Scotland, The Catholic Church in
SCOTLAND, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN
Great Britain. Scotland is bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the East, and by England and the Irish Sea to the south. The region is divided into the southern uplands bordering England, the central lowlands through which run the Clyde, Tay and Forth rivers, and the Highlands, a rugged, mountainous region that covers most of Scotland. Scotland also encompasses three groups of smaller islands: the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, and the Hebrides. Oil deposits discovered in the North Sea during the mid-20th century boosted the region's traditionally weak economy. In addition to agricultural products such as wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and livestock, Scotland is noted for its fishing and shipbuilding industries and its export of textiles and whisky. Another export, the game of golf, originated in Scotland.
Consistently fighting with England for political independence, Scotland was made a part of Great Britain by the Parliamentary Act of 1707, and the parliaments of the two countries joined. A nationalist movement gained increasing strength during the 1980s and 1990s, and a 1997 vote awarded the region a local parliament with limited autonomy. Elections to the resurrected Scottish Parliament were held in 1999. Despite its incorporation with Great Britain, Scotland retained its own legal system.
The history of the Catholic Church in Scotland is divided into the following four parts: the Celtic Church, 400 to 1070; the medieval period, 1070 to 1560; the Reformation through the restoration of the hierarchy, 1560 to 1878; and the modern Church.
The Celtic Church: 400–1070
Originally occupied by the Picts (from the Latin picti, or "painted people"), Scotland was unsuccessfully invaded from the south by the Romans beginning c. a.d.80. St. Columba would be much more successful, converting the Highland Picts to Christianity in the 6th century. Although the early church in Scotland retained an individualistic Celtic character, with the coming of the Normans c. 1070, it joined the mainstream of Western Christendom.
Early Christianity. Christianity was established in the region by the early 5th century. Its first recorded bishop, St. ninian, or Nynia, was a native Briton who had studied in Rome and then returned to establish his see at whithorn or Candida Casa, Galloway. He was succeeded in southwest Scotland (eventually part of the Anglian kingdom of Strathclyde) by St. kentigern (mungo), founder of the Church at glasgow between 543 and 560, and his friend St. Serf. A new era of evangelization began following the arrival of St. columba from Ireland in 563. Establishing his monastery at iona, he and his companions traversed the lochs and islands to the north, and sought out the Pictish King Brude, whose highland kingdom centered on Inverness. By the end of the century the Gospel had reached the more remote parts of the country.
Ninian and Columba defined the Celtic Church, which was tribal and monastic in organization, placing it in communion with Rome despite its geographical isolation. There were practices in Scotland that differed from those current in Rome, such as its mode of clerical dress and tonsure and, more significantly, its less accurate method of calculating Easter. When Rome's mission to the English (597) reached Scotland, friction was inevitable. In an early effort to resolve these differences, King Oswiu of Northumbria decided, at the synod of whitby (664), to adopt the Roman usages then common to the Western Church. After considerable debate, the community at Iona began to conform. Further progress occurred under adamnan, Abbot of Iona (d. 704), but final settlement waited until 710, when the Pictish King Nechtan decreed Celtic conformity with Roman practices throughout his kingdom and encouraged the development of episcopal sees at Abernethy and elsewhere.
Scandinavian Invasion. During the 8th century, Scotland was far from politically unified. The Pictish kings, whose territory extended from the Firth of Forth north to the river Spey, attempted to impose their suzerainty over the Scottish kings of Dalriada in the west, while the presence of the Strathclyde Britons in the southwest and the Northumbrian Angles in the east prevented any kind of political hegemony. It would be the Scandinavian invasions of the late 8th and 9th centuries that united Picts and Scots into the kingdom of Alban to prevent their complete subjugation. Meanwhile, the Scottish Church suffered severely from the Vikings. Christian settlements in the Shetlands and Orkneys, the western Isles and Iona were sacked and destroyed, their clergy exiled or killed. Some inkling of conditions may be inferred from the remarkable discovery in 1958 of an exquisite silver
hoard of Celtic sacred vessels of the period, which had been hastily secreted, buried in a box under the altar of the church at St. Ninian's Isle, Shetland, prior to one such raid. In consequence of these raids, the primatial see was moved from Iona inland to Dunkeld, whose abbot was the chief bishop (primepscop ) of Alban. About 900 the ecclesiastical capital was thought to have moved to saint andrews, perhaps for political reasons.
