Scots Archbishops’ Statements on Referendum – An Opportunity Missed?editor
Below is the press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office, dated 29 August, 2014. Editorial comment has been added in blue within the text, with the basic question for discussion: have the two Scots Archbishops missed a golden opportunity to preach about Catholic conscience and Catholic Social Teaching on the rule of Christ the King over every nation under Heaven? What might the Archbishops have said that would have taken these brief statements out of the glib sound-bite category and into the “must discuss” (on national TV and radio) category? In my opinion, these statements add up to two damp squibs. What do you think?
Scotland’s Archbishops urge Referendum participation
Both of Scotland’s Catholic Archbishops; Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow and Archbishop Leo Cushley of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, will this weekend ((30 & 31 August) distribute pastoral messages on the Independence Referendum to be read at all Masses.
Both Archbishops will urge participation in the referendum and ask Catholics to engage with the issues being raised in the period up to 18 September.
Archbishop Tartaglia commented:
“The Scottish Independence Referendum is now just a short time away. Along with the Bishops of Scotland, who are deeply conscious of the importance of this referendum, I encourage and urge all those eligible to vote to do so with complete freedom of choice and in accordance with their prayerful judgment of what is best for the future. May God guide us and bless us in whatever choice we make in good conscience.”
Ed: is that it? No guidance on the meaning of “freedom of choice” and “conscience” whatsoever? See complete statement below for further editorial comment.
Archbishop Cushley said:
“I encourage you, in the light of Catholic social teaching, carefully to consider the issues and to do your civic duty on the day itself. No matter the result of the Referendum, I would hope that all Catholics will continue to engage positively in public discourse, and ensure that the Christian message and its values are better expressed and understood, to the benefit of the whole community. By doing so, our beloved land will be a more just, peaceful and prosperous place for all its citizens. “
Ed: What is meant by “Catholic Social Teaching”? The part which says Christ must be the head of every nation under heaven? Or what? In common parlance, “Catholic Social Teaching” has come to mean “help the poor and needy” like any good humanist – nothing more. See complete statement below for further editorial comment.
The full text of both messages are shown below:
My dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Scottish Independence Referendum is now just a short time away. Along with the Bishops of Scotland, who are deeply conscious of the importance of this referendum, I encourage and urge all those eligible to vote to do so with complete freedom of choice and in accordance with their prayerful judgment of what is best for the future. May God guide us and bless us in whatever choice we make in good conscience.
Yours devotedly in Christ, +Philip Tartaglia,Archbishop of Glasgow
Ed: a very strange exhortation indeed. We all know that we have Catholics today who “in good conscience” contracept, abort and engage in homosexual partnerships, so to turn this glib sound-bite into a truly Catholic exhortation, Archbishop Tartaglia should have reminded us all of the need to inform our consciences of the key role of the Church in teaching Faith and Morals and the duty of our consciences to obey the Church’s teaching on the objective moral law. Nobody is free to make a choice that is at variance with God’s law. Not even a post-Vatican II Catholic.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
On the occasion of the referendum on Scottish independence, I have been approached several times now by some who would like to know where Scots Catholics, or where I personally, may stand on the matter. To those of you who wish a word from me in this regard, I would say the following.
Like everyone else, Catholics are a part of the world. Urged by the love of Christ, we are called, to be citizens who contribute positively to the common good and who strive always to consider others and their good before our own. We are called to promote peace, integral human development and authentic human rights, and to have a special care for the poorest and the weakest in society.
We are also concerned for the rights of all people, to freedom of conscience and to the right to believe and to practise their faith. These freedoms are as important as they are fragile, as has been proven all too often, to the dismay and death of many millions. These freedoms are absolutely essential to a modern democratic society and we should always be vigilant of those who would seek to limit them.
Ed: there is no democracy in the world, exempt from the duty to worship the one, true God and to enter His Church.
Since all of us are made in the image and likeness of God, no matter our race, our beliefs or the way we live, we also have a concern for moral values based upon our common humanity.
The promotion, therefore, of laws which allow us to believe, teach and live our faith and morals is and will always be of concern to us, whether at the Scottish, UK or European levels. So I encourage you, in the light of Catholic social teaching, carefully to consider the issues and to do your civic duty on the day itself.
Ed: again, we have mention of Catholic Social Teaching without any detail of what it means – again, we presume the Archbishop is thinking of the poor and needy. At a time when Catholic pupils are leaving school without basic knowledge of the Faith, it is laughable to think that everyone knows what is meant by “Catholic Social Teaching” – most equate it with humanism, giving money to charity, nothing more.
No matter the result of the Referendum, I would hope that all Catholics will continue to engage positively in public discourse, and ensure that the Christian message and its values are better expressed and understood, to the benefit of the whole community. By doing so, our beloved land will be a more just, peaceful and prosperous place for all its citizens.
With my prayerful good wishes to you all, I willingly invoke God’s blessings upon you.
+ Leo Cushley
Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh Source
Ed: yet again, we have talk of “the Christian message and its values” without any definition of either. What does the Archbishop of St Andrew’s and Edinburgh mean by “the Christian message and its values”? The only values I’ve heard discussed throughout the referendum campaign, on both sides, are tolerance, equality and diversity, with dollops of national pride thrown in for good measure. If I never see another kilt or hear another bagpipe, I tell you, it will be too soon…
“the Christian message and its values” without any definition of either”
Definition, definition? Don’t you know the Church has given that sort of thing up nowadays?
After all it might upset some, possibly even the majority, of any typical congregation in my little part of the world, at least. And think of the disastrous effect on the parish collection?
Our bishops have to worry about such things you know.
I agree. If they had spelt out the Christian message (salvation outside the Catholic Church not possible) and Christian values, such as evangelise the whole world, don’t vote for pro-abortion systems, that would have made them very unpopular.
This was definitely an opportunity missed by the Scots archbishops. It’s very sad, and very disappointing.
Shocking, certainly, but “disappointing”? Would you really expect more of these bishops, knowing the history of the Scots episcopate these past 50 years?
If you were a Scots bishop at this time, what would you see as the priority for Catholics voting in the referendum?
I would like to think I would be concerned with three things, three dangers
1. The ongoing Modernist assault on the Church from within, still not even being admitted to by the hierarchy, or recognised for what it is by 90% of the laity.
2. The most recent assault on our Western Christian Society by Islam, which has now penetrated in greater numbers than ever before in its many assaults, since the original savage overrunning of half the Christian post Roman world, and which my grandchildren will struggle, I suspect, desperately with.
3. The ongoing failure of Secularism, that is western Civilisation with one of the four legs, Christianity withdrawn, to recognise that there is no contradiction between logic and Faith.
With regards to a certain coming political event, that would come well down on my list of priorities.
ps now I hope I have that right (to my satisfaction that is). You should never try to answer such profound questions so late at night!
You misunderstood my question but you are excused since it was, as you admit, so late at night/early in the morning… I asked what you thought the bishops should be teaching Catholics is a priority to help them vote in the independence referendum. We are not discussing episcopal duties generally here, we are focusing on the referendum.
So, for example, should a bishop be repeating Catholic teaching on conscience, that it is not a teacher but must OBEY … etc. If so, how could any Catholic say that they may, in good conscience, vote for any political party which had introduced evil laws, in contradiction to God’s moral law?
That sort of thing… Should their priority be the moral law, or are economics more important or reducing poverty. Is there an either/or situation here? Over to thee…
Right, what our bishops should be teaching is that the Catholic Church is the Mystical Body of Christ on Earth, that there is no Salvation except though Christ, and that “ Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”, today’s Gospel, Luke X 23-37, as it so happens!
They should be teaching that clearly and loudly, whenever they get the chance, and in any public statement – or at least the implications of it.
But of course they won’t .
They are too embarrassed, certainly in public, and even in sermons in at Mass, lest they upset someone, politicians, or even frighten the congregation at Mass away.
Mark you as far as any political party in this country is concerned at present – on either side of the referendum debate – they, the politicians, will just carry on ignoring the Catholic vote because for the last fifty years the Church has been silent and ineffective, and they, the politicians, expect it to remain so!
The problem is that on the Referendum issue we are no better off either way. Scotland and England have both promoted homosexual marriage. Over the past half century orthodox Catholics have never had the opportunity of voting for a party that espoused our views. It’s difficult to see how the bishops could have advised one way or the other because we do not have a Catholic option. One might argue that in an independent Scotland, power would be closer to the people and we might thereby have a greater chance of making our voice heard.
The Scottish government totally ignored the voice of the people when they held their consultation on same-sex marriage and the majority of us rejected the proposal. 67% voted against, yet we still got it.
The Scottish Archbishops could have drawn attention to that fact and reminded Catholics of their duty to examine their consciences against Catholic criteria. I don’t see it as “voting for a party that espoused our views” but of not voting for parties that are in opposition to our views, that is, opposed to God’s holy law, or as Pope John Paul II put it, those who espouse the culture of death. The statements from the two archbishops are a load of waffle. They won’t affect anyone’s conscience.
Got it in one. More than two thirds of the Scottish population voted against same-sex marriage and yet the Scottish government went right ahead with it anyway. That’s one reason why I refuse to give them any more power over me. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me” as the old saying goes.
The second reason I’m not voting “yes” is because Scotland will remain in the EU, so there will be no real independence anyway.
However, this is really not a thread about how to vote – but about the sort of advice we have a right to expect from our bishops at such an important time in the history of our country and the wider UK.
To blether on about “conscience” and “freedom of choice” indicates that these bishops are more concerned with their own image as broad-minded, ever so reasonable men, who are not at all into telling the faithful what to do, how to vote. In the process, of course, of this self-centred PR stunt, they have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, and left Catholics under the impression that we’re all “pro-choice” now – whatever suits you, go for it.
I didn’t think they could go any further down in my estimation than heretofore but they just did.
There is a big difference between the ruling establishment in England and the SNP government in Scotland, it is that the SNP gave the people a say on “gay marriage” via its online consultation and then promptly dismissed the democratic 67% negative response to its policy and forged ahead with its agenda. That’s a very worrying indication that Scotland may very well find itself under a dictatorship.
The other seriously worrying development in SNP legislation, not seen anywhere else in the world outside of Communist China and North Korea, is the “State guardian for every child” policy.
Incorporated into the ‘Children and Young People’ Bill, this piece of legislation goes way beyond reasonable measures to protect vulnerable children to cast suspicion on every parent in the land. It is tantamount to an unacceptable government intrusion into private family life, a principle enshrined as sacrosanct in the Human Rights Charter.
So, from birth to 18 years of age, all Scottish children will be subject to State monitoring by people with powers to remove them from their parents’ care for reasons that are as yet undefined. In other words, the State has usurped the right of parents to raise and educate the nation’s children. That is very, very worrying indeed!
Neither Archbishop has done his duty before God in the run-up to this Referendum. Archbishop Cushley makes some vague references to Catholic Social Teaching and throws in some diplomatic undertones of discontent clearly aimed at the SNP’s “gay marriage” legislation, but it’s all too vague and too generalised to have any impact on a doctrinally starved Catholic populace. As for Archbishop Tartaglia’s contribution, it’s completely void of any Catholic conviction or fatherly care for souls.
I’ve just finished reading Pius XI’s Divini Redemptoris(Encyclical condemning Atheistic Communism). Perhaps these two prelates should have read the same work before issuing their respective nondescript statements. As it stands, both may rest assured that they have not said anything that might be instructive of the ignorant or offensive to the godless. In other words, it’s ecumenical business as usual.
I am reminded here of G K Chesterton’s observation that “only dead fish swim with the stream”. This ties in perfectly with St. Paul’s admonition to “be instant in season and out of season…” If only the Church had as many prelates zealous for the universal reign of Christ the King and the salvation of immortal souls as once she did. We need saints for our shepherds, not clever politicians!
“I encourage you, in the light of Catholic social teaching, carefully to consider the issues and to do your civic duty”
Does anyone know what Catholic social teaching has to say about voting for a pig in a poke?
“I am reminded here of G K Chesterton’s observation that “only dead fish swim with the stream”.
How come I wasn’t reminded of that great CKG quote? My memory is getting worser and worser although my spelling has improved 😀
Yes, you are so right about those statements – “nondescript” is the word or, perhaps “nondescript-through-to-dereliction-of-duty”. An opportunity to preach God’s law handed to them on a plate and they blew it. Big time.
It’s my speling whats got worser and my memory beter.
On a more serious note, you’re right about the opportunity missed by these Archbishops. I don’t want to appear disrespectful in their regard, but they are not remotely in the mould of the prelates the Church had before Vatican II. Signs of the times, I fear!
Talk about being more Catholic than the Pope. “Holy Father Francis” has just advised us all to “rock the boat” in our dioceses, even telling the clergy that they can “shout” at their bishops if they are not happy with him. Dear old Mgr Loftus is over the moon about it all of course, so I wouldn’t worry about your little bit of plain speaking being “disrespectful.” Not remotely.
Right, where’s that megaphone? Are you sure Pope Francis didn’t say anything about throwing eggs?
There’s a few of the bishops I wouldn’t mind dishing out an ear bashing to!
I can’t see any Catholic reason for voting yes or no so I am voting Yes for other reasons. It is disappointing that the Bishops do not proclaim orthodoxy day in and day out but the Referendum issue is a separate issue because neither of the options is a Catholic option. We have also been told that Scotland cannot expect to be given automatic entry to Europe so a Yes vote gets us out of Europe straight away.
Please read my previous response and then decide whether you still want to vote “Yes”. There is such a thing as the lesser of evils, that’s the choice Catholics face in this Referendum. Now, I’m going to get a smack in the head in a minute for discussing this on a thread that Editor has already said is about what those Archbishops said, not how we intend to vote. I will now scurry away and hide!
As part of the commentary on the inadequacy of the Archbishops’ statements, I think it is perfectly reasonable to discuss reasons for YES and NO votes. I just don’t want anyone to feel they must do so. The points made here by yourself and others, about the policies already in place and the danger of dictatorship, already signalled by the Scottish Government’s response to. the same sex marriage consultation, are precisely the kind of things the Archbishops might have mentioned for Catholics to bear in mind as they ponder how to vote.
I agree about a “No” vote being the lesser of two evils. At Westminster, at least there’s an upper chamber, the House of Lords, to scrutinise legislation. We have no such chamber in Scotland. For this reason alone I would abolish the Scottish Parliament.
Yes the SNP had a consultation and then ignored it. David Cameron also lied by promising help for married families and that homosexual marriage was not on the agenda. The state guardian is a worrying piece of legislation but with a smaller government the people have a better chance of changing it. We’ve got to get out on the streets and protest. We can’t expect these traitors to listen to our voice if we continue to be passive.
It is a myth to imagine that anyone in Scotland is going to force the Scottish government to amend its policies. That is NOT going to happen. Now I agree with you about David Cameron and the rest of them; most politicians being godless men and women these days. But that does not alter the fact that we have to choose the lesser of evils on this occasion, and the lesser of evils is by far a vote to remain part of the UK. It is utter folly to imagine that the SNP can mean anything but catastrophe for this nation. They are a more pronounced anti-Christian lot than any of the rest and we simply cannot vote for their separatist agenda, a classic move of Communists to divide and conquer! I hope you will reconsider the matter very seriously.
The events on the World stage convince me that we are in the End Times so we are going to see the Time of Great Tribulation before the return of Our Lord fairly soon – I think – I am not an authority but I am reading the signs of the times. We have had the Woman adorned with the Sun (Rev 12), followed by the Great Red Dragon (Communism) and the beast from the sea (Islam). Disaster is about to befall us and as Our Lord says those that remain faithful to the end will be saved. Voting for Westminster won’t make it any easier and in the meantime we can march up to Holyrood and oppose any suggestion of joining Europe. Will be be successful? In this time of satan, maybe not. The agenda of the Masons, Frankfurt School, Communism, to destabilize and destroy Christianity has been in place for centuries and it is coming to a culmination but it time we Scots spoke with a Scottish voice.
If we spoke with a Scottish voice it would be a good excuse for everyone to say that they hadn`t a clue what we were saying.
Since we are virtually in a police state, as is the rest of the world, the days of protesting in the streets without being hit by a rubber bullet or CS gas are long gone, so you either hit that one on the head or go out and rob Culzean Castle for a suit of armour.
The discussion about the EU and whether Scotland would be allowed entry is a smokescreen. The powers that be in Brussels have no intention of letting ANY nation leave the EU. I think the phrase used, about how to bring nations into the EU in the first place, was “kicking and screaming” if need be. So, there’s no question about it. Scotland will be in the EU post any YES vote, unless it puts up a fight to leave.
