for interview.2. Biography: Archbishop Tartaglia: http://www.rcag.org.uk/index.php/archbishopPeter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.org...

December 2014 1 posts

SCMO | 16th December 2014 | News Releases, Christianity
Catholic Bishops Publish Annual Safeguarding Audit In accordance with best practice and in line with a commitment given in 2013, Scotland s Catholic Bishops have today, 16 December 2014 published the Diocesan Safeguarding Audit for 2013. The results of this Audit give a statistical breakdown of reported safeguarding allegations during that year. The statistics show how many allegations were reported in 2013, the category of the incident, the category of the reported perpetrator and the outcome of any investigation.   These statistics have been compiled by the Safeguarding Offices in each of Scotland s 8 dioceses, signed off by each Diocesan Bishop and collated by the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service.   The Safeguarding Service has also collated and published an annual statistical return on behalf of all religious congregations and orders working in Scotland.   A spokesman for the Church said: The Catholic Church in Scotland  seeks to safeguard the welfare of people of all ages who are involved in whatever capacity with the Church and its organisations. The publication of this audit is an example of the commitment to transparency and openness made previously by Scotland s Catholic Bishops. The external Review of Safeguarding Protocols and Procedures being conducted by Dr. Andrew McLellan will report in 2015 and the Statistical Review of all Historic Cases of Abuse from 1947-2005 will be published at that time also. The spokesman added; The Catholic Church would support an evidence based inquiry into abuse in care in Scotland. ENDS   Peter Kearney Director Catholic Media Office 5 St. Vincent Place Glasgow G1 2DH 0141 221 1168(T) 07968 122291(M) pk@scmo.org www.scmo.org Note to Editors:   Summary of 2013 Audit: PVG Checks (previously Disclosures) have been carried out on 488 Clergy and       4,225 volunteers. Training: There are currently over 6,000 volunteers trained in Safeguarding and 170 Clergy There were 15 alleg...

November 2014 2 posts

SCMO | 29th November 2014 | News Releases, Christianity
EMBARGOED: 3PM - 29 NOVEMBER 2014Saturday 29th November 2014Archbishop Tartaglia tells Clutha Service; We have not forgotten Delivering the sermon at the Service to mark the 1st Anniversary of the Clutha Vaults Tragedy at Glasgow Cathedral on Saturday 29th November 2014, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will speak of the effect the tragedy had on so many people, reminding those who lost friends or family, that "a year is not yet long enough for many people to come to terms with bereavement, and especially with bereavement which comes from an unexpected tragedy." Adding, "To you we say that we have not forgotten, that we care, that we continue to offer you our sympathies and help. You will never forget, but remember that the remaining pain in your heart is the undying fire of love, and, even if it hurts sometimes and brings you to tears, it will also fill you with the warmth of the person you will always love."Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will attend the service and in a plea for tolerance and inclusion, the Archbishop will also say;"There is a feeling around that we are in a special moment when we can shape a new Scotland."  "Our new First Minister, who is happily with us here this afternoon, has proposed a more consensual form of government, less partisan, less party-political, and less adversarial. I think everyone would welcome that. Everyone should sense that he or she is an integral part of our country and of our democratic process." "We are all equal in Scotland, all welcomed, all valued, and above all, all free to express our views and follow our consciences."ENDSPeter KearneyDirectorCatholic Media Office5 St. Vincent PlaceGlasgowG1 2DH0141 221 1168(T)0141 204 2458(F)07968 122291(M)pk@scmo.orgwww.scmo.orgNote to Editors:The full text of Archbishop Tartaglia's sermon is shown below:Glasgow CathedralSaturday 29th November 2014The Clutha Vaults Tragedy happened a year ago on this day Friday 29th November 2013 around 10.30pm. A police helicopter crashe...

SCMO | 22nd November 2014 | News Releases, Christianity
Pope Francis has today (Saturday 22 November 2014) appointed Fr. William Nolan, as Bishop of Galloway. Fr. Nolan is currently parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride and Vicar General of the Diocese of Motherwell. Reacting to the announcement, Bishop-Elect Nolan said;"I am overawed to be appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Galloway. Ialready know some of the clergy and I look forward to working with them andwith the the people of the Diocese to help the faith flourish in the landwhere Ninian planted the seeds of faith so long ago. I wish to serve the Diocese as best I can, but knowing I am hindered by my failings and weaknesses, I ask everyone to pray for me."Bishop-Elect Nolan added;"The last 20 years of my life have been spent in Our Lady of Lourdes parishEast Kilbride. I wish to pay tribute to the people of the parish for theirkindness and support to me over the years. My move to Galloway is tingedwith sadness at leaving Our Lady of Lourdes behind."Welcoming the appointment of his successor, Bishop John Cunningham said   I am delighted with the appointment of Fr. Nolan, and I look forward to working with him in the period of transition. I know that he brings with him experience in many pastoral situations, and that this will serve him well as he leads the Diocese of Galloway. Galloway is a diocese consisting of parishes which are both rural and in large towns, and so Fr. Nolan s wide expertise in dealing with people in his parish ministry, and in being able to adapt to different situations, will serve him well. Bishop Cunningham added: I leave my role as Bishop of Galloway confident in my successor, and can assure him that the people and the priests of Galloway Diocese will offer him every support.  Commenting on the appointment, Fr. William McFadden, Vicar General of the diocese, said:   On behalf of the priests of the diocese I welcome the appointment of Fr Nolan, and can assure him that the clergy of Galloway will support him in every way. ...