BY SCO Admin | December 24 | comments icon 1 COMMENT     print icon print


Fresh anti-Catholic e-mail claims may further damage the SFA

A second anti-Catholic e-mail scandal may this week rock the Scottish Football Association.

The SFA drew stern criticism from the Church earlier this month after earlier allegations that a number of offensive e-mail about the Pope had been sent on from its offices. Five members of staff were fired, including the head of referee development Hugh Dallas (far right).

The five are now set to appeal their dismissal, and a Scottish Sunday newspaper has reported that the basis of their appeal is evidence of further anti-Catholic e-mails being spent by many members of the organisation. They say that a video depicting a young boy protecting himself with a ‘priest repellent spray was circulated by senior staff.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church said it was vital that the SFA was consistent in its treatment of bigotry.

“It’s important that an employer who has an acceptable use policy applies it consistently,” he said.  You can’t have one rule for one group and a different rule for others.”

Peter Kearney (above main), director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, was widely lauded for penning a newspaper article this month in response to the furore following the first allegations of e-mails within the Scottish Football Association mocking Pope Benedict XVI on the day of the Papal visit in September.

Mr Kearney said the reaction to his request for an SFA investigation had revealed the ‘deep and wide layer of anti-Catholicism’ that exists in Scotland.

Composer James MacMillan and Michael McGrath, the head of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, were among those who have followed Mr Kearney’s lead in expressing their disgust at the anti-Catholicism in Scotland today, as did a senior member of the Church of Scotland.

Last week, when speaking at the annual Carol Service for Christians in Government at Westminster Cathedral, London, Cardinal Keith O’Brien said: “In Scotland Catholics have raised their voices against sectarianism and intolerance directed against the Church. Clearly, these actions show that freedom of religious expression, a basic human right, is not upheld in our midst as widely and as completely as it should be.”

Comments - One Response

  1. Religious tolerance is an intrinsic part of freedom and democracy. Can those who hate the Catholic Church in the UK honestly say that there is nothing to be ashamed of in their own past or in the way in which their religious group started off?

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