A YES vote gets us temporarily out of Europe in the short term but enslaved in it in the long term. A NO vote opens up the possibility, however remote, of permanent withdrawal from the EU. But even if that doesn’t happen, at least Britain will be able to rid herself of some of the more demanding EU statutes.
There is nothing positive about a YES vote, absolutely nothing at all. It’s a dangerous, divisive and damaging agenda both materially and supernaturally. I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would contemplate so great a risk in the absence of so many answers to so many very serious questions. It really beggars belief. The Scots are generally much more canny than that. But I suppose history shows how common sense can get lost very easily when excessive Nationalism takes hold in a country. We witnessed this particularly in early 1930s Germany with the National Socialists.
Not the same thing, I hear you say. Well, I’ll leave you to ponder the work of the “cyber Nats” and the public heckling and egg throwing incidents that both Nigel Farage and Jim Murphy were met with recently, the former having to seek emergency shelter from his aggressors in a pub. These disgraceful incidents should set alarm bells ringing in everyone’s mind. I don’t want my country to be run like that, sorry.
I want to get that post framed! Every word a gem.
It’s all symptomatic of the rebellious times in which we live. People want independence from God and independence from their close neighbours. But the independence they advocate makes no sense and leaves bitter divisions in its wake. God spare this land from Communist-inspired emancipation.
It is surely a natural right for each nation to be sovereign and rule itself. The British empire/commonwealth/colonization etc has clouded that fact, but there is nothing wrong or “divisive” about a nation wishing to govern itself. I’d like to see the reaction of David Cameron if any other country under the sun were to take a handful of English counties and claim them for its own, as the British did in Ireland. All hell would break loose and rightly so. I only offer that as an example of who causes the division, not to start a debate about Irish politics or the editor will ban me. I hope you take my point.
I won’t vote for independence but that’s because of the immoral legislation that has been passed and the fact that we will not have any more of a voice after a YES vote than before. In principle, I believe in the right of every country to govern itself. That’s not a “rebellious” spirit, that’s perfectly normal patriotism.
Under normal circumstances I would agree with you, but we are not in normal circumstances. This business of independence from England does not proceed from wholesome Christian reasoning and rights, it proceeds from Communist-inspired divide and conquer tactics. It has never been pushed by any party other than the SNP, which tries to convince its public by raising Nationalistic emotions while not providing any genuine reason for separation or any real plan of how an independent Scotland will survive and prosper with no infrastructure in place. In other words, it’s a proposition borne of a divisive spirit of them and us. I don’t share that spirit.
That is my own default position – that it is generally the right of each nation to govern itself. However, as I keep saying, I have no intention of rewarding the SNP and Scottish Government by giving them more power over me when they have abused the power they already have by pushing ahead with bad laws despite the majority of the population rejecting them.
Were the SNP to be arguing that we need to move away from the liberalism dominating Westminster, and restore Christianity to Scotland, that would be a different kettle of independence vote altogether. My vote would be YES, big time.
I agree with you entirely. In fact, this whole referendum and “independence” debate is a smokescreen. A “Yes” vote is not really a vote for independence as Scotland will stand be a slave of Brussels. What’s even more laughable is the SNP plan for a “currency union”. So, an independent Scotland will have its laws decided by Europe and its economy run by the (foreign) Bank of England. I don’t think “freedom” means the same thing as it used to!
I think there seems to be a false and underlying assumption on here that a YES vote is a vote for the SNP. It’s not. It is a vote for self determination. No bad thing if you ask me.
It is a vote for self determination.
That’s the way it’s being painted but the truth is that we are actually being asked to vote for some sort of political reality. Unfortunately, no-one appears able (or willing) to explain precisely what sort of political reality.
If a concrete proposal were on the table – with all the Ts crossed and Is dotted – I might be willing to support it. But trust the politicians to negotiate a sensible settlement after the event – no thanks. The politician I would trust with a blank cheque hasn’t yet been born (and probably never will be).
I agree that self-determination would be no bad thing – but I’d like to see the invoice first! Politics isn’t about noble ideals it’s about hard – and very often unpalatable – realities.
These arguments equally apply to the No vote. We don’t have all the Ts crossed from Westminster and they lie just as much. With power closer to the people we have a better chance of making changes if we are prepared to get out and protest – peacefully of course.
Like the online consultation, you mean? Please Charles, the people have no power at all and never will have. We need to open our eyes to the manipulation presently taking place.
Under the rule of satan manipulation and deception is the name of the game. We live in very dangerous times spiritually and we are going to have to be prepared to get out there and confront and we may well find ourselves criminalized in our own country for speaking the truth while the powers that be cow tow to the Muslim creed, and promote homosexuality, euthanasia etc. The time of comfort is over and the catacombs may well return but staying with the UK won’t improve that situation.
I agree that staying with the UK will not improve the moral situation. But voting SNP with its even more aggressive immorality will significantly and speedily worsen the situation. We have to use our discernment and choose, I think, the lesser of the evils.
That “guardian for every child” policy is extremely concerning. I would respectfully suggest a read through Pius XI’s Divini Redemptoris with a reminder that Communists always seek to divide nations; the more easily to subvert them. Nationalist separatism is only one of their tactics.
Here’s the link to said Encyclical: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_19031937_divini-redemptoris_en.html
A group of football supporters went peacefully to protest against a bigoted football law in Scotland and were “kettled” by more police than there were protesters and that was under a law that would be laughed at in England.
The difference is, the UK politicians are not asking us for more power. We can make our opposition to them felt at the next election by spoiling out ballot paper. The Scottish Government, on the other hand, have insulted the Scots electorate and now want more power over us. No thanks.
What I mean is that this is a vote for Scotland. Once independence is settled, Scottish people and Scots residents will vote for parties very much as they do now. The big difference being if they vote for a party, they will get it, not some other party that has a majority in England.
The SNP are the only party who wants independence and they are the present ruling party, so if the Scottish people and Scots residents vote in as much a way as they do now they will probably have the SNP for the next thirty. years and have another Stormont situation.
As for getting the party you vote for. Even if only two parties stood at an election a large minority don`t get the party they voted for but in an election with multiple parties it is always a minority who gets the party they voted for.
There was a time also when Scottish people were delighted to have a party in England for whom they voted.
I wonder how a Labour (or any other non SNP) government would perform in an independent Scotland when their heart is still in a United Kingdom.
I think you will find that an independent Scotland will still have your labour and Tory parties to put up with. The challenge will be for the SNP to remain relevant as they have been typecast as the party for Independence. But post independence they will have to remodel themselves.
Apologies Frankier, my annoying iPad has misspelt your username. Sorry!
I sincerely hope you are telling the truth on that one. I don`t think for a moment that you would lower yourself to be nasty.
I know about the SNP being the independence party and I hope by remodelling themselves you mean that they will no longer be an anti-Catholic party.
As for your “annoying” iPad; you should have received a wee bin last week from the Local Council which would take it to the Local Coup.
Anyone with an iPad will vouch for me!
And no, I’m not nasty 🙁
The SNP will be disbanded post “YES vote, so I presume Alex Salmond will return to being a Tory.
This argument (we’ll get the party we voted for) should not fool any Catholic. We will never get “the party we vote for” if, by that, you mean moral politicians, until the Consecration of Russia takes place and the world and Church begin to be restored to right order. So, whether it’s Labour, Tories, Lib Dems, whoever, they all support the immoral laws we have at present and none have promised to repeat abortion law, same sex marriage law or any other immoral law. That’s another smokescreen argument.
Voting for parties on economic policies and other policies of a temporal (“this world”) nature, while ignoring the insult to God’s law and the reign of Christ the King, is not something any of us should wish on our CV on Judgement Day.
So Editor, what do we do?
Not vote and let others decide the our future?
I’m afraid that we have what we have and have to sue that.
Please do not believe for one second that you or any other Scot voting “Yes” will be permitted any further say in the deciding of Scotland’s future. The “Gay Marriage” and “State guardian for every child” policies of the SNP must have made this clear to you.
Even at the material level, those useless wind turbines that now blot the Scottish landscape at great cost to the tax payer, together with plastic bag charges and other “Green” levies and fines introduced by the SNP government, have combined to make Scotland the most Green taxed nation on earth. Were any of us consulted on these financial impositions? No, we had absolutely no say in these matters that deprive us of our hard earned cash. We need to rid ourselves of this modern myth that a separate Scotland will lead to greater inclusion of the electorate in decision making. We’re being conned!
Their will be no difference at the end of the day as all the major parties essentially sing from the same Communist/Socialist hymn sheet. I’d rather hold on to the hope of eventual change in England, though, than vote for the narrowness of a small Scottish clique that none of us will ever see the back of. And with Labour, the Lib Dems and Tories all being more or less isolated from the main body of their respective parties in England, I think it’s a fairly sure thing that the SNP would dominate Scottish politics for the next generation or two. No thanks, that dismal outlook is too much for me!
You’re wrong! This Referendum is not about self determination, it’s about the possibility of voting for self destruction under years of SNP dictatorship. On the material level alone Alex Salmond has not answered a single serious question on currency, infrastructure, finance, pensions or domestic and foreign policies. All he’s done is wax lyrical about Scottish oil, a very volatile source of wealth, and talk of ridding Scotland of Trident, a very bad move as things presently stand in Russia, not to mention the loss of 8000 jobs on the Clyde.
This country is simply not equipped to go it alone in an increasingly hostile world of dwindling natural resources and finance. We have no Embassies in any foreign land, for example, nor do we have our own financial institutions or Central Bank. Additionally, the entire tax system would have to be re-thought along with such other important issues such as pensions and the NHS. The costs involved in such a huge undertaking are enormous and the risks too great. I’m only surprised that anyone with common sense, and you appear to have a good dose of it, would even consider separation as a viable option. I’m frankly shocked.
The vagaries of politics dictate that no one party determines the future. It is a ongoing political consensus achieved through power imbalances from election to election.
I would never vote to keep the status quo that was foisted upon Scotland by fraud and skulduggery.
I say let Scotland be brave and move forward as a nation, not as a province of a powerful master.
We would still be a province of not only a powerful master but a province of powerful Grand Masters.
Come on Frankier, that us just an exhortation without substance. We are all part of a wider network of international interdependence but at least independence would allow us to determine how much engagement we would have in that process.
Maybe from where you are sitting it is all without substance but believe me, as a former Building and Plant Hire Contractor I could give you plenty of substantial facts that would make your hair curl.
I know contractors in England with the same Irish/Catholic background that I have who couldn`t believe some of the stories I could tell them.
Some of the things I experienced in this country were highly illegal, as well as robbing the tax payers, but it only made things harder for anyone reporting them.
So please don`t tell someone whose whole life was made difficult because I had the effrontery to try and compete in a business where the handshake was virtually the only means of succeeding.
And by the way, do you think Alex Salmond will be contacting you personally to ask your advice on how to run his wee country?
This talk about us having a say in running our own country is only the parrot talk of sheeple who can`t think for themselves.
I agree with you on that one. The Scottish Rite of Masonry is one of the most favoured in the world. My grandfather had a business on the Clyde during the War, doing a lot of work for the admiralty. As soon as the War ended the Masons took control and he was forced out of business. He said himself that he was offered a number of contracts with the funny handshake but refused them all and paid the ultimate price.
