October 25 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


The only way forward: being true channels of peace

This week’s editorial leader

What a damaged and distressing world we live in when a senior Catholic patriarch’s willingness to give up his life for peace is not only understood but commended. In the literal sense, Syrian Patriarch Gregorius III was this week expressing to Scottish Catholics his willingness to go back to Syria and work at reconciliation in spite of the violence and religious persecution there. On another level, he was dedicating his life to the peace process in his own country and in the wider Middle Eastern region during Aid to the Church in Need’s launch of its latest Persecuted and Forgotten? report. This report reveals that over the past two years, the persecution of Christians has worsened in 20 nations.

SCO editor Liz Leydon, who has just returned from pilgrimage to the Holy Land, reports this week on being deeply moved by the experience—on both religious and humanitarians levels. To see people of different faiths and ethnicities divided in what should be a truly spiritually unifying part of the world is heart-breaking if not soul-destroying. Politics aside, to see Christians and Muslims on the other side of walls from their Jewish ‘older brothers,’ as Archbishop Philip Tartaglia put it, is tragic.

Jesus brought Christians ‘a new Passover’ in the Eucharist but we share a common heritage with the Jewish community, and Marian and other ties with the Islamic community.

Last week, Pope Francis greeted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Rome with Bethlehem’s first female mayor Vera Baboun, who Scottish pilgrims met this month, in the Holy Land, and presented gifts including a pen that the president said he hoped ‘to sign the peace agreement with Israel with.’

Confusion over a possible meeting in Rome on Wednesday between the Holy Father and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must not be allowed to cloud or delay in anyway the reinstatement of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.

While the Middle East may seem far away from our own daily lives and problems, we must pray for our persecuted and troubled brothers and sisters, support them in any way we can through aid and raising awareness, and let them know we stand with them for peace.

We have just marked Mission Sunday in many Scottish parishes to support the work of the Church in the developing world. If only we could let peace be part of our mission from now on as a community, supporting peace efforts by our Universal Church and making peace the building blocks of our own family and professional lives.




Leave a Reply

latest opinions

Thank God for the daily Mass-goers

May 24th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Those who attend Mass through the week are an invaluable...

Half-baked reality of two-income families myth

May 24th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Brandon McGinley’s Letter from America finds contradictions in the social...

Politics is in trouble and as Christians this must concern us deeply

May 17th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Dr Robert Doherty says gifted Catholic women and men are...

The statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen that holds a remarkable story of survival and Faith

May 17th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

As the statue of Our Lady of Aberdeen continues its...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • New headteachers’ chair looks to build on success
  • Sisters’ work hlping the poor celebrated on 50th
  • 125 years of the sisters of St Peter Claver
  • Tower of Babel still casts a long shadow, by Dr Harry Schnitker
  • Amen for Scotland’s newest deacon

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