While no record remained of the pattern of Church government in Alban during the 9th and 10th centuries, some kind of territorial organization with bishops and secular clergy on the English or Roman pattern likely existed. Yet the old Celtic structure had by no means disintegrated. At Dunkeld, Brechin, and Saint Andrews communities of clergy leading a monastic or eremitical life and known as culdees (Keledei, friends of God) had charge of parish churches, and such groups likely existed
elsewhere. It is reasonable to infer also that as Scotland's political center moved east and south, so did its ecclesiastical one, since the interests of both were bound with England and the Continent. Most importantly, the Viking invasions isolated the Scottish Church from the monastic and secular reforms invigorating the Western Church throughout the 11th century.
Medieval Period: 1070–1560
St. margaret, Queen of Scotland, who married Malcolm III (c. 1070), was responsible for initiating the ecclesiastical changes needed to make the Scottish Church once more an integral part of Western Christendom.
Normanization. By persuading her friend lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, to send a small colony of monks from Christ Church, canterbury, to form the nucleus of her new foundation of Holy Trinity at dun fermline, Margaret introduced the latest Benedictine reforms into Scotland. These monastic reforms were not only constitutional, but were closely linked with a renaissance in architecture, art and classical education. A series of judicious ecclesiastical appointments, such as that of her confessor Thurgot to the bishopric of Saint Andrews, ensured the wide dissemination of these reforms, which were accomplished with a proper regard for Celtic traditions. Characteristically Margaret generously supported Culdee establishments, while encouraging them to abandon liturgical or doctrinal irregularities. Kings Edgar, Alexander I and david i, her sons, continued to implement this policy; David I, particularly, founded many Benedictine, Tironian, Cistercian and Augustinian abbeys, reestablished sees, and reorganized diocesan and parish life on the Roman pattern. At David's death in 1153, the Scottish Church had turned away from its Celtic past and assumed the new direction and character it would retain for the next four centuries. This had disadvantages.
Anglo-Scottish Relations. The increasingly complex political relationship between the Scottish kings and the Norman kings of England encouraged the archbishops of York, and then of Canterbury, to claim metropolitan jurisdiction over the Scottish Church, which lacked a metropolitan. Being governed instead by a provincial synod weakened its plea for independence at the papal Curia. It was not until 1192, when Pope Celestine III, in the bull Cum universi, made the Sees of Aberdeen, Argyll, Brechin, Caithness, Dunblane, Dunkeld, Glasgow, Moray, Ross and Saint Andrews subject directly to Rome, that the matter was settled. The Sees of Orkney and the Isles were made suffragan to the Norwegian archbishopric of trondheim at this time, and Whithorn alone was suffragan to York. Having won their ecclesiastical freedom from the jurisdiction of the two English provinces, during the next two centuries the Scottish hierarchy almost invariably supported the Scottish crown in its struggle for political independence against England. Thus when King Edward I resolved to conquer Scotland after 1296, his most determined opposition came from the Scottish bishops. Their approval, though not their seals, can be seen in the Scottish declaration of independence addressed to Pope john xxii (1320). Not until the 15th century did astute Scottish clerics fully recognize the futility of fratricidal conflict and seek a lasting peace between the two countries. Indeed, the more important embassies to England in the later Middle Ages were led by bishops such as William elphinstone, whose political maturity was often far superior to that of the Scottish baronage, and even to that of the crown. The higher clergy was important in the political formation of Scotland as a nation; it would be again in the country's downfall.