It’s also a fact that Communism entered Britain by way of the Red Clyde, the majority of its “Lackeys” being apostate Catholics. If Scotland goes it alone, these sinister types will gain supreme power and rule our nation with impunity.
That’s not the attitude the members of our armed forces had when they fought and died side by side with their equally brave English, Irish and Welsh brothers. As it happens, we are not a province of a powerful master, we are a nation united with four others in a 350 year-old union that has worked very well for all concerned. I’m not into the Braveheart stuff, I’m afraid. Scotland will assuredly perish as an independent country, cut off from the very strong infrastructure it has been part of for centuries. So far, there has not been a single positive strategy put forward by the SNP in terms of finance, security, currency, pensions, health service, etc., that gives anyone anything more than an unfounded hope of prosperity as a tiny wee nation in an increasingly disturbed and disintegrating world.
I don’t think Scotland will “assuredly perish as an independent country” – I think that’s a bit much, plenty of small nations survive well and are successful – but without the answers to the important questions about finance, currency etc. it’s impossible to make a fully informed decision. That’s were the SNP have made their big mistake, taking the Scots public for a collective mug, thinking we will trust them blindly or not notice that we’re not getting answers to all the important questions that keep being asked. If Salmond has said re. currency that we will create our own, that would have been acceptable to most people, I guess. So, what he seems to be offering is a Scotland with its own President (probably him) but everything else stays the same.
It’s a vote for “self-determination” under a dictatorial government. That’s what it is. And anyway, there is no such thing as “self determination” in Europe. To paraphrase the old Glasgow gangsters, Europe rules, OK?
Dictated to by the EU and run by the Bank of England? Doesn’t sound like self determination to me!
There is one example already of a body in Scotland which has long been independent of the rest of the UK: the Scottish bishops themselves. And how well have they done for us? (Rhetorical question – don’t bother answering. We all know.)
Are you seriously suggesting that Nuclear weapons are acceptable? They have been condemned by the Vatican in a moment of lucidity. Your statements about infrastructure, currency etc are relevant but are we to suppose that the Scots are incapable of organizing our own affairs? Other countries have done it. This is about self-determination and we will no longer be able to accuse England for all our problems. The buck will stop here.
As far as I’m concerned, nuclear weapons are NOT acceptable, they have been presented as a security – add in “false sense of” to find out the result of having them. Obscene amounts of money spent on keeping deadly weapons which – we are told – will never be used, and can never justifiably be used, is a monumental scandal. I’ve never read any authoritative Church source justifying nuclear weapons so if anyone has such a source to hand, please post it here, and I will reconsider my position. Thank you. Right now, I think it is unconscionable, from every imaginable angle, to waste money on them.
Yes, nuclear weapons are acceptable, as are conventional weapons. If you want to know why there hasn’t been a nuclear war thus far, it is because potential aggressors know full well that they’ll get back what they fire at us. It’s called balance. JFK managed quite successfully to get Khrushchev to back off from his Cuba experiment by precisely this threat of counter-assault. If we get rid of our nuclear weapons then we are basically inviting a godless aggressor to blow us off the face of the earth. It doesn’t make any sense to me, the more so now that Putin is warning the West “not to mess with Nuclear Russia.” We would be sitting ducks! We need those weapons as a deterrent.
I would respectfully disagree with you on that one. There are plenty of countries without nuclear weapons who have not been blown off the face of the earth. I think it’s immoral to spend money on those deadly weapons while people are starving.
Nuclear weapons is certainly an emotive subject, no doubt about it, and I would argue that nobody really wants to have these weapons of mass destruction anywhere on earth. But we have to look at the world in which we live.
Britain is one of the world’s super powers and as such it helps to maintain a standoff with potential nuclear aggressors who don’t have the misgivings we have about stockpiling and using such weapons. The many small countries you speak of who don’t have such weapons and yet remain in peace are only in that fortunate position because the shelter under the security umbrella of the super powers. If Scotland or Britain were to disarm their nuclear weapons, it would result in a massive shift in the balance of global power. I know their not nice things, but they are a necessary evil in this time of uncertainty and threat.
I’ve done it again, writing “their” instead of “they’re”. I’m not an ignoramus, honest!
Athanasius & Margaret Mary,
To the best of my knowledge, the Church permits nuclear weapons only as a step towards disarmament. They cannot be considered a goal or end in themselves, and they are not a “good”. Therefore, we’re all correct on this one!
In any event, Salmond’s promise of ridding Scotland of Trident cannot be trusted. He has shown himself over and over again to be untrustworthy, so there really isn’t any point in discussing the morality of nuclear weapons here – that’s a topic for another day – but, listen, dear old Alex could promise me that he’d get rid of Trident till he was blue in the face and I still wouldn’t believe him. I’m still smarting from the huge amount of time I wasted completing his consultation forms on same sex marriage. I’d trust him to get rid of Trident as much as I’d trust him to tell me what the weather was like, and that after coming into my hallway, dripping wet, raincoat soaked and umbrella turned inside out. 😯
My statements about currency, infrastructure, etc. are not just “relevant,” they are paramount to successful separation and yet we have no clear answers as to how this is going to be made possible. Have you heard the SNP say anything concrete about the plan for Independence? I haven’t. We are playing with fire with this lot.
Well I think we have thrashed this one out and we seem to be agreed that on a spiritual level we will be no better of either way as the the politics of satan becoming more prevalent. The arguments of the No side seem to me to be based on despair and I prefer to move forward to the challenge presented and face it head on.
The argument for a NO vote is not one of “despair” but of Catholic concern that we do not allow an already amoral Government to further insult Christ by giving our blessing, so to speak to their immoral laws and bad governance to date. My conscience dictates that I must not be complicit in giving more power to this amoral Government. If your conscience dictates otherwise (and it must “dictate” – it’s not about feelings; you must know that by voting this or that way, God will not be pleased…) – if your conscience dictates otherwise, then you must do what you know, in faith, to be right before God.
