December 19 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Conscience and education battles rage on

This week’s editorial

Writing this before the Supreme Court rules this week on the conscientious objection to abortion case of Scottish Catholic midwives Mary Doogan and Connie Wood is difficult. It is not clear at this point whether if they will have a cause for greater celebration this Christmas or if this bitter legal battle will rage on.

While it is clear under the right to conscientious objection under the Abortion Act 1967 these women should not be forced to be involved in the abortion process, the gray area around supervising staff who are involved remains.

Who could have imagined when the midwives raised this point in writing with their employers, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, several years ago that common sense and decency would fail to prevail and that these women would be dragged through this legal battle.

We hope and pray for good news before we celebrate the birth of Our Lord on December 25.

One supporter of the midwives’ case, John McCarra, was keeping a 24 hours of fast and prayer for the case while other Catholics gathered for Holy Hour of prayer in St Bridget’s Ballieston, at 7pm on Tuesday night.


One community not celebrating this Christmas is the Catholic families around St Joseph’s Primary School in Milngavie. In spite of a visit by AGAP this week to spread the Christmas spirit through drama, news that the Scottish Government has backed the local council’s decision to close the school—the only Catholic primary in Milngavie—is a blow to the Church and the Catholic community.

The decision, a test case as reported in the SCO, does not speak well of the Scottish Government’s support of the provision of Catholic education either. Parents should not have to battle to keep Catholic education in their local community.

The Catholic Church described the closure of the school to the north of Glasgow as a ‘hammer blow’ to the local community.

Parents from the school have pledged to fight on with the possibility of legal action. Our prayers go with them.


The next copy of the SCO will be in parishes for Christmas but the SCO editor and staff would also like to take this opportunity to wish readers a very happy and Holy Christmas.


Pic: Paul McSherry


Leave a Reply

latest opinions

Faith and forgiveness in the Democratic Republic of Congo

April 17th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Reporter Ryan McDougall explains why we shouldn't forgot about SCIAF's...

The virtue of patience will see us all through

March 30th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

James Bundy finds lessons from the saints for the present...

Rich lessons to be learned from an unsought sabbatical

March 30th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Fr Ronald Rolheiser explains why we must show love to...

We must remember the victory of Easter

March 30th, 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Fr Jim Clarke says it is important that we remember...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Unite in prayer against the virus, Paisley bishop pleads
  • Papal award recognises 60 years of Faithful service
  • Catholic high school leads trend with positive outcomes for pupils
  • New memorials celebrate Croy’s proud mining heritage
  • Top Catholic university rolls out programme in Scotland

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