Religious Orders. The rapid expansion of the religious orders in 12th-century Scotland ended within a century. By 1300 almost all the great orders were represented and were actively engaged in the nation's spiritual, cultural and economic life. The mendicant orders, particularly, made a distinct contribution to Scottish spiritual and intellectual life. The dominicans came first, in 1230, at the invitation of King Alexander II, who founded eight
of their 17 houses. The franciscans arrived in 1231 and had five of their eight friaries established before 1300. The carmelites and augustinians entered later, the former establishing 11 houses, the latter one, located at Berwick. The Knights templars had two Scottish houses before their suppression in 1309, and the Knights hospitallers maintained a house at Torphichen. Convents of Cistercian, then Franciscan and Dominican nuns were also established. A new type of nonmonastic foundation also developed in late medieval Scotland: colleges of secular clergy, either parochial or nonparochial, with their own dignitaries similar in pattern to cathedral clergy. Over 40 such establishments existed by the 16th century, most serving parishes, but two with academic foundations: St. Salvator's College, at Saint Andrews (1450) and St. Mary's (later King's) College, at Aberdeen (1505). Two of Scotland's 13 cathedrals were staffed not by secular canons, but by religious orders, the canons regular of st. augustine serving St. Andrews and the premonstratensians serving Whithorn or Candida Casa.
Defects. Despite the country's many religious houses, hospitals, and corporations, the late medieval Scottish Church displayed several disturbing weaknesses. For some of these the clergy alone were not responsible; the Hundred Years' War and the 14th-century rebellions against English rule often isolated religious communities, cutting them off from their motherhouses on the Continent and considerably impoverished them. The black death, which depleted the secular clergy more than the laity, also weakened the parish structure and left gaps that could not rapidly be filled. Moreover, the western schism resulted in widespread demoralization and confusion. For a time Scottish and English clergies gave allegiance to different papal claimants.
However, the Scottish clergy and crown were responsible for some of these deficiencies. To fund overly ambitious building programs, several religious orders and secular corporations began appropriating parish revenues and staffed churches with clergy whose stipends were inadequate to meet rising living costs. As a result, as cathedrals, abbeys and colleges became more opulent, parishes became poorer. While much of this may have been the result of natural economic development in the country, by the 16th century more than half the parish churches had been treated thus. Meanwhile parish priests and university clerks often contested among themselves to hold simultaneously several benefices. More seriously, an indult of Pope Innocent VIII to King James III in 1487 enabling the Scottish crown to choose bishops and abbots allowed the later Stuart kings to indulge in nepotism and other kinds of political and economic opportunism, often to the grave detriment of the Scottish Church. Thus in 1497 James IV secured the Saint Andrews archbishopric for his brother, a layman; and after his brother's death, for his illegitimate son, aged 11. In 1533 James V petitioned Pope Clement VII to fill this metropolitan see and two others with three of his illegitimate children. While some bishops of this period seriously attempted to fulfill their obligations, for the most part the hierarchy lacked theological training and interest in ecclesiastical reform.
It also suffered from rivalries that worked against the unity so urgently needed. When Saint Andrews was raised to archiepiscopal and metropolitan rank (1472), opposition to its primacy was so strong that Innocent VIII thought it prudent to give Glasgow a similar status (1492). The gradual secularization of many religious houses occurred even before their dissolution, while the practice of appointing abbots in commendation meant that many abbots never resided in their monasteries. Frequently the abbot was a layman who, while receiving most of the abbey's income, appointed others to supervise internal monastic affairs. In general, the social gap between prelates and the rank and file of the clergy and religious kept widening. On the other hand the Church still provided most of the nation's culture and education, and its Canon Law often afforded protection when civil law did not. Moreover, a serious attempt to revitalize the Church from within had already begun. The liturgical and pastoral reforms initiated by Elphinstone at Aberdeen were part of a wider effort to restore parish life throughout the country. The humanist interests of an increasing number of secular and religious clergy reflected the intellectual renaissance taking place throughout the Western Church at the time. Unfortunately Scotland's reform program was inadequate and started too late.
The Reformation to the Restoration of the Hierarchy: 1560–1878
The causes of the Scottish Reformation were complex, involving vital political, dynastic and religious issues in close interrelation. James IV had fallen to the English at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513, leaving his infant son James V on the throne and the allegiance of the Scottish baronage and hierarchy divided. Some support went to the proposed regency of the Duke of Albany, a Scot educated entirely in France and therefore tied to the "auld alliance"; others respected the wishes of the dead king in supporting his widow, Margaret Tudor, sister of henry viii of england.
