Ecumenical Scottish Bishops & Church of Scotland – Declaration of (Fake) Friendship

Ecumenical Scottish Bishops & Church of Scotland – Declaration of (Fake) Friendship

Catholic Church and Church of Scotland release “Declaration of Friendship”.

28 April 2022

The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will be invited to welcome an historic Declaration of Friendship with the Catholic Church in Scotland that offers ‘a decisive and irrevocable statement of our friendship with one another, based on our shared faith in Christ.’

The culmination of more than 100 years of ecumenical relationship building between the two Churches, the Declaration of Friendship will be presented to the General Assembly on Monday 23 May. It has already been approved by the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

The declaration speaks of the shared faith and common ground that unites the Churches, saying:

“We recognise each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and we wish to express our friendship and respect for one another as fellow Christians, citizens and partners in announcing the kingdom of God in our land.

“Since the World Missionary Conference (Edinburgh, 1910), and the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) much has been done ecumenically to repair what was broken and to restore mutual respect and friendship.

“A great deal has been achieved spiritually, practically and affectively, through joint prayer among our parishes, various joint commissions, and the growing knowledge and appreciation of each other as Christian friends and fellow pilgrims.”

 Most Reverend Leo Cushley, Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said:

“Returning to live in Scotland after many years abroad, I was soon struck by how far the people of the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland have come along the path of friendship in these last decades. We have now spent forty years working diligently to respect and understand each other, what we have in common, what still divides us. In the meantime, through prayer together and social action, we have also become friends, and have grown to appreciate each other as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe this is something to acknowledge and to celebrate. My brother bishops and I welcome this declaration, and we hope that it will likewise be welcomed by our Catholic brothers and sisters throughout the country. The strands of a more profound dialogue will continue as before, but there is much to be said for acknowledging all that we hold in common, and for celebrating the friendship of the members of our two churches. I also hope it will lead to a deeper bond with all our fellow Christians in Scotland.”

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said:

“During my term as Moderator, I have very much valued the friendly and productive working relationship I have had with Archbishop Cushley, Bishop (now Archbishop) Nolan and other members of the Catholic Church in Scotland, as we have sought to navigate our way through Covid restrictions and address crucial issues facing our country and, indeed our world, such as the cost-of-living burden, and the climate crisis. Our respective churches have also collaborated in Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees.

“And one of the most profound moments I’ve experienced in recent months was joining worship and standing in solidarity with Father Vasyl and members of Edinburgh’s Ukrainian Catholic community, when their homeland has been under such unprovoked attack.

“These are all ways in which we show that what unites us is so important to the lives of our fellow citizens and to being witnesses to the Gospel message in this land of Scotland.”

An agreement based on shared faith and common ground

Written by senior figures from both Churches, the declaration describes the Churches’ shared beliefs, ‘rooted in the Apostles, Christ’s first disciples,’ and acknowledges a common heritage as Christians in Scotland.

‘We recall with gratitude to God the earliest missionaries, our forebears in the faith, who lived and preached the Christian faith to our land,’ it says. ‘We recall those from that time who led and formed the Church, nurturing a society inspired by Christian values, including St Ninian, St Columba and St Margaret.’

The declaration also recognises the divisions of the past, apologises for the hurt and harm caused and seeks to make amends, asserting ‘we repent and ask forgiveness of one other.’

Some divisions between the Churches remain challenging and more work will be needed on reconciliation and healing. Nevertheless, the Churches say that what they hold in common is far greater than what divides them, and they commit to continue working towards greater unity.

‘We therefore pledge ourselves to live as sisters and brothers in Christ, in public and in private, in life and in mission; to pray with each other and for each other; to be good neighbours, both to each other and to all people among whom we live, of all faiths and none; and to work together for the common good of the nation, as it is given to us to see it.’     ENDS

Read more at: Catholic Church and Church of Scotland release “Declaration of Friendship” | SCMO

Editor writes…

I was alerted to the above press release by a friend in America – our sometime blogger Marinaio, to be precise (who doubles as the administrator of the Tradidi quod et Accepi blog).  I immediately sent the link to a friend who is a Protestant Minister expressing my own misgivings, reminding him that just as I would dearly love to see him convert to Catholicism, I assume that he would entertain the same ambition for my unworthy self to convert to his denomination – all much more honest that such fake ecumenical friendships.  He replied as follows:

I could not agree with you more. I’m afraid that – given that this comes as the C of S has just announced the majority of its presbyteries approve of so called ‘gay marriage’ (a biblical oxymoron) – what this seems to indicate can only be a descent of the Scottish Catholic Church into the same apostasy as the Church of Scotland. Ecumenism is basically shared apostasy. Ends. 

