February 12 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Life, death and the news that brings hope

This week’s editorial leader

There is nothing like a funeral to sharply focus the mind on what is and isn’t important in life. And there is nothing like a Highland funeral to distil matters even further down to their very essence. For, in spite of the grand setting of St Columba’s Cathedral in Oban, the number of bishops and clergy present and the hauntingly beautiful music (courtesy of Fr Michael Hutson) at Bishop Emeritus Ian Murray’s funeral, it was, essentially a moment of returning a son to the Father and a family left mourning: A moment that all Catholic funerals encompass.

No matter whether we are a ‘prince’ or a ‘pauper’ of the Church, we all hope to face that final act of obedience, the call return to God, as Bishop Murray did.

The late bishop inspired generations of his own family, and generations more at the Royal Scots College in Spain, to find and follow the Faith. He supported the priests and parishioners within his diocese and his fellow members of the hierarchy alike. Pray for him.


A sure sign of a pressing news week is when neither the warning of Bishop John Keenan of the threat to healthcare and life, nor the advice of a visiting respected academic on Catholic schools rebuilding Christian society, make the front page. Nonetheless the messages of Bishop Keenan of Paisley at the White Mass for medical professionals (page 5) and the Cardinal Winning lecture by Professor Tracey Rowland (page 4) are important messages to read that the SCO hopes reach their intended audience and even professionals in those fields who are outside the Faith.

Christian values are being marginalised in our society, to the point that traditional family values are being set head-to-head against new and revised laws. Education is key to understanding our Faith and where we stand on issues in our wider world. We must be informed; we must ensure that our children are made aware too.


Oh but if only Pope Francis WOULD visit Scotland! To think, three Papal visit within but a few generations. And while the note to Mario Aguilar of St Andrews University that the Holy Father is considering his invitation to visit this September would be the answers to many prayers, could we be so lucky? Our Pope has shown he can be spontaneous but news that the Pontiff is committed to Year of Mercy events elsewhere at the time of the St Andrews anti-extremism gathering is daunting. Can we but live in hope, even of a satellite link or video message?

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