BY Ian Dunn | April 27 2012 | comments icon 2 COMMENTS     print icon print


‘On fire with indignation’

— Cardinal O’Brien urges Catholics not to be intimidated by persecution

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland has called on Catholics to become ‘obsessed’ with defending their Christian values in a time of increasing ‘persecution,’ such as the backlash over the Church’s defence of marriage.

Speaking to the Knights of St Columba annual business meeting in Clydebank on Saturday, Cardinal Keith O’Brien praised the members of the lay Catholic group as fine examples of ‘what being a Christian is all about.’

He specifically cited their planned weekend of witness ‘in defence of Christian values’ that will take place at parishes across Scotland and the rest of the UK, beginning today.

Under attack

Cardinal O’Brien said that bold action was vital at a time when Church leaders and other Christians were facing ‘verbal attacks and other attacks’ for their position on issues that challenge Christian values, such as same-sex ‘marriage.’

The cardinal also highlighted that the defence of marriage was just one of the many issues that Catholics had to give their full attention to.

“I am not obsessed about same-sex ‘marriage;’ I am on fire with indignation, as I am about poverty in our own country,” he said. “I hear about bankers’ bonuses and all these sorts of things seem to have crept back again, somehow or other, after all the furore just a short time ago about them.

“I am obsessed about poverty; I am obsessed about sectarianism and so on and so forth. We have got to be, as Christians, obsessed about these things and we have got to work together on them to try to do something about them.”

Allies on difficult path

Broad shoulders, the cardinal suggested, are something all Christians should try and develop.

“You have to be thick-skinned,” he said. “And I have to say to you that if you are aware that you are teaching the truth and are prepared to stand up and be counted and put your head above the parapet, often there will be attempts to chop it off.”

However, he also said that despite these attacks Christians would find allies in unexpected places.

The cardinal said he had been ‘most impressed’ with the way the Glasgow Knights of St Columba’s recent campaign against same-sex ‘marriage’ had been backed by local Muslims.

The Scottish Muslim community has been increasingly vocal about its opposition to same-sex ‘marriage’ and this week a group of Glasgow Imams urged Muslims not to vote for any candidate in next week’s council elections who endorsed any redefinition of marriage.


— Additional reporting, Tom Knight

Comments - 2 Responses

  1. Peter Lee G/K Cl 356 says:

    How is it that it is always the Cardinal in Scotland who speaks out for the Catholic church?

  2. hugh davey says:

    i thank god that the cardinal speaks out for us ——–THE CHURCH——–too many catholics wont speak out including those in higher places’ we should be prepared to stand up and be counted . remember ST THOMAS MORE a man in high places he put the law of GOD before man made laws of the state.we all need to speak out for MARRIAGE and the RIGHT TO LIFE. i visited my MP recently he is a farmer, i asked him what it felt like when he was lambing and he had to help out an unborn lamb [he had told me he had a long arm for lambing] i then asked him if he had seen an aborted child .. he was taken aback by what i asked. i suggested he looked in to this because i believe he hadnt a clue of of some of the ways of ABORTING; GOD BLESS and KEEP THE FAITH

Leave a Reply

previous lead stories

Secular group accused of encouraging truancy

October 14th, 2016 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Church says Scottish Humanist Society ‘undermining teachers’ authority’...

Join us in helping those with dementia

October 7th, 2016 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Bishop John Keenan backs SCO and Alzheimer Scotland campaign to...

Action needed to combat funeral ‘debt and distress’

September 30th, 2016 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Churches call for more to be done to tackle rising...

Scots Catholics join Pope in call to help refugees

September 23rd, 2016 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Welcome refugees into your homes, Pope says, as Scots give...

Social media

Latest edition

P1 OCT 21b

exclusively in the paper


  • A powerful report from Missio’s work with disabled children in Kenya on Mission Sunday
  • The launch of new feature, the bow in the Heavens, a parish diary from Fr Joseph Bollan
  • Stunning Pictures from the re opening Mass of St Columbkille’s, Rutherglen after lengthy renovations
  • The story of a new charity that offers refuge to bereaved parents
  • More tributes to the late Bishop John Mone

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO