Scotland’s Identity Crisis: Religion Vs Humanism – Humanism Winning By a Landslide… Surprised?

Scotland’s Identity Crisis: Religion Vs Humanism – Humanism Winning By a Landslide… Surprised?

From The Catholic Herald
Scotland’s loss of religion is a matter of grave concern (29 June, 2022)

It comes as no surprise that the leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, should have called for a new referendum on the issue of independence and that the prime minister, Boris Johnson, should promptly have said no. This issue will not be resolved soon, but it could gain fresh traction if the next general election results in the SNP holding the balance of power in Westminster.

The last referendum in 2014 was a rancorous affair. In some cases, Catholic clergy were open in expressing pro-independence sympathies. Afterwards, when the referendum was defeated, the Church was less visible and vocal than it should have been in reconciling the two sides. This must not happen again. The Church does have a role in politics, but it emphatically does not have a party-political identity in respect of this divisive question. The role of the clergy is to unite communities, not to divide them. Scotland has a proud Catholic past and the Scottish Church has a strong and distinct Catholic identity, but this does not translate into support for one side on this vexed issue.

There are more pressing concerns that the Scottish Church must face. It has had, like other Churches, to weather a bruising series of sexual-abuse scandals. It has also witnessed an astonishing – and not unrelated – increase in the number of people distancing themselves from Christianity and from Catholicism. In 2020 there were more humanist than Christian wedding ceremonies in Scotland – 23 and 22 per cent respectively. Even more worryingly, far fewer people now identify as Christians at all. In 2011, over half of Scots said they were Christian; ten years later barely a third did so. The figures will be more obvious once the results of this year’s census are analysed, but a poll by the Humanist Association suggests that 70 per cent of young Scots aged 18-34 say they have no religion.

This is nothing less than a crisis of identity. Scotland, like Ireland, is now mission territory. Scottish bishops cannot reconcile their apostolic mandate with managing decline and closing churches. The young need to be catechised better; congregations need to be attracted back to worship, not just reminded of their renewed obligation to attend Mass. The Scottish Church needs new missionary zeal, a fresh sense of the beauty and vitality of the Gospel message. Much of the possibilities for renewal lie in its own traditions, especially the revival of pilgrimages to sites associated with the country’s monasteries and saints. Fifteen-hundred years ago last year, St Columba was born and went on to spread the word of God in Iona and beyond. That legacy must be honoured in the gift of Christ to new generations of Scots.   Source

Editor writes…

Is the apparent preoccupation of the Scottish Catholic clergy/hierarchy with political issues, to blame – at least in part – for the religious decline in Scotland?  I’ve heard of a couple of “Catholics” insisting on humanist funerals when they die  –  why would they do that?  And while the above article mentions the importance of reviving traditions such as pilgrimages, why is there no mention of reviving that key tradition – the ancient Mass?  Until that is restored, there can be no return to truly authentic Catholic identity in Scotland.

That’s what I think, what do you think?

Comments (36)

  • Michael 🙏 Reply

    Dear Friends

    I enclose the following thoughts regarding this issue.

    Shame on all of them who strive to gain the world and ruin their souls and the souls of others through their deception.

    A substantive number within the Church and the clergy have lost belief (if they ever had it all) with the supernatural Catholic Faith in all its aspects doctrinally, morally sacramentally, the beatific vision etc.

    Modernism, Masonic ideals, moral relativism, Transgender ideology, Abortion etc etc have had such an impact and influence regarding many Catholics at all levels of the Church in terms of influencing their understanding of the faith, ones place in the world and how they should act and conduct themselves etc as a Catholic in present day secular society.

    A lack of education in the true Catholic faith, nonexistent prayer life and devotion and a dysfunctional view of human morality exists from the top down within our national and global Catholic community.

    Many in our Catholic community at all levels, have through ignorance, fear and indifference have become influenced in a very insidious manner by all these dysfunctional ideologies regarding the nature and dignity of humanity and its origin and ultimate destiny.

    Others within Catholicism at at levels know better and have become Judas Iscariot and sold their souls to the evil one and this blasphemous atheistic, materialistic, relativistic insanity in order to be on the right side of history in their distorted minds.

    These false human ideologies and proposed man made utopias which the world promotes and which our Catholic confreres have embraced are a monstrous blasphemy against the God the Most Holy Trinity and the Incarnate Son of God who died for our salvation and redemption.

    Only in Christ do we find our meaning and redemption, only in Heaven in the presence of the the thrice Holy Trinity does humanity understand at its most profound level it’s reason for existence to begin with.

    The Church at all levels has lost its way and no longer at this juncture can see the wood for the trees.

    Those of us who have been blessed and graced with understanding continue to have a duty to defend and promote the TLM, authentic Catholic doctrine, morality, engage with great fervour and devotion to our spiritual and sacramental life.