French Sympathies. When after several years of political anarchy James V assumed control, his political sympathies lay with France rather than England. His marriage to the French princess Madeleine (1537), and after her death to Mary of Guise (1538), incurred the political hostility of Henry VIII, then implacably opposed to France. Henry had rejected papal authority in England in 1533. After the premature death of James in 1542, Henry shrewdly encouraged political disaffection among those of the Scottish nobility who were attracted to the new Protestant beliefs and who feared their leaderless country might soon be dominated by Catholic France. These fears were intensified by the political activities of Mary of Guise, who governed Scotland as regent during the minority and absence in France of her daughter mary, Queen of Scots. The Scottish hierarchy, led first by James beaton and later by the able but ill-fated Cardinal David Beaton, lent its full support to the pro-French policies of the regent while at the same time strongly opposing the tide of heresy flooding across the border. In one of its purges it caused noted Scottish Lutheran George wishart to be burned at the stake.
With the death of Henry VIII and the accession of his Catholic daughter, mary tudor, in 1553, the situation steadily deteriorated. Mary's persecution of heretics drove a number of influential English lords northward, while the pro-French policy of Mary of Guise was unpopular with Catholic and Protestant Scottish nobles alike, neither of whom had any desire to attack England at the bidding of either the French king or Pope Paul IV. The already-considerable social unrest throughout Scotland was inflamed further by the sermons and pamphlets of John knox, and events moved rapidly to a climax following Elizabeth I's accession to the English throne in 1558. For political and dynastic reasons, it was vitally important that Elizabeth defeat the French party in Scotland, especially after the death of Henry II of France made his widow, Mary, Queen of Scots, also Queen of France in 1560. It was equally urgent for Elizabeth to encourage the Protestant cause in Scotland. When the Scotch Protestant nobility, known as the lords of the Congregation, appealed for English aid in 1559, she supplied it. The following spring a combined force of English troops and the army of the Congregation entered Edinburgh. In August 1560, shortly after the death of Mary of Guise, an act of the Scottish Parliament abrogated papal authority and ended, after more than 11 centuries, the old Scottish Church.
The return of Mary, Queen of Scots, from France in 1561 and the vicissitudes of her later tempestuous career were an epilogue of the Scottish Reformation. Young, constitutionally isolated from her subjects, and often in considerable danger, she was incapable of reversing the tide of affairs throughout the remainder of her tragic reign. Upon her abdication in 1567 Scotland finally committed to the Protestant cause, but while papal authority was abrogated by an act of Parliament, a means of uniting dissident forces proved elusive. For a long time the reformers were unable to provide a stable system of church government. At first a form of episcopacy existed alongside a Presbyterian organization dominated by Calvinist theology; but in time each party sought a compromise that would satisfy Presbyterians but allow some kind of episcopal or royal control over the Church. Meanwhile Catholicism was proscribed and the old hierarchy disbanded or worse. While most of its members abjured their faith, John Hamilton, Archbishop of Saint Andrews, was executed in 1571; James Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow, fled to France and was declared an outlaw by the Privy Council in 1574. Some in the secular clergy and religious orders defected; others were pensioned, or settled abroad. There was considerable vandalism and destruction of church buildings and furnishings, in which a notable proportion of the nation's artistic heritage perished. In 1587 the crown annexed all lands and revenues owned by bishoprics and abbeys, most of which were erected into temporal lordships for the Scottish nobility. The universities at Saint Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen were reformed and reorganized, and a fourth was endowed at Edinburgh in 1582 with funds appropriated from the sale of Church lands (see reformation, protestant, in the british isles.)
Scottish Mission. From the first, the Counter Reformation made little headway in Scotland. While a small number of Scottish secular priests, trained at Paris or Douai, returned as missionaries and with the help of a few Jesuits succeeded in winning back several powerful nobles in the north, the movement was essentially an underground one with little chance of large-scale success. The crown's attitude toward Catholicism after Elizabeth's death in 1603, was ambivalent. Although sympathetic to Catholics, James VI, as king of both Scotland and England, had good cause to fear a Catholic insurrection, especially after the Spanish threat to England. At the same time the Protestant nobility in both countries watched vigilantly for the slightest sign of royal support for Catholics. James's reign saw much religious uncertainty and anarchy, and several periods of persecution occurred, during one of which the Jesuit priest John ogilvie was hanged in Glasgow (1615). The popes lacked reliable information about Scotland, were preoccupied with France, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, and were in any event unable to supply positive assistance.
The establishment of the Congregation for the propagation of the faith (Propaganda) in 1622 resulted in a more enlightened and realistic Roman policy toward countries severed from Catholic unity. Missionaries were now expected to concentrate solely on pastoral work and to avoid all political activity; Propaganda would assume responsibility for their financial support. When the Scottish Catholic secular clergy incorporated in 1653 as a missionary body, with William Ballantyne as prefect apostolic, a new era began. Now properly organized, the Scots colleges in Rome and Madrid (later transferred to Valladolid) were able to add their quota of seminary priests to those trained in Paris and Douai. Irish Franciscans began working in the Gaelic-speaking islands and Highlands with some success, despite physical difficulties and irregular financial assistance. Jesuits and Benedictines also labored throughout the country. The progress made by this quiet conversion became evident when in 1694 the prefecture was raised to a vicariate apostolic, with Bishop Thomas Nicholson as the first vicar. In 1731 the country was divided into two ecclesiastical districts, the highland, or Gaelic-speaking, area in the west and north, and the lowland, or non-Gaelic, area east of the highland line.
Development of Seminaries. While the need for a Catholic seminary in each district was now imperative, the project was considered hazardous because the struggle between Episcopalianism and Presbyterianism had been resolved. When Charles I (1625–49) attempted to introduce into Scotland a new prayer book and liturgy more closely conforming with Anglican doctrines, it brought a sharp reaction from Presbyterians and united them with the English Puritans under Cromwell. Both Catholicism and Episcopalianism were proscribed, and the Scottish penal laws were harshly enforced, particularly after the Scottish Parliament ratified the Presbyterian system of church government (1690). Moreover, the revolution of 1688 that prompted the abdication of James VII (II of England) because of his Catholic sympathies, resulted in a government alert to the possibility of a Catholic uprising. Revolts materialized in 1715 and 1745, when many Catholics allied themselves to the Stuart cause. It was essential, then, to locate the seminaries in remote spots that, while providing basic training to Scottish missionaries, could also serve as bases or retreats for the vicars apostolic.
Not until 1717, after an abortive attempt in Loch Morar in western Inverness-shire, did Bishop James Gordon found a lowland seminary at Scalan, in a small, dry stone, turfed hut. There the first of the many "heather" priests were trained and ordained. In 1738, when the number of students had increased to ten, Bishop Gordon replaced this building with a larger and more permanent one nearby. When he died in 1746, his seminary seemed firmly established, but within a year, following the disastrous failure of Prince Charles's uprising (1745), Scalan was reduced to a burnt-out ruin. Within four years the students were in residence again.
Meanwhile, Bishop Hugh Macdonald of the highland district had founded a seminary in remote Arisaig— later moved to Glenfinnan, thence to Buorblach, to Samalaman and finally to Lismore. As in Scalan, the course of study included Latin and Greek, some history, and a good grounding in philosophy and theology. A meager supply of books came mostly from the Continent, as opportunity permitted.
Ironically, it was the final defeat of the Stuart cause that brought relief to the hard-pressed vicars apostolic, and freedom from molestation for the seminaries. From 1759 the bishops of the highland and lowland districts worked confidently toward Catholic emancipation from penal laws, the first phase of which came with the passing of the Catholic Relief Bill in 1793. The French Revolution brought further toleration, as after 1793 the British government offered domicile to priests, nuns and others exiled from France. The closing of the Scots colleges at Douai and Paris also increased the need for a larger Scottish native seminary. The students from Scalan were transferred to Aquhorties in 1797, and then to Blairs College, Aberdeen, in 1829, where the highland students from Lismore joined them. The closing of Scalan and Lismore ended an era. In the course of eight decades they had contributed to the training of over 100 priests. While the concurrent isolated missionary labors of Benedictines, Jesuits, and other religious had been useful, the contribution of the heather priests far surpassed these.
