BY Ian Dunn | May 30 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Christianity should guide politicians, Scottish MSPs are told

Bishop Joseph Toal of Argyll and the Isles told the Scottish Parliament that Christianity should still provide guidance to politicians.

While giving the Time for Reflection address on Tuesday, the Bishop-elect of Motherwell told the Parliament that he hoped the words of the Gospel would ‘continue to touch the hearts and minds of MSPs today, the Scottish politicians of today, and so will continue to be recognised and valued as a precious element in the future development and growth of Scotland.’

The bishop also spoke about his own spiritual journey as he prepares ‘to move from the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles to become Bishop of Motherwell’ on June 23 and has ‘been bidding farewell to friends and places around the West Highlands and Islands.’

“There is sadness in doing so and some nostalgia for what I leave behind,” he said. “It was good to spend a Sunday on Iona recently as I have found it a haven of peace and prayerful reflection in my time as bishop…. It is always good to arrive there and experience its special atmosphere and the rich Christian heritage from the time of St Columba and his monks to the modern Christian presence in the local community and pilgrim visitors.”

The bishop said Iona still attracted visitors from all over the world who were drawn to Scotland’s Christian heritage, last year to marking the 1450th anniversary of St Columba’s arrival on Iona.

Bishop Toal reminded today’s politicians that in the ‘Celtic monastic period the local princes and politicians, from Scotland and beyond, sought the counsel of the monks of Iona, perhaps seeking God’s guidance in prayer and in the Holy Scriptures, so lovingly transcribed in the beautiful illuminated manuscripts.’

He said that he hoped those listening would follow their forebears example.


—Pic: Paul McSherry

—This story ran in full in the May 30 edition print of the SCO, available in parishes.




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