It’s not about nationalism or whether we could survive without England – of course we could. That’s not the issue. It’s about whether we can vote for a Government which is making a point of denying Christ His place as Head of our nation It’s that simple.
The argument of the NO side is not based on despair, it is based on pointing out the obvious great risks of separation. It’s what anyone would expect them to do. Alex Salmond and his sidekick very cleverly turned this common sense argument into something negative in order to sway minds. It didn’t work with me. It is for the SNP to provide a positive campaign for what they are asking the Scottish people to do. So far they have answered none of the serious questions. Their good with rhetoric though, I’ll give them that.
I’m slightly surprised that this discussion is turning into a political one, something which at least on the surface, the Scottish bishops were not concerned with.
In such situations it is always a good thing to step back and take the broad view.
The alternative being offered to what we have, is Nationalism. That is a broad philosophy indeed, ranging from the dubious to the downright evil.
Personally, I will have nothing to do with it.
It has nothing to do with Nationalism as far as I am concerned. It is simply about deciding who makes our laws and how much influence can we individuals have on the process.
As already pointed out, the majority of the Scottish people had no influence on the Scottish Government when we voted against same sex marriage. I can’t see why you think they will pay any attention to us on any other issue.
If it was just about self determination in finance and law making then Devo Max would have been the option chosen by the SNP. As it stands, the SNP rejected this option outright and instead pushed for separation on the grounds of Nationalism.
I don’t think this is a political discussion. All the issues that are being discussed are moral issues.
I’ve now read the bishops’ statements a couple of times and I think they were giving a veiled encouragement to vote YES for nationalist reasons. They like to seem “part of the people” e.g. their statements at the time of the Commonwealth Games and even the Irish born Cardinal O’Brien processed round St Peter’s Square with a saltire on the day he was made a cardinal. So, that’s what i think they were doing in those statements.
I’m not slightly, but VERY surprised that you think a discussion about same-sex marriage, abortion, State Guardianship of every child in Scotland up to 18 and other topics of a moral nature is “political”. That’s what politicians think, of course, which is why they accuse churchmen of “interfering in politics” when they (the few who do) pronounce on moral issues, but they’re wrong.
Don’t you be wrong, too! We are discussing how, in what way, the Archbishops’ statements fell short of what they coulda, shoulda said to guide Catholics on the formation of their consciences and the correct meaning of “freedom of choice” as these matters relate to the Scottish independence vote. Surely you can see that?
Incidentally, I think this is the first time we’ve had the two Archbishops produce such statements. Isn’t is usually (post-Vatican II) “the Bishops’ Conference”? Of course, it SHOULD be each individual bishop guiding his own people but let’s not go there, at least not right now.
In short, whatever’s happened to the Scottish Bishops’ Conference? Do I detect a wee bit of disagreement on how to proceed to 18th September – or what?
Sorry again, I missed this.
Right. Same sex marriage, abortion, state interference, are wrong, grievously wrong. First two, Mortally Sinful. In so far as the state tries to impose these views on us, the state is grievously wrong and should be resisted loudly and clearly by the Church.
But of course the Church in Scotland, and let’s not kid ourselves, in an independent Scotland, or whatever quasi-gaelic name the Nationalists dream up (oh Lord, now I’ve blown my cover, I’m now seen as one of those lowland Scots!), will keep quiet, tactfully nice and quiet, out of habit if nothing else – and will be ignored.
If anything a tiny un-influential, weak, independent Scotland ( or whatever), will be even more desperate to curry favour and fit in with international “liberal” ideas – and ignore the Church.
Since we have come this far, may I say (what I had determined earlier not to say, but I blame you!), that I was born into, raised, succoured, protected, educated, by the British state, served in the British Army, worked for two large British companies and have a safe British retirement. I would consider it ungrateful, and what is much much more important, dishonourable, to walk away now from the British State – just as I would from my Church, the Catholic Church.
(and besides, Herself, not to mention my Anglo/Scots children, would be somewhat peeved.)
May I say how much I admire your post and the integrity and loyalty you display in your thinking.
Here’s me thinking you are the same Jacobi (I’m sure that was his name) who posted here a couple of years ago and told us he was a teenager/student. If that was a cover story – well, you fooled me. Easily done.
I understand (although do not share) you allegiance to “the British State” but you are entitled to that view and it is a perfectly understandable, personal reason for voting NO.
Just beware of making the same mistake as the British politicians do, by telling Catholics that they are interfering in politics by objecting to immoral laws. Christ the King must be the head of every nation under heaven and any politician or government which attacks and/or undermines God’s law, cannot be a truly happy or blessed place.
Your mistake is entirely understandable since I am in my second childhood now. About the age of 10, I think.
It’s very trying. The desire to chuck stones or kick those, you know who types, (except I don’t have tackety boots any more, only light soft Hotter, not very effective), is almost irresistable,
Both governments have denied Christ His place and will continue to do so unless we get out and take the issue on to the streets. I’ve always favoured more local government but over the years government has taken more responsibility for smaller things instead of following the principle of subsidiarity. With an Independent Scotland power will be closer to the people. It’s up to us to make use of that rather than being passive observers.
With respect, the Scottish Government/Parliament hasn’t brought power closer to the people, so I doubt if independence will. I don’t think there will be true independence anyway, for lots of reasons including the European domination of nation states, but as already said several times on this blog, when they had the chance to show that they would listen to us, they didn’t, they ignored the majority of Scots who said they didn’t want marriage to be redefined. They just went ahead anyway.
