February 20 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Working together for the good of our Church and society


It is not often that Pope Francis’ comments on Scotland would have such competition for the SCO’s front page. Yet this week the Pope’s own words of wisdom on love to his newly elevated cardinals, coupled with Scotland’s newest bishop’s insight into bringing the Good News of Christ, were also in the running.

Galloway’s, and Scotland’s, welcome to Bishop William Nolan was warm and genuine on Saturday at his Episcopal Ordination in Kilmarnock. Although ill health prevented his predecessor Bishop John Cunningham from handing over the mitre and crosier in person, Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh and Galloway Bishop Emeritus Maurice Taylor were there to warmly welcome the newly-ordained bishop in the presence of Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic nuncio to Great Britain.

An Episcopal Ordination is always a time of great joy and the parishioners of Galloway have indeed been rewarded for their patience with the ordination of Bishop Nolan, who aims to follow in the footsteps of St Ninian.

Nonetheless, Pope Francis’ comments during his meeting this week with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland on our country on being a shining example to the world of different denominations and faiths working in harmony was praise indeed. Looking beyond the secularisation of our society, and the historic issue of sectarianism, to see the good of ecumenical and interfaith co-operation is a compliment indeed from the Holy Father, but a compliment we must live up to in Scotland.

And while many of us drowned in the store-bought sentiment of romantic love on February 14, Pope Francis told the 20 new cardinals he created on St Valentine’s Day that their first responsibility was to serve the Church with love.

The patience Christian love calls for, he said ‘means being able to love without limits.’

“It means loving what is great without neglecting what is small,” the Holy Father added.

And, according to SCO columnist Kevin McKenna and Peter Kearney this week, the love and protection of life from conception from the dangers of scientific and medical ‘advances’—such as three-parent embryos and assisted suicide—is needed now more than ever. There are real moral, ethical and legal dangers in crossing these lines which our politicians must be made aware of by our Christian leaders, and those of other religions.


Pic: Paul McSherry

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