He is – of course – right.  We’ve known for a long time that what Pope John Paul II described as “the silent apostasy” [in Europe] is now screaming from the rooftops everywhere, and nowhere more loudly than in  Scotland.

Marinaio wonders what Mary Queen of Scots, and even John Knox, might think about this… Any ideas?

Comments (19)

  • editor Reply

    In extremely UN-ecumenical fashion, I’m kick-starting this conversation by wishing everyone a very happy Feast of St Joseph the Worker (this year, also Good Shepherd Sunday – very appropriate for this thread), and to say “welcome to the Month of Mary” – the lovely month of May!

    May 1, 2022 at 12:43 am
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      Unfortunately due to the Alphabet Mob the Words of this Beautiful Hymn have been altered. It’s not now sung
      ” For all the World is Gay for it is the Month of Mary the lovely Month of May ” It’s now
      ” For Half The World is Gay —“

      May 1, 2022 at 4:44 pm
    • Josephine Reply


      Thank you for marking the Feast of my name-saint, Joseph the Worker. Also, love that May hymn!

      Happy Feast of St Joseph everyone!

      May 1, 2022 at 7:38 pm
  • Marinaio Reply

    When I wrote to you about this “Declaration of Friendship,” dear Editor, I was thinking of a not-so-ecumenical incident that I recalled from Scottish history. It happened in December of 1566, when Elizabeth I sent forty noblemen of England, with the Earl of Bedford at the lead, to transport the gift of a golden baptismal font to Stirling for the christening of Prince James. The prolific travel writer, H. V. Morton, describes the scene in his 1929 book, “In Search of Scotland”. Mr. Morton details how the 24-year-old Queen of Scots graciously received the Bedford delegation; but due to the fact it was a Catholic baptismal ceremony, none of the English ambassadors entered. Also standing at the door to the Catholic church at Stirling were ten of the twelve Scottish earls (Athol and Eglinton attended at the font). Morton writes, regarding the rest of the Scottish nobility: “Only three barons of all the chivalry of Scotland have the resolution to stand in church with their Prince. . . Round the open door, Murray, Bothwell, and other staunch Protestants, watch” along with John Knox and the Bedford delegation — all outside the church at the open door. “But,” Morton wryly points out, “they baptize him in this Protestant font; thus James VI and I takes his first prophetic taste of England.” Like you and your Protestant Minister friend, there was no false ecumenism then, nor should there be now. There certainly does not need to be the acrimony that reared its head in those times (and again during the Jacobite rebellion), but true Charity, I believe, lies in precisely the kind of civil exchange you recounted to us regarding your Minister friend. In that way, we will show Protestants, Jews, and even Muslims perhaps (though they are a much harder nut to crack), that our concern for their immortal souls compels us to speak to them about the Truth of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

    May 1, 2022 at 1:32 am
  • westminsterfly Reply

    I think this whole ecumenical phenomenon is largely borne of the fact that all denominations have plummeting attendance, and they’re looking for safety in numbers and trying to appear ‘relevant’. Certainly we know that to be true in the post-conciliar Catholic Church, where all the figures are in free-fall – Mass attendance, baptisms, converts, vocations – you name it. Anglicanism is in its last death throes. Most protestant sects – with a few rare exceptions – are closing down or merging with others. If everyone ‘comes together’ and attends a ‘service’ where all denominations are present, it gives the illusion that all is well for the future of Christianity, and it’s all about human comfort and the Catholic priests, non-Catholic ministers and lay-people wanting to feel good about themselves. An old priest once said to me that humans have an infinite capacity for self-deception and the ecumenical movement is a classic example of this. It invariably leads to syncretism and I’ve noticed the capitulation is always on the Catholic side. We don’t make them more Catholic, they make us more protestant. Which is why, until the madness of Vatican II, the Holy See strictly forbade such things.