    In doing so our fidelity, suffering and witness to our Catholic faith, our graces and merits contribute to the eventual restoration of all things truly orthodox and Catholic.

    Ave Maria!

    July 10, 2022 at 12:34 pm
    • Catherine Reply


      Well said!

      As a parent, I think it’s increasingly difficult to raise children in the faith in this climate. Humanism is definitely winning.

      July 10, 2022 at 3:47 pm
      • Theresa Rose


        I agree with Catherine, well said indeed. If I had children in todays world, I would be terror for their souls in this climate.

        I wonder how apt in this link below in todays world, about the monkey in the room.

        July 10, 2022 at 6:52 pm
      • Fidelis


        I agree that it’s more and more difficult to raise children in today’s society because of the rise in humanism. Until the Church gets its act together, this won’t change.

        July 12, 2022 at 9:37 pm
  • Josephine Reply

    I was appalled when the Bishops’ spokesman, Peter Kearney, published his support for the SNP because there’s no way he could have done that without the Bishops’ permission, this to let us know that they are for independence. Then Nicola Sturgeon, of all people, was invited to speak on the subject of Catholic schools at a diocesan conference. They’re up to their neck in Scottish nationalist politics and it is very little surprise at all that the country has converted to humanism.

    July 10, 2022 at 8:30 pm
  • Fidelis Reply

    It is utterly depressing to experience life in Scotland right now because it actually is steeped in humanism. It’s everywhere – including in the Church. I know there’s the evidence of a conscientious traditionally minded priest (Fr Dunn) on another thread but he’s the exception to the rule. One swallow doesn’t make a summer. Catholic identity is nowhere to be found. You can get the sacraments in a number of places but sanctity not so much. Human respect as well as humanism is widespread now. Everybody wants to keep their heads down and live their lives in comfort.

    I can’t see this changing until the real consecration of Russia and the revealing of the Third Secret in full. I will say that we should all remember to say the rosary every day. That’s about all we can do now.

    July 11, 2022 at 10:14 am
  • Nicky Reply

    I’m seeing some good and bad news in Flourish, the paper of the archdiocese of Glasgow. The bad news is the front page where the Archbishop of Glasgow is endorsing Pope Francis’s shocking encouragement of public sinners to receive Communion – I don’t see how his words can be interpreted any other way, but in the same paper there’s a report of a Carmelite nun in Fife writing a hymn to encourage more pilgrimages to Carfin.

    To the point of the thread – I definitely think humanism is beating Christianity out of the picture in Scotland and our current Catholic bishops and priests are helping them all the way. When you have weak bishops who don’t discipline the clergy who need disciplining that’s bad enough but when you find out that the bishops are as bad as the priests they’re supposedly in charge of, where is there to go? No wonder more and more people are turning to humanism.

    July 11, 2022 at 1:59 pm
    • RCAVictor Reply


      Despite lurking on this blog for many years, I had never retained the information that the archdiocesan newspaper of Glasgow was called “Flourish.” What rich irony! Shouldn’t it be called “Surrender”?

      July 11, 2022 at 4:24 pm
      • Lily

        LOL! You got me checking Google for antonyms for flourish and I’ve settled on the best one, IMHO, which is “wither” – so both the paper and Glasgow’s motto should be changed. “Let Glasgow Wither” – which is exactly what they’ve done for years now.

        In fact, think about it. The city motto is “Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of Thy word and the praising of Thy name” would have to be changed to “Glasgow has withered due to the lack of preaching of Thy word and the lack of praising of Thy name”!

        It’s quite shocking when you think about it.

        July 11, 2022 at 4:32 pm
      • Bernie


        What you say about Glasgow withering instead of flourishing, is 100% true. It’s very sad. Yes, humanism has overtaken Christianity in Scotland, no question about it. There is just nowhere that stands out as an oasis in the desert of this crisis – nowhere.

        July 12, 2022 at 9:17 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I can’t claim to know anything about humanism in Scotland (or anywhere else), but during my only visit to your fair land in 2008, it was painfully obvious that Scotland had been imbued with socialism. From which I might deduce that humanism is both the breeding ground and the foundation for socialism.

    July 11, 2022 at 4:27 pm
    • Laura Reply

      RCA Victor,

      I’m very interested that you were able to see that Scotland is thoroughly socialist when you were here – it’s even more socialist now. I agree that socialism is very much linked to humanism, and of course, socialism leads to Communism, so I paid a visit to the Fatima Center site earlier to see if there is any update on the Consecration of Russia and found this very interesting article about the prophecies unfolding right at this time. I was especially interested in what it says about the “three days of darkness” – I would be interested to read what others think about these three days of darkness. I find it quite puzzling, really, TBH.

      July 11, 2022 at 11:38 pm
  • Michael Reply


    In all humility, for myself the three days of darkness constitute an opportunity for all of us individually and collectively to re examine ourselves in terms of our sins of commission and omission at an individual and at the corporate level.

