Religious freedom is ‘a guarantor of good governance’
Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow has congratulated those newly elected MSPs ‘who have won the confidence of the electorate,’ but told them that they have a duty to respect religious freedoms.
Archbishop Conti gave the homily last night at the traditional Kirking of the Parliament at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. In the presence of in the presence of His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex , the archbishop offered a warm welcome to all the new MSPs but also advised them to be mindful of Jesus’ teachings.
The archbishop said he was ‘hugely conscious of the privilege’ he had in addressing the assembled MSPs and that he wished to express ‘universal congratulations to you who have won the confidence of the electorate, and are, in a sense, dedicating yourselves this evening, in this historic place, to the service of the nation.’
He went on to remind those assembled that ‘almost 70 per cent of Scots considered themselves to be Christian,’ at the last census, that religious freedom is ‘a guarantor of good governance,’ and that the amount of resources Churches put into the local communities could not be understated.
The Kirking of the Parliament is a multi-faith service that takes place to mark the opening of each Scottish Parliament.
The Very Reverend Gilleasbuig Macmillan, who led the kirking ceremonies in 1999, 2003 and 2007, again led the service this year.
Archbishop Conti closed his homily at the kirking by recalling last year’s Papal visit to Scotland, and praised all those involved for their efforts to ensure it was such a success.
“I do know is that from all accounts he was greatly moved by the reception he received last year in Scotland,” he told the MSPs.
“Allow me to register to you who represent our people, the deepest appreciation of the Catholic community and its friends in the other churches and throughout Scottish society, for the welcome given to Pope Benedict XVI to our precious land on a beautiful and unforgettable September day.”
—To read Archbishop Conti’s message in full visit http://www.sconews.co.uk/opinion/archbishop-conti-kirking-parliament/