    May 1, 2022 at 11:06 am
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      I most certainly have Protestant Friends 3 .The amount I know who go to their Church Services.
      Sorry but the Ecumenical Route is not for me and Mr Nolan if your reading this it is not for Any Catholic worth their Salt.

      Of course what I would certainly say is that the Bergoglion N.W.O. Church has much more in common with Protestants than it has with Catholics who see a Faith unchangeable since it was Founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
      In fact we know that Bergoglio Himself has more in common certainly with Martin Luther than He has with us . He’s welcome.

      May 1, 2022 at 4:27 pm
    • Josephine Reply


      I didn’t think about the covering up of poor attendances in churches, I always think of it as a way of keeping themselves busy. These clergymen love meetings and these ecumenical do’s are just the ticket!

      May 1, 2022 at 7:40 pm
  • Rapport Reply

    Aye 1566 them were the days. It’s been all downhill since then.

    May 1, 2022 at 4:04 pm
  • Frankier Reply

    You get a bit sick of the “it`s not what divides us but what we have in common” parroting rubbish.

    It has got to the stage where absolutely nothing divides them and they have everything in common.

    How can you join any so-called Christian organisation that condones and encourages practices contrary to the Ten Commandments?

    Time the Scottish bishops were concentrating on filling the churches again and getting the young ones back, although they might have left it too late. Bringing back the reception of communion on the tongue wouldn`t go amiss either, although I feel that covid might be a good excuse for them to eventually phase it out completely. I experienced one priest who, on Easter Sunday, refused communion on the tongue to my niece who was visiting from Leeds where she receives on the tongue every week. She was virtually told that it was either on the hand or not at all when she questioned it. It was actually a retired priest standing in but well before covid was ever heard of he was famous for hating the distribution on the tongue. To me, this is being deceitful and anything but Christian.

    May 1, 2022 at 7:07 pm
    • Josephine Reply


      “You get a bit sick of the “it`s not what divides us but what we have in common” parroting rubbish.”

      That’s exactly what I think. Just imagine, what the bishops are actually saying there, is that the dogma of the Real Presence, for example, which the Church of Scotland members don’t believe, is less important than their acceptance of same-sex “marriage”. How can this be right? Obviously, it can’t so the whole ecumenical thing is, what editor’s minister friend says, “shared apostasy.” It’s pointless. How tragic that it’s come to this – an empty gesture of “friendship”.

      May 1, 2022 at 7:45 pm
  • Athanasius Reply

    Reading the comments of both the Catholic and Protestant parties to this false ecumenical accord, which is mere humanism disguised as supernatural charity, it occurred to me that the first Protestants, i.e. the first men to reject Our Lord’s teaching on Transubstantiation and His future real presence in the Blessed Sacrament, are recorded in all four Gospels. There is no difference between these men and those who today call themselves Protestant.

    …For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me: and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for ever…

    Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard; and who can hear it? But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe and who he was that would betray him. And he said: Therefore did I say to you that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.

    After this, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him. Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known that thou art the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve?… (John 6: 52-71).

    A couple of important teachings are contained in these few words of Our Saviour:

    1. The Catholic Faith is a supernatural gift from God – distinct from Protestant Rationalism. The former is of the “spirit”, the latter is of the “flesh”, which is why it was born of fallen Catholics like Martin Luther, Henry VIII, John Knox, etc.

    2. Our Lord did not go after those who rejected His teaching on Transubstatiation saying “let’s put aside our differences and work together on climate change, refugees and social inequality”, which things preoccupy the worldly. No, He let them go and turned instead to Peter to ask if he would also apostatise. And how did the first Pope respond? He said “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”. Peter’s confession of faith is supernatural – it is preoccupied with the salvation of immortal souls, not earthly Communist Socialism, which is the inevitable end of all ecumenists who think supernatural truth and error can coexist peacefully on earth for convenience’ sake. This is why the former USSR promoted religious ecumenism at every opportunity – because it leads to atheism!

    Ecumenism always ends in apostasy from God, which is why Pope Gregory XVI called it “insanity”. We see this insanity today on a global scale in so-called religious men who are utterly absorbed with worldly concerns while souls by the millions head for Hell in a handcart. The only sins now for these blind guides are sins against the planet!

