The Scottish Bishops support a “tolerant” & “liberal” society… Really?

The Scottish Bishops support a “tolerant” & “liberal” society… Really?

Remember this? Anti-Catholic Culture Reigns In Scotland – the press release from the Scottish Catholic Media Office which featured on our blog back in June, 2017 claiming that “a culture of fear prevents people from being open about their [Catholic] faith in Scotland”?  Anthony Horan, Director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, that is he is speaking on behalf of the Scottish Bishops, “highlighted testimonies from a number of young people who had experienced anti-Catholic prejudice in their school…”  Click here to refresh your memory…

Then click here to remind yourselves that a few months later, in November, 2017, we discussed more complaints from the Scottish Bishops about “hate crime” against Catholics…

So, try to get your head round this news, fresh off the printing press this very week…

EDINBURGH, Scotland, March 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The Catholic Church in Scotland has rejected proposals for new anti-hate laws despite Catholics being disproportionately singled out for attack…The director of the Catholic Parliamentary Office, Anthony Horan, said that the current law against hate crime is adequate. “We do not believe there is a need for sectarianism to be specifically addressed and defined in hate crime legislation,” he said.  And then this jewel: “Christian communities in Scotland enjoy a positive ecumenical relationship and we are concerned that government is proposing unnecessary legislation that undermines the development of community relations between them,” he said.   Astonishingly, too, it seems the Bishops of Scotland do not wish to “risk becoming an intolerant, illiberal society.”  Click here to read the entire article Scottish bishops reject proposed hate crime laws, fear criminalization of religion

The penny has still not dropped.  Catholicism is not “tolerant” of error, heresy and sin, and it is definitely not “liberal”:  the way to life is narrow… (Matthew 7:14)


Don’t misunderstand:  we, at Catholic Truth, are not in favour of the concept of “hate crime” (we hate it!) but our rationale differs somewhat from that of the Scottish Bishops, it would seem.  We are clear:  we must be free to preach Christ, undiluted. And that entails appearing to be intolerant and illiberal in the sense understood by our unbelieving world.  The Bishops appear to be backing away from their previous claims about anti-Catholic prejudice, in the interests of not annoying their ecumenical partners and appearing to be “liberal” and “tolerant” (of sin, error, heresy, you name it).  Given their previous statements on the subject, however, the question remains:  IS Scotland an anti-Catholic country… or not?   And if the answer is “yes”, we’d like to know exactly what the Bishops intend to do about it…   What can they do?  Ideas welcome….

Comments (10)

  • Nicky

    My ideas for what the bishops could do are unprintable, LOL!

    I do think they need to stop speaking out of both sides of their mouths and decide whether they are ecumenical or Catholic.

    Taken from the first link from 2017 on the above introduction, the increase in religious hate crime in Scotland showed that 57% of criminal charges are as a result of anti-Catholic behaviour, compared to the percentage of charges relating to Protestantism (27%) and Islam (17%).

    We know that there is an anti-Catholic culture in Scotland, so why aren’t the bishops doing something about it, and the first thing to do is to stop the pretence of ecumenism, so that they can speak with conviction about Catholicism.

    March 28, 2019 at 1:55 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I agree that the bishops should be consistent on this and if there is increased intolerance towards Catholics, they ought to call it out, especially in schools – children should not be bullied about their faith in a Catholic school!

    However, I’m wondering if it is fair to say they are weak on this due to “not annoying their ecumenical partners” because if that is what they are doing, isn’t it so that they can try not to put non-Catholics off the Church altogether? If they come across too strongly, that might happen.

    I’m honestly not sure if I’m right about this, but just throwing the thought out there. Isn’t it better for bishops to keep friendly with the leaders of other Christian groups, in the hope of bringing them into the Church, rather than antagonise them by accusing them of bigotry? Or am I over-simplyfying the issue?

    March 28, 2019 at 3:32 pm
  • editor

    Nicky & MM,

    There should be no conflict between maintaining friendships with the leaders (and members) of other Christian groups and speaking, with conviction, about Catholicism. There would BE no conflict if the Bishops truly believed in the articles/dogmas of the Faith.