At least Westminster dropped their plans for a State Guardian for every child when they met with opposition, but not the Scottish Government who went ahead and legalised it anyway. This is an evil government and I can’t see it getting any better just by giving more power to them.
With respect, I think you do a disservice to all the people who campaigned hard to stop the State Guardianship law being passed and the campaigners against same sex marriage to speak of “passive observers.” They weren’t passive observers, far from it and I think every Catholic in Scotland sent in consultation forms and postcards to oppose gay marriage but it didn’t make any difference. It doesn’t matter how active we are, this evil Government have their own agenda and are determined to push it through.
Margaret Mary. Point taken. I too campaigned against the State guardian and I didn’t intend to denigrate your actions so I apologise to you and to our other comrades in Christ who do make the effort. However, I do think we have reached a point in this society where democracy no longer works. Most people just want to vote every 5 years and trust the politicians but the manipulation of the system is such that we have to become more assertive and call them to account. I think we should have more referendums on important issues to prevent them ignoring the electorate and just doing what they want.
Speaking as an outsider, I posit that there are two possible outcomes resulting from the people of Scotland voting “No” to Independence:
Firstly that they will be invited to participate in another referendum as per France and Ireland over the Lisbon Treaty until they give the “right” answer, or secondly, they will get Independence no matter what they voted, in the same way as they got same sex marriage despite a 67% “No” vote.
The people of Scotland are being treated with contempt, and they need to make their response so strongly shown that there can be no possible way to avoid acceding to it.
Whilst I agree that there may indeed be another referendum, this won’t be until much further down the line.
As for getting independence no matter how the referendum goes, tht just isn’t going to happen.
I agree with you that there will be all sorts of shenanigans put in place after the vote. However, friends in Ireland told me at the time of the Lisbon Treaty that ballot boxes disappeared and such like during the voting, to skew the result, so who knows. It’s definitely a case of Watch This Space.
What I’m not looking forward to is an entire evening on the 17th (if not the entire week previously) of Scottish films, notably Brave Heart (which I’ve never seen and won’t watch) Scottish documentaries, Scottish this and that on TV to instil the nationalist spirit, especially in the souls of the young teenagers who – in an act of unbelievable SNP cynicism – are being allowed to vote in the Referendum (but not thereafter). It’s so easy to whip up nationalism in the young that I’m amazed there has been very little opposition or even commentary on this disgraceful move.
Special deals on Irn Bru, shortbread and haggis? I think we should have a “Catholic Truth Big Night In” to counter this. We will have Pimms and Lemonade, British Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings along with a special viewing of the Battle of Britain!
I hear that the new currency for an Independent Scotland is to be the ginger bottle!
I was hoping the new currency would be shekels, as I’ve got some left over from my visit to the Holy Land some years ago. Bound to be worth more now, surely?
Count me out, I’m afraid. I’m Scots-Irish, so I’ll be eating Irish stew, drinking some Irn Bru (to support the Cumbernauld factory!) and watching a mix of Scottish and Irish ceilidhs to cheer me up after the high level dosage of debates I’ve been watching these past forever months! Oh and I’ll be writing out my sympathy card for Alex Salmond, of course 😀
What does your passport say? 😉
You may just have turned me into a YES voter!
Indeed, the Catholic vote could (and should) make a huge difference to the way this referendum goes but, alas, it won’t as we have been leaderless for over 50 years. Wee Alex would soon sit up and take notice if we were still a force to be reckoned with!
During this campaign I haven’t once heard a comment about this guardianship law which is an erosion of the family. This government is anti family in all but name and is even proposing to remove the married person’s tax allowance because it is “unfair” Unfair to whom, I ask?
You’ve hit on a key problem with the statement from the two Archbishops. They should, at the very least, have asked Catholics to reflect on the dangerous turn of events in terms of the relationship of the State to families in Scotland, as voting day approaches. That is the very least that we have a right to expect.
I know for a fact that there are people who didn’t even KNOW about the State Guardianship law having been passed, so shrouded in silence was it at the time. I recall mention of it on only one evening on the news, one short “debate” on Newsnight Scotland and ditto Scotland Today on the STV channel, all more or less the day before it was due to be passed (certainly not much before) because I taped both to make sure I had followed all the coverage. I cannot recall any other discussion on TV news programmes at all.
So, the least the Archbishops should have done in their statements, is to alert parents to the new and very dangerous relationship between State and family, as they ponder how to vote in the Referendum. I think I’m correct in saying that similar legislation was ditched by Westminster following protests from parents’ groups. Quite likely, the Scottish Government didn’t want to risk the same fate to their proposed Bill, hence the secrecy surrounding it. Disgraceful.
Yes, I think Alex Salmond would have sat up and taken notice if Catholics were still a force to be reckoned with. Now the politicians are more worried about the opinions of ethnic minorities and non-Christian religions. We have only ourselves to blame for that. We should not have been so ready to go with the flow and we should have made more of a fuss about issues like state guardianship and the married person’s tax allowance. The bishops keep silence on the moral issues now, I presume because of the Cardinal O’Brien scandal.
I think it’s purely emotionalism and nationalism which are driving the YES campaign. I’m no fan of the British establishment, no serious student of history could possibly be, but I’d want answers to all the questions about the practicalities of life in an independent Scotland before I could make an informed decision. People say we have free prescriptions, for example, which they don’t have in England but it’s swings and roundabouts. That money will be recouped elsewhere, so I’m not making such an important decision based on either no factual information or piecemeal examples of where we do better than they do south of the border.
Closing the August threads now with thanks to all who contributed to them, including this very lively discussion on the Archbishops’ lack of guidance for Catholics on how to vote in the referendum.
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