BY Ian Dunn | August 11 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

12-THOMSON

Lecture on equality from millionaire banker rings false

This week’s editorial leader - BY IAN DUNN

Let us be clear—the Catholic Church should have more women in leadership roles. Barbara Coupar at the Scottish Catholic Education Service, Tina Campbell at the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service and Ann Tierney, the chancellor of Galloway Diocese, should be followed by others.

There are huge numbers of women in the Church whose skills have been under-utilised. That needs to change. Archbishop Leo Cushley’s announcement that St Andrews & Edinburgh will be stripping down its curia, handing authority back to parishes, will hopefully see many women in laity making vital choices about the future of their parishes. This is all to the good. What is not required is millionaire quango chiefs pestering the Scottish Government into legislating for female priests and imams.

Ben Thomson, the millionaire investment banker and head of Creative Scotland, said he wanted to spark a debate but all he really did was expose the profound ignorance of the Scottish elite, the wealthy quangocracy who look out for each other, appoint one another to a merry-go-round of board positions and never dare contemplate an idea that squeaks a fraction of a millimetre away from the doctrine of social liberalism.

What particularly grates is Mr Thompson’s comments on Catholics and Muslims being ‘truly assimilated’ into Scottish life. There’s been a significant Catholic population in Scotland for 150 years—not quite long enough, in Mr Thompson’s view, to be considered Scottish. Far more Scottish, in his view, is to rack up a huge fortune in the banking industry which nearly destroyed our economy and then swan about telling other people how to live their life.

For what Mr Thomson is effectively calling for is state control of religion. He wishes the state to have control over who can serve as a minister of religion. As MSP John Mason muses, plenty of his ­colleagues at the Scottish Parliament will secretly agree with Mr Thompson. Archbishop Philip Tartaglia’s warning that the Catholic Church in Scotland should expect ‘rough treatment’ in the years to come seems more prescient with each day that passes.

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