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St. Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow, seat of the Archbishop of Glasgow

Roman Catholicism in Scotland (Scottish Gaelic: An Eaglais Chaitligeach), overseen by the Scottish Bishops' Conference, is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope, currently Pope Benedict XVI. After being firmly established in Scotland for a millennium, Catholicism was outlawed following the Scottish Reformation in 1560. Catholic Emancipation in 1793 helped Roman Catholicism regain civil rights. In 1878, the hierarchy was formally restored.[1] Through this turmoil, several pockets in Scotland retained a significant pre-Reformation Catholic population, such as parts of Banffshire, the Hebrides, and more northern parts of the Scottish Highlands. In 1716, for example, Bishop John Geddes established Scalan seminary in the Highlands. Geddes was a well-known figure in the Edinburgh of the Enlightenment period. When Robert Burns wrote to a correspondent that "the first [that is, finest] cleric character I ever saw was a Roman Catholick," he was referring to Bishop Geddes.[2] Unlike Ireland, where the Gaelic language has been associated with Roman Catholicism, Scottish Gaeldom has been both Catholic and Protestant in modern times. A number of Scottish Gaelic areas are mainly Roman Catholic, including Barra, South Uist and Moidart. The poet and novelist Angus Peter Campbell writes frequently about Catholicism in his work. See also "Religion of the Yellow Stick"

In the 2001 census about 16% of the population of Scotland described themselves as being Roman Catholic, compared with 42% affiliated to the Church of Scotland.[3] Many Scottish Catholics are the descendants of Irish immigrants and Highland migrants who moved to Scotland's cities and towns during the nineteenth century, when there was a potato famine in Ireland, and older Scottish Highland minorities. However, there are significant numbers of Italian, Lithuanian[4] and Polish ancestry, with more recent Polish immigrants again boosting the numbers of continental Europeans in Scotland. Owing to immigration (overwhelmingly white European), today there are about 850,000 Catholics in a country of 5.1 million.[5] Recently, Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, noted that the Catholic Church was "the anchor, the rock of the independence movement in the days of Wallace and Bruce. It was the only institutional force that could be relied upon -- it certainly wasn't the nobles." He also acknowledged his friendship with the late Cardinal Thomas Winning. The cardinal, Salmond said, "wanted people to understand that the Catholic Church was a valid part of Scottish society, equal in status to anyone else." They (currently 17% of the population) "didn't need to be protected and deserved to be treated with respect." [6]

Contents

History

Christianity probably came to parts of southern Scotland around the second century, when the religion was established in Roman Britain generally. According to tradition, however, Scottish Christianity got its start with the mission of the Cumbrian Saint Ninian in the 4th century. According to his hagiography, Ninian was a Briton who studied in Rome and became the first Catholic bishop to visit Scotland when he was sent to the Hen Ogledd, the Brittonic area of northern England and southern Scotland. Around 397 he established Scotland's first church, the Candida Casa in Whithorn, which became his center of operations. Later, he went north to begin evangelizing the Picts.

According to the Vitae Niniani, Ninian saw his journey to Rome as a calling:

And where is the faith of Peter, but in the See of Peter? Thither, thither I must repair, that going forth from my country, from my kindred, and from my father's house, I may see in the land of the Vision the will of the Lord and be protected by His Temple. (Ex Hist. Vitae S. Niniani a S. Aelredo Ab. cons.)

Over the next few centuries Christianity waned in parts of Scotland, particularly among the Picts. Saint Patrick speaks of "Apostate Picts" in his mid-5th-century Letter to Coroticus; the fact that he describes them as apostate indicates that Christianity had lost any foothold it had gained among them.[7] Then in 563 the expatriate Irish monk Columba settled on the island of Iona with twelve companions, and started a monastery there. Columba's monastery became one of Britain's most important religious sites, and was instrumental in converting the Picts and in providing the church with an institutional structure after the Roman departure from Britain and the Anglo-Saxon invasion reduced contact between Britain and the continent. In the following years monks from Iona established monasteries throughout Scotland, Britain, and continental Europe, including the important priory Lindisfarne in Northumberland. Iona monks also converted the Orkney and Shetland islands in the pre-Norse period, and this is reflected in the papar names, and commemorations such as North Ronaldsay (actually a corruption of "Rinansey" - St Ninian's Island). Early Christian settlements in Scotland are commemorated by Kil- names (e.g. Kilmarnock).

The late Monsignor David Gemmell, a priest at St. Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh.