    Gods divine light and grace will during this period provide everyone with the opportunity to take stock of the profound reality of sin and it’s effects upon all aspects of human life in this world. Including ones own.

    This period is one of purgation and purification and humility on our part. All of us shall be confronted with the undeniable reality of God as Creator and Sovereign Lord and Master.

    People will then have to decide if they with God or they are not, and subsequently amend their lives accordingly.

    In a sense it’s also an act of Gods mercy and desire for repentance in a profoundly challenging manner to us all. It is an act of love on Gods part to awaken within us who we really are and ultimately to whom we rightly belong to, namely God as his Creation in his image and likeness (imago Dei)

    The remaining elements ie. The great monarch, the Pope etc are God’s reset for the human family to get back on track as it were and move forward in faith, hope and certainty.

    I see it as a positive thing on the part of Gods mercy and desire for ultimate repentance on our part if we are honest, contrite and humble regarding ourselves.

    This period of darkness is rooted in Gods love and mercy in accordance with Divine Law and Judgement, in the desire
    For a genuine human metanoia. God want us in Heaven with Him in the glory of the Angels and saints.

    Lily this is my own humble thoughts and reflections on this matter. I hope this makes some degree of sense on my part.

    Ave Maria!

    Every blessing

    Michael 🙏

    July 12, 2022 at 5:34 am
    • Lily Reply


      I’m very interested in your thoughts on this, as I’ve been finding it hard to get my head round. I think it’s a private revelation but I’m having to think about it a bit more. Something about it doesn’t sit right with me, but your comment is helpful. Thanks.

      July 12, 2022 at 10:57 am
    • Laura Reply


      I am grateful for your comment, but like Lily, I find the three days of darkness revelation quite difficult to believe. I’m working on it, though, LOL!

      I’ve got friends who keep blessed candles in their homes, in preparation but, as Lily puts it, “something about it doesn’t sit right.” I’m not sure what, but, like I say, I’m working on it!

      July 12, 2022 at 11:04 am
  • Josephine Reply

    I thought of this thread when I tuned into GB News earlier today and then again to watch Mark Steyn at 8pm – to my shock it’s now obvious that GB News has been broadcasting from different parts of northern Ireland all day to celebrate the Orange Parades! It’s unbelievable that they would celebrate such a blatantly anti-Catholic bigoted event. I thought of this thread because if it’s true that Scotland is more humanist than Christian, then it’s only fair to say that northern Ireland is more Protestant than Christian! I noticed that the presenters kept talking over the music of the bands so they wouldn’t be broadcasting the hateful comments that we hear on the streets when these parades take place. I can’t believe any TV broadcaster would do this. It’s put me right off GB News.

    July 12, 2022 at 8:25 pm
    • Bernie Reply


      I am stunned!

      July 12, 2022 at 9:15 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      Nothing shocks me now as far as Anti Catholicism is concerned . I happened to pass through this Garbage Hate filled Town many years ago .As i had driven many Miles i and a friend booked into a Bed and Breakfast . The Hole place smelt of Hate and i left the and B.B . ASAP never stayed the night and drove straight to the Ferry.
      OK it was in 1982 not a good year for many reasons ,chief being it was just after Hunger Striker Deaths . Wouldnt go back on a free Holiday to either North or South. But considering i only spent 4 Days in this Hate filled Midden it just reminded me of How Catholics were and are treated.
      Shame on that G.B. lot .

      July 13, 2022 at 6:39 pm
  • Fidelis Reply

    I’m done with Mark Steyn now. This is undisguised anti-Catholicism.

    July 12, 2022 at 9:35 pm
    • Athanasius Reply


      I read Mark Steyn’s Wiki page and it says he was baptised a Catholic, was confirmed in the Anglican communion and is a practicing Baptist. Poor guy, he really doesn’t know what to be!

      I like his style and I like Arlene Foster, but this clearly biased programme celebrating the 12th of July Northern Ireland was a huge mistake. I’ve read also in the past that Nigel Farage is quite anti-Catholic. I suspect his family, with a name like Farage, descends from the French Huguenots of the 16th and 17th century. Sad!

      July 12, 2022 at 10:58 pm
      • Fidelis


        Mark is even wearing orange! It’s incredible. Now that I know his background is so confused, that helps to explain it. I’m off him now, anyway.

        July 12, 2022 at 11:05 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    Speaking of anti-Catholicism….humanism….the Vatican Tower of Babel….:

    July 13, 2022 at 3:03 pm
    • Athanasius Reply


      Who could ever have imagined a Successor of St. Peter addressing youth with suggestions that they live simply and austerely to save the planet. Once upon a time the papal advice was that they embrace simplicity and penance to save their souls, now it’s the planet. I didn’t see a single reference to God or the supernatural in anything Francis said. Once again, we can only lament that a Communist sits upon the Chair of Peter. Maybe someone should tell him that Sacred Scripture instructs us that the Almighty will one day consume the world with fire, at the end of time, and that Our Lord said many times that we should live not for this world but for the next. He’d probably issue an instant excommunication!!