    May 1, 2022 at 8:37 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      Martin what a great comment and Yes without a Doubt the First Protestants were those who turned away from Christ . Their is of course nothing wrong and it’s all good to Share with our Protestant Neighbors Friendship but as far as Faith goes there it must End . The Martyrs of the past knew this and so do we .

      It certainly comes ( as far as am concerned ) a moment in everyone’s life where they are faced with The Truth this was of course St Peters moment. He knew Truth and refused to turn. I have no Doubt that the Bergoglion Catholics have also faced Truth. Whether they accept it and go Follow Christ instead of Bergoglio is entirely up to them.

      May 2, 2022 at 4:14 pm
  • Athanasius Reply


    The first line in your comment above is spot on. Here’s what Pope Pius XI had to say in the matter:

    From the Encyclical Mortalium Animos

    “…Nevertheless, when there is a question of fostering unity among Christians, it is easy for many to be mislead by the apparent excellence of the object to be achieved. Is it not right, they ask, is it not the obvious duty of all who invoke the name of Christ to refrain from mutual reproaches and at last to be united in charity? Dare anyone say that he loves Christ and yet not strive with all his might to accomplish the desire of Him who asked His Father that His disciples might be “one”? (John 17:21). Did not Christ will that mutual charity should be the distinguishing characteristic of His disciples? “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:35). If only all Christians were “one”, it is contended, then they might do so much more to drive out the plague of irreligion which, with its insidious and far-reaching advance, is threatening to sap the strength of the Gospel.

    These and similar arguments, with amplifications, are constantly on the lips of the “pan-Christians” who, so far from being a few isolated individuals, have formed an entire class and grouped themselves into societies of extensive membership, usually under the direction of non-Catholics, who also disagree in matters of faith. The energy with which this scheme is being promoted has won for it many adherents, and even many Catholics are attracted by it, since it holds out the hope of a union apparently consonant with the wishes of Holy Motehr Church, whose chief desire is to recall her erring children and to bring them back to her bosom. In reality, however, these fair and alluring words cloak a most grave error, subversive of the foundations of the Catholic Faith…

    …This being so, it is clear that the Apostolic See can by no means take part in these assemblies, nor is it in any way lawful for Catholics to give to such enterprises their encouragement or support. If they did so, they would be giving countenance to a false Christianity quite alien to the one Church of Christ. Shall we commit the iniquity of suffering the truth, the truth revealed by God, to be made a subject for compromise? For it is indeed a question of defending revealed truth…

    Here are some further quotes from Catholic Tradition exposing the Luciferian spirit behind ecumenism and inter-religious compromise.

    From the Syllabus of Errors of Pius IX, the following propositions are condemned and proscribed:

    1. “Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.” (Encyclical Quanto Conficiamur, August 10, 1863.)

    2. “Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church.” (Encyclical Noscitis, December 8, 1849.)

    3. “Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.”

    4. “Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation.”

    5. “In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.”

    From the August, 1832 Encyclical Mirari Vos of Pope Gregory XVI:

    “…With the admonition of the Apostle that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5), may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself who said “He that is not with me, is against me” (Luke 11:23), and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore “without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and entire…”

    Quanta Cura – Pius IX – December 8, 1864

    “…they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our predecessor, Gregory XVI, an insanity, viz., that “liberty of conscience and worship is each man’s personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society”…But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching liberty of perdition…”

    The 1917 Code of Canon Law states that: “It is not permitted at all for the faithful to assist in any active manner at or to have any part in the worship of non-Catholics.” [Canon 1258] “How does a Catholic sin against faith? A Catholic sins against Faith by Apostasy, heresy, indifferentism and by taking part in non-Catholic worship.” (Catechism of the Council of Trent, Catechism of Pope St. Pius X and The Baltimore Catechism).

    “St. Anthony the Abbot would not speak to a heretic, except to exhort him to the true faith; and he drove all heretics from his mountain, calling them venomous serpents.” (St. Athanasius on the life of St. Anthony the Hermit).