The faith was firmly established by the sixth and seventh centuries. The relationship between the Church in Scotland and the Papacy is that of a "Special daughter of the holy See". The Scottish Catholic Celtic Church had marked liturgical and ecclesiological differences from the rest of Western Christendom, being monastically led. Some of these were resolved at the end of the seventh century following the Synod of Whitby and St Columba's withdrawal to Iona, however, in the ecclessiastical reforms of the eleventh century that the Scottish Church became an integral part of the Catholic communion.

That remained the picture until the Scottish Reformation in the early sixteen century, when the Church in Scotland broke with the papacy, and adopted a Calvinist confession. At that point the celebration of the Catholic Mass was outlawed. When Mary Queen of Scots returned from France to rule, she found herself as a Catholic in a largely Protestant state and Protestant court. However, some few thousand indigenous Scottish Catholics remained mainly in a small strip from the north-east coast to the Western Isles. Significant strongholds included Moidart, Morar, South Uist and Barra. However some Scottish Lairds and land owners remained Roman Catholic and some converted such as Saint John Ogilvie, (1569-1615), who went on to be ordained a priest in 1610, later being hanged for proselytism in Glasgow.

The aftermath of the failed Jacobite risings in 1715 and 1745 further damaged the Catholic cause in Scotland and it was not until Catholic Emancipation in 1793 that Roman Catholicism began to regain civil respectability.

During the nineteenth century, Irish immigration substantially boosted the number of Scottish Roman Catholics, especially in the west, and by 1900 it was estimated that 90-95% of Scottish Catholics were fully or partly of Irish descent. However, since many of the Irish came from heavily Scottish-influenced Ulster, and had many cultural similarities including similar Gaelic languages, the distinction between "Irish" and "Scottish" Catholics was blurry, and indeed most Scottish Catholics have both Irish and Scottish (especially Highlander) ancestry. Italian, Polish, and Lithuanian immigrants have also boosted the numbers of Roman Catholics in Scotland.

The Roman Catholic hierarchy was re-established in 1878 at the beginning of his pontificate by Pope Leo XIII. (See Restoration of the Scottish hierarchy) Currently the senior bishop in Scotland is Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Religion in Scotland
Flag of Scotland.svg

Church of Scotland
Roman Catholic Church
Free Church of Scotland
Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
United Free Church of Scotland
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Associated Presbyterian Churches
Scottish Episcopal Church
Baptist Union of Scotland
Action of Churches Together in Scotland
Scottish Reformation
Bahá'í Faith
Buddhism
Hinduism
Islam
Judaism
Sikhism

This era also saw the emergence of sectarian tensions. In 1923 the Church of Scotland produced a highly-controversial (and since repudiated) report entitled The Menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality. It accused the Catholic population of subverting Presbyterian values and of causing drunkenness, crime and financial imprudence. John White, one of the Church of Scotland leaders at the time, called for a "racially pure" Scotland, declaring, "Today there is a movement throughout the world towards the rejection of non-native constituents and the crystallization of national life from native elements." [8] Such official attitudes started to wane considerably from the 1930s/40s onwards, especially when the established church leaders learned of what was happening in eugenics-conscious Nazi Germany and of the dangers of a national or folk-church. Germans who were ethnically Slavic or Jewish were not considered "true" Germans or members of the German Volk. [9][10] In 1986 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland expressly repudiated the sections of the Westminster Confession directly attacking Catholicism. In 1990, both the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church were founder members of the ecumenical bodies Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and Action of Churches Together in Scotland; relations between church leaders are now very cordial. Unlike the relationship between the churches, some communal tensions still remain. The association between football and displays of sectarian behaviour by some fans has been a source of embarrassment and concern to the management of certain clubs. The bitter rivalry between Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow, known as the Old Firm, is known worldwide for its sectarian divide between Irish-Catholic Celtic and the Protestant Unionist Rangers. Sectarian tensions can still be very real, though perhaps diminished compared with past decades. Perhaps the greatest psychological breakthrough was when Rangers signed Mo Johnston (a Catholic) in 1989. Celtic, on the other hand have never had a policy of not signing players due to their religion with many of the club's greatest figures being Protestants.

Sectarianism on both sides is often manifested in activities such as boorish chanting at football matches or post-match thuggery, quite contrary to the values of peace common to Catholicism and Protestantism alike. The Scottish Parliament has recently legislated against sectarianism, making sectarian-related offences a form of aggravated offence.

