Why anti-Catholicism must be recognised
Publication Date: 2013-01-11
Scotland’s anti-Catholicism problem ‘must be recognised and accepted before progress can be made,’ a spokesman for the Church said this week.
Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, said that open and wide debate on the matter of religious intolerance in Scotland is ‘scandalously… neither encouraged nor facilitated.’
“Scotland has first and foremost a problem with anti-Catholicism,” he said. “This must be recognised and accepted before progress can be made.”
Mr Kearney (above) was speaking after Duncan Morrow, who heads an independent group advising the Scottish Government ministers on how to tackle sectarianism, said that the issue had gone beyond religious bigotry and is characterised by an ‘us and them’ culture, with people defining themselves against others.
“You can’t take religion out of it but certainly it is not just about religion,” Mr Morrow said.
Mr Morrow also highlighted, however, that there ‘is a sense in some circles of an anti-Catholicism, which continues to operate to exclude people.’
The short-life independent advisory group is set to terminate at the end of March, and part of its remit is to ‘develop and analyse a body of empirical evidence to give Scottish Ministers robust and informed advice on the nature, extent and impact of sectarianism on modern Scottish life.’
Mr Kearney said, however, that ‘the jury is out’ on whether or not the initiative will achieve success.
“To succeed, we must accurately define the problem,” he said.
— Peter Kearney’s explains anti-Catholicism in Scotland in the print edition of this week’s SCO, in parishes today.
— This story was reported in full in the January 11 print edition of the SCO