    St. Cyril of Alexandria “It is therefore unlawful, and a profanation, and an act the punishment of which is death, to love to associate with unholy heretics, and to unite oneself to their communion.”

    III Council of Constantinople “If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue or to the meeting-houses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion. If any Bishop or Priest or Deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion.”

    Mortalium Animos of Pius XI: …”Certainly such movements as these cannot gain the approval of Catholics. They are founded upon the false opinions of those who say that, since all religions equally unfold and signify – though not in the same way – the native, inborn feeling in us all through which we are borne toward God and humbly recognize His rule, therefore, all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy. The followers of this theory are not only deceived and mistaken, but since they repudiate the true religion by attacking it in its very essence, they move step by step toward naturalism and atheism. Hence it clearly follows that anyone who gives assent to such theories and undertakings utterly abandons divinely revealed religion.”

    Council of Carthage: “Cut off from the Church: One must neither pray nor sing psalms with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: let him be excommunicated.”

    Council of Laodicea: “No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics.”

    St. Margaret Clitherow: “I will not pray with you, nor shall you pray with me; neither will I say ‘Amen’ to your prayers, nor shall you to mine.”

    St. Anthony Mary Claret (The Modern Apostles): “These men are Protestants; they are heretics. Have nothing to do with them!

    St. John Rigby “It is not lawful to go to the Protestant Church.”

    IV Lateran Council: “We decree that those who give credence to the teachings of heretics, as well as those who receive, defend, or patronize them, are excommunicated… If anyone refuses to avoid such accomplices after they have been ostracized by the Church, let them also be excommunicated.”

    There are literally hundreds of such condemnations of false ecumenism in Church teaching, but these few examples should suffice.

    May 1, 2022 at 10:22 pm
    • Lily Reply


      I am thinking that the ban on participating in non-Catholic worship is the same as attendance at the novus ordo mass – Catholics may attend, say a wedding of a friend, but not actively take part (e.g. sing the hymns etc). I hope that’s right because I’ve done that, years ago, admittedly, but I couldn’t see any harm in just being present.

      May 2, 2022 at 9:29 am
      • Athanasius


        No, it’s not quite the same. The Novus Ordo Mass, though dangerous to faith, can be a valid Catholic Mass depending on the priest. Hence, our unwillingness to participate is based on our refusal to compromise the faith. It’s different with non-Catholic houses of worship, though, for these are outrightly heretical.

        May 2, 2022 at 7:39 pm
  • Frankier Reply

    It`s funny how they can name St Margaret, St Andrew, St Columba and St Ninian among others without spluttering but no mention of St John Ogilvie or even Margaret Sinclair. Mentioning the last two might be a wee bit damaging to the ecumenical/ecuwomenical movement.

    I remember being in Rome for the canonisation of The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales and the spiritual leader, a well known Dominican preacher at the time, Fr Geoffrey Lynch, stated that if they wished to rejoin us that they would be very welcome but there was no way we would be joining them.

    I wonder what he would think of it all now.

    May 2, 2022 at 4:32 pm
  • Leitourgos Reply

    Integral to Catholic ecumenism is her consciousness of being the one, true Church, the historical continuity of the community instituted by Christ and endowed by him with every objective means of salvation. If this is lost sight of, the fruits of our endeavours in this field will be minimal or non-existent, as the last decades have surely proved.

    It is true that there is much that unites us, and this is our tragedy. In the case of the C of S, there are baptism and Holy Scripture which, being integral components of the one, true Church of Christ, push in the direction of Catholic unity. But there are other forces at work, too, and not always luminous. Liberal Protestantism has allowed Western liberalism to lead it by the nose, as testified by its appalling surrender on issue after issue, not least in relation to family and pro-life questions, so much so that many see it as a secularizing force. It can hardly come as a surprise that Liberal Catholicism is displaying exactly the same traits (cf. Germany). Theirs may be the present, but the future of Christianity in these islands belongs to neither.

    It genuinely pains me to say this, but I fail to see how Western ecumenism can ever move beyond convivial pleasantries. Eastern ecumenism is a different story, at least in theory, but fraught with difficulties all the same. All the more reason for the Catholic Church to guard her internal unity in the truth with a vigilance worthy of true shepherds.

    May 3, 2022 at 12:30 am

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