The Catholic community in Scotland were once largely working class. In recent years things have changed markedly; many Catholics can be found in the what used to be called the professions and it is now unremarkable for Catholics to be occupying posts in the judiciary or in national politics. In 1999 the Rt Hon Dr John Reid MP became the first Catholic to hold the office of Secretary of State for Scotland. His succession by the Rt Hon Helen Liddell MP in 2001 attracted considerably more media comment that she was the first woman to hold the post rather than the second Catholic. Also notable was the recent appointment of Louise Richardson to the University of St. Andrews as its president. St. Andrews is the third oldest university of the English-speaking world. Ms. Richardson, a Catholic, was born in Ireland and is a naturalized United States citizen. She is the first woman to hold that office and first Catholic to hold it since the Reformation. [11]

It is notable that the Catholic Church recognises the separate identities of Scotland and of England and Wales. The Church in Scotland is thus governed by its own hierarchy and Bishops' Conference, not under the control of the English Bishops. In recent years, for example, there have been times when it was especially the Scots Catholic Bishops who took the floor in the United Kingdom to argue for Catholic social and moral teaching. Interestingly, the Presidents of the Bishops' Conferences of England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland do meet formally to discuss "mutual concerns," though they are separate national entities. "Closer cooperation between the presidents can only help the Church's work," a spokesman noted recently. [12]

Organisation

There are two archbishops and six bishops in Scotland:

Diocese Province Approximate Territory Cathedral Creation
01Diocese of Aberdeen
Bishop of Aberdeen
05Saint Andrews and Edinburgh Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Highland (except southern Inverness-shire, Skye and the islands), The Orkney Islands, The Shetland Islands Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption 021878
02Diocese of Argyll and the Isles
Bishop of Argyll and the Isles
06Saint Andrews and Edinburgh Argyll and Bute, southern Inverness-shire, Arran, The Hebrides Islands St Columba's Cathedral 031878
03Diocese of Dunkeld
Bishop of Dunkeld
07Saint Andrews and Edinburgh Dundee, Angus, Perthshire, Fife (except Saint Andrews) St Andrew's Cathedral 031878
04Diocese of Galloway
Bishop of Galloway
08Saint Andrews and Edinburgh Ayrshire (except Arran), Dumfries and Galloway St Margaret's Cathedral 041878
05Archdiocese of Glasgow
Archbishop of Glasgow
01Glasgow Glasgow and Dunbartonshire St Andrew's Cathedral 061878
06Diocese of Motherwell
Bishop of Motherwell
02Glasgow Lanarkshire Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Aid 071947
(from Archdiocese of Glasgow and Diocese of Galloway)
07Diocese of Paisley
Bishop of Paisley
03Glasgow Renfrewshire St Mirin's Cathedral 081947
(from Archdiocese of Glasgow)
08Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh
Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh
04Saint Andrews and Edinburgh Saint Andrews, Edinburgh, West Lothian, Midlothian, East Lothian, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scottish Borders St Mary's Cathedral 011878
09Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians 09Ukrainian Greek Catholic (Eastern-rite) Great Britain Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile 091957
10Bishopric of the Forces 10Bishopric of the Forces HM Forces both in Britain and abroad Cathedral Church of St Michael and St George 101986

Recent years

In recent years the Catholic Church in Scotland has suffered from poor publicity connected to perceived attacks made against secular and liberal values by senior clergy. Joseph Devine, Bishop of Motherwell, came under fire after describing the "gay lobby" as "the opposition" who were responsible for mounting a "a giant conspiracy" to shape public policy [13]. Criticism has also been levelled at perceived intransigence on joint faith schools over threats to withdraw acqueisence if guarantees of separate staff rooms, toilets, gyms, visitor and pupil entrances were not met [14]. In 2003 Catholic Church spokesman branded sex education (believing it pushed by the Labour Party) as "pornography" and to leave it to the catholic priests to deal with.[15] shortly after Cardinal O’Brien had claimed plans to give sex lessons to pre-school children amounted to "state-sponsored sexual abuse of minors."[15]. For these reasons, Scots Catholics have now started to find common ground with Scotland's Scottish National Party and its Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, who is thought to be a social conservative. Professor John Haldane, director of the Centre for Ethics and Public Affairs at St. Andrews University and a prominent Catholic intellectual, noted recently that "growing affluence and sense of place have disconnected the [Catholic] community from Labour's traditional social-justice agenda -- an agenda which, in any case, has been sidelined since the birth of New Labour in the 1990's.... Once the bishops saw that Labour policies were no longer obviously aligned with Catholic interests, they started to think tactically and strategically. It started with Catholic schools and then spread to other issues such as Section 28, gay adoption, abortion and cloning, where there have been open disagreements with the [Labour] party leadership." Since then, the Scottish National Party has been reaping the benefits of the falling out. [16] Not unexpectedly, Alex Salmond, along with the Scottish Parliament and Government, has called for the repeal of the Act of Settlement, calling it a form of "institutional discrimination" and "state-sponsored sectarianism." Cardinal Keith O'Brien has called for its repeal many times.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

See also

External links

References

  1. ^ Archdiocese of Edinburgh www.archdiocese-edinburgh.com, accessed 21 February 2009
  2. ^ Michael Martin, "Sae let the Lord be thankit," The Tablet, 27 June, 2009, 20.
  3. ^ http://www.scotland.gov.uk/stats/bulletins/00398-02.asp
  4. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/immig_emig/scotland/strathclyde/
  5. ^ Andrew Collier "Scotland's confident Catholics" Tablet 10 January, 2009, 16
  6. ^ Andrew Collier, "Bridge builder," The Tablet, 25 July, 2009, 6-7.
  7. ^ Todd, James Henthorn (1864). St. Patrick, Apostle to the Irish. Dublin: Hodges, Smith, & Co.
  8. ^ Duncan B. Forrester "Ecclesia Scoticana - Established, Free, or National?" Theology March/April, 1999, 80-89
  9. ^ Kevin Spicer Nazi Priests ( DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, published in association with Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington [D.C.], 2008), 12-28, 74-75,95-6,114-24,164-68,175-6,182-92,202,231
  10. ^ Kevin Spicer Resisting the Third Reich (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2004), 139, 149, 175-8. Having a racially pure church was never part of the Catholic church's agenda; however, German historian Kevin Spicer points out that in the 1930's and 40's some German priests (called "brown" [after the Nazi uniform] or Nazi priests) held the same views as John White and his fellow Presbyterians, only instead of insisting on a racially pure Scotland they were insisting on a racially pure Germany. Here is Spicer on Karl Adam, one of the German priests advocating a racially pure German state: "According to him [Adam], Germans were not simply 'Christian and Catholics as such, but German Christians, German Catholics.'" Then Spicer quotes Adam (articulating what some German priests believed at that time): "This German factor is not something that is merely an external addition to our existence as Christians,...but the reverse is the case: it is our 'natura germanica' [natural German state] which constitutes the substantial, permanent, underlying factor and Christian existence as a special gift from God is added to this original and primeval nature as an 'accident.'" German blood, said Adam, also was and remained "the substantial carrier of our Christian reality." It linked both German Catholics and German Protestants "to an insoluble community of blood (Blutgemeinschaft)." This, of course, was repudiated by the bishops and Pope Pius XI in 1937 (see Mit brennender Sorge), but the idea was on every side in Germany as it was around in Scotland. Interestingly, some of the Protestant members of the "Institute for the Study and Eradication of Jewish Influence on German Church Life" were Prussian, whose Old Prussian ancestry centuries back was Slavic/Baltic in origin (not "purely" German), similar to English ancestry's French Norman and Germanic (i.e., Angles, Saxons, Jutes,)links, suggestng that the "purity" of European racial/ethnic divisions remains fuzzy.
  11. ^ Raymond Bonner "In Scotland, New Leadership Crumbles Old Barrier" The New York Times 28 March, 2009, 5
  12. ^ "Groundbreaking meeting for presidents," The Tablet, 13 June, 2009, 38.
  13. ^ http://news.scotsman.com/religiousissuesinscotland/Catholic-bishop--hits-out.3872740.jp
  14. ^ http://news.scotsman.com/religiousissuesinscotland/Bishop-rejects-plans-for-seven.2548220.jp
  15. ^ a b http://news.scotsman.com/religiousissuesinscotland/Church-labels-sex-education-pornography.2566481.jp
  16. ^ Collier, 16
  17. ^ Nicholas Witchell "Why the monarchy discriminates" BBC News 27 March, 2009
  18. ^ www.snp.org "SNP [Scottish National Party] call for timetable ending Act of Settlement" 27 March, 2009
  19. ^ Shane Reese "Catholics and the throne" Tablet 18 August, 2007, 18
  20. ^ "In Brief/Anti-Catholic law" Tablet 23 June, 2007
  21. ^ Stephen Bates "Act of Settlement: a nakedly discriminatory law" The Guardian 27 March, 2009
  22. ^ Martin Beckford "The Act of Settlement: 300 years of discrimination against Roman Catholics" Telegraph 26 March, 2009







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