    Indeed, we, at Catholic Truth, intend to demonstrate that it is perfectly possible to adhere wholly to the Faith while remaining on friendly terms with non-Catholics, in a very practical way. We plan to launch a series of videos where we will chat over a cup of tea, with some Protestants about various Catholic teachings and I guarantee that we will not fall out, but remain friends, whether or not we appear to have changed any minds or beliefs. God takes care of bringing seeds to fruition – our task is merely to “plant the seeds” so to speak – that is, we fulfil our Baptismal and Confirmation duty to spread the Faith as best we can, in various circumstances, and leave the rest to God. We’ve even promised to pay for the tea/coffee!

    Now… a request for prayers…

    I’ve just received some very sad news about a life-long friend who is unconscious and dying, with probably only days to live. She is not a Catholic but, over the years, we’ve had many chats about Catholicism – and never once did we fall out. In fact, I recall once, many years ago, when she rang to ask me a specific question about Catholic teaching as it related to a controversial issue at that time. I asked her why she hadn’t just asked one of the several (“liberal”) Catholic friends – why ring me? Her response: “Because I know that you will tell me the truth.”

    That comforts me now on two counts: firstly, because it underlines the key message of this thread, that no true seeker after truth is served by being merely an “ecumenical partner” as opposed to a soul entitled to hear the truths of the Faith in their entirety, and secondly because it gives me great hope that someone who was so obviously desirous of knowing the truth, will reap the benefits now, as I (and I hope all of you will join me) pray to St Joseph, Patron Saint of a Happy Death, for her in these her final days on this earth.

    Thank you.

    March 28, 2019 at 4:20 pm
    • Nicky

      I take your point about there being no need for the bishops to hide their Catholic faith. I also know of sincere non-Catholics who prefer to be able to be open about their beliefs and not pretend they agree with us. The real problem is that the bishops don’t really believe at all. That’s the real issue. If they were believing Catholics, given their authority, they would be doing practical things as well, to debate with those outside the Church etc. Ecumenical meetings are really not the place, as they tend to want to play down what “divides” us as talk up what “unites” us. I’ve never understood that, it seems pointless.

      I will definitely keep your friend in my prayers, in her final illness.

      St Joseph will win her the grace of a happy death when the time comes. He is also the patron of those agonizing before death, so if she is suffering physically or spiritually, St Joseph will come to her aid, if we ask him.

      March 28, 2019 at 6:36 pm
    • Laura

      I will also pray to St Joseph for your friend.

      Also, agree with everything said about the Bishops and ecumenism – a dangerous mix, LOL!

      March 28, 2019 at 7:59 pm
  • editor

    Thank you, NIcky and Laura for your promise of prayers for my friend.

    She died this morning at 10.15am.

    Please include her family in your prayers – they are all very sad.

    March 29, 2019 at 4:29 pm
    • Petrus


      I will certainly pray for your friend.

      Regarding the Scottish Bishops, nothing surprises me with them anymore. Of course it is possible to be civil, even friendly, with others, whilst disagreeing with them. I have a Muslim friend who is very well aware that I believe they must convert in order to save their soul and it hasn’t had any impact on our friendship.

      March 29, 2019 at 5:11 pm
      • editor


        Thank you for your prayers for my friend, much appreciated.

        And well said about your friendship with the Muslim. Our Lord would hardly have commissioned us to “go out into the whole world baptizing…” if it meant we would end up being friendless!

        All sorts of analogies spring to mind, e.g. the boss afraid to correct, even chide, his employees in case they take offence. Better than his business going down the drain!

        I do try – you have to grant me that 😀

        March 29, 2019 at 5:59 pm
      • Margaret Mary

        I’ll also pray for your friend’s family as they mourn her loss. RIP.

        March 29, 2019 at 6:26 pm
      • editor


        Many thanks.

        March 29, 2019 at 10:18 pm

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