      July 13, 2022 at 4:18 pm
    • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

      Bergoglio talking Garbage again ,but at least He reminded Me to take Pork Steaks out of The Freezer and defrost them ,Gods Spare . For tomorrows dinner.

      July 13, 2022 at 6:45 pm
      • Michaela

        RCA Victor, Athanasius & Faith of our Fathers,

        Surely there must be some good cardinals left in the college, who could be publicly denouncing this awful pope?

        Athanasius hit the nail on the head, any pope should be speaking about saving souls, not the planet! It’s incredible to be living through this period with a shocking pope like Francis.

        I wonder if he’ll be going without his steaks.

        July 13, 2022 at 8:58 pm
      • Athanasius


        The truth is we wouldn’t be living through this awful period, as you rightly call it, had it not been for the Conciliar Popes en masse. The Church was greatly feared by Satan’s minions prior to that fateful Council, it was respected throughout the world, and when the Pope spoke the world listened. After Vatican II, when the Popes switched to embracing rather than condemning Communist-inspired secularism, weakening the truths of the faith in the process, or even burying them, the dark forces saw the breach in the walls and attacked bug time. This was “the smoke of Satan” Paul VI lamented while he wafted the smoke ever-deeper into the citadel. The result of decades of Satanic assault from within we now have Francis, a product of Communist secularism if ever there was one. This Pope needs some very serious prayers for the particular part he has played in betraying the citadel.

        What I’m saying in short is that the Catholic Church is the axis of the world and that axis was seriously skewed with Vatican II. The result is global madness and it will not be cured until the root cause, Modernism in the Church, is eradicated. When that happens, Churchmen will regain their sanity and the world will be restored to some kind of Godly order and peace. Until then, the madness will continue and the Pope will lead it.

        July 13, 2022 at 11:13 pm
      • Michaela


        I do understand that about Francis not being solely responsible, JP II and Benedict also share the blame. However, I can’t believe that there’s not a single cardinal around who is not opposed to what Francis is doing. Surely there has to be one or even a few? Surely they ought to be speaking out, too late to bother about their careers now.

        July 14, 2022 at 5:06 pm
      • Josephine


        I completely agree. Nobody should be silent now, it’s far too late in the day. Only poor Archbishop Vigano is speaking out, nobody else is murmuring a word. If (and it’s a big IF) there are any faithful cardinals left, they need to speak out soon, because now Francis has tried to secure is terrible legacy by appointing women to vet future appointments of bishops – that will be the pro-women’s-ordination females placed in a position where they can control the kind of bishops we get in future. It’s terrifying.

        July 14, 2022 at 5:14 pm
  • Athanasius Reply


    I think there are a number of Cardinals who don’t like Francis and his agenda, some of them even progresives, as they’re called, but not one of them has the strength of character to call him out for his public errors because they know the fury their concerns will be met with. It’s been that way since Vatican II and it confirms the adage: “evil abounds because good men do nothing”.

    July 14, 2022 at 5:20 pm
    • Lily Reply


      You have reminded me that one of the prelates who did speak out, one Archbishop Vigano, had to go into hiding. Is that still the case, do you know, is he still having to stay hidden? How shocking is that, if it’s true, as if there’s a contract out on his life!

      July 14, 2022 at 7:52 pm
      • Michael 🙏

        He remains in hiding in addition to numerous death threats.
        Every blessing
        Michael 🙏

        July 14, 2022 at 7:55 pm
      • Lily


        Thanks – and I know this is probably a very silly question but do you know who is giving out the death threats? Is it stupid liberals or higher-ups in the Vatican?

        July 14, 2022 at 8:38 pm
      • Athanasius


        I see that Michael has kindly answered your question, which is great because I really didn’t know what was happening with Archbishop Vigano.

        July 14, 2022 at 9:05 pm
  • Michael 🙏 Reply

    Vigano himself has indirectly indicated that the threats come from the ‘deep state’ those elements that have infiltrated the ecclesiastical and civil order.
    Gods blessing
    Michael 🙏

    July 14, 2022 at 8:46 pm
    • Lily Reply

      Thanks Michael – that is dreadful, because “deep state” (or I remember he said “deep church” as well) means the Vatican. How shocking is that.

      July 14, 2022 at 10:01 pm
  • Josephine Reply

    I’m a fan of Mother Miriam and she speaks here about Bishop Barron; I’m glad to have my own instinctive opinion about him confirmed by her.

    July 15, 2022 at 9:21 pm

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