Catholic Growth. Great social and economic changes occurred in Scotland and Ireland from the late 18th to the mid-19th century that reversed the trend of a steadily declining Catholic population and radically altered the demographic pattern of the Scottish Church. Mass immigrations of Catholics to Canada occurred before 1800 as a result of the failure of the Jacobite rebellions and the Highland clearances—the large-scale evictions of rural crofters, ostensibly for economic reasons—both of which principally affected Catholics. On the other hand, the collapse of the Irish rebellion in 1798 sparked a large migration of Irish Catholics to southwestern Scotland, particularly to the Glasgow area. In 1800 Scotland had an estimated 30,000 Catholics; by 1827, the year three vicariates for the eastern, western, and northern districts were created, it had 70,000, of whom 25,000 lived in the Glasgow region. Another sharp increase would follow the Irish famine, and in 1851 Catholics totaled 145,860, or five percent, of the entire population of Scotland. By the late 1870s that figure had more than doubled.
Restoration of the Hierarchy. Inevitably problems and frictions accompanied such rapid Catholic expansion. Led by their own priests during the early wave of immigration, the Irish formed, at least for a time, an enclave that was not readily absorbed into Scottish Catholic life. In addition to religious differences, poverty, and overcrowding, the resultant outbreaks of cholera and typhoid created a stressful situation. New churches and schools were needed and funds required to raise them. Religious intolerance and outbursts of sectarian violence were not uncommon. By 1861 a thorough ecclesiastical reorganization became imperative to accommodate the greatly enlarged Catholic population and the shift in its strength from the northeast and the Enzie to the southwest. Leo XIII restored the hierarchy in his letter Ex supremo apostolatus apice (March 4, 1878), making Saint Andrews and Edinburgh again a metropolitan see, with four suffragans. The Archdiocese of Glasgow was subjected directly to the Holy See; in 1947 it would become Scotland's second metropolitan see, with two suffragans.
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The Modern Church
Following the Reformation, Catholicism became a minority religion in Scotland, and often a proscribed one as well. Presbyterians eventually came to regard Catholicism as a foreign importation, leaving many Scottish Catholics defensive about their faith. However, the experience of World War II in particular, which brought many Catholic refugees and prisoners of war to Scotland; the all-pervasive influence of radio and television; the greatly increased opportunities for foreign travel; and above all, the nation's higher educational level eventually widened the religious horizons of most Scots, lowered sectarian barriers, and decreased public manifestations of religious bigotry. Following the pontificate of John XXIII, relations among the Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland, and other religious bodies became more amicable, and cooperation in matters of social welfare increased. The laity, too, displayed evidence of solid devotion, an increased interest in liturgical developments, and a critical awareness of events throughout the Church and the world. Still, allegations of discrimination against Catholics surfaced as late as 2000, prompting the Scottish Parliament to form an "equalities unit" to investigate such claims. While the Church of Scotland professed anti Catholic bigotry among Protestants to be a thing of the past, its own efforts to require Presbyterian rather than more broadly Christian invocations be used to opening the nation's parliament in 1999 echoed the historic relationship between these two faiths.
Catholic Education. Unlike the public schools that were open to all and maintained by local and national governments, Catholic schools were supported entirely by the voluntary contributions of the faithful until 1918, when the Scottish Education Act provided that local education authorities accept full financial responsibility for all voluntary schools in their area. The Act was a landmark in the development of the Catholic community in Scotland because it secured the freedom of religious education while bringing Catholic schools within the state system of education without incurring financial burdens. Somewhat ironically, by 2000 one negative aftershock from the Act was felt as Scotland's teacher's union cited discrimination in initiating a legal battle to end the Catholic school tradition of employing only Catholic teachers. However, from the late 1960s the government policy of comprehensive education that sought to offer every student a similar quality of education, combined with the raising of the school-leaving age from 15 to 16 years in 1972, allowed Catholics to participate fully in the country's educational renaissance, opening many public schools on the primary and secondary levels, and a number of excellent colleges run by religious orders, all supported by local and national public funds. Private Catholic schools charging tuition also existed, adding to the increasing number of Catholic university graduates that went on to participate in Scottish public life and letters during the 20th century. The success of Catholic schools played a crucial role in building a Catholic middle class and integrating Catholicism into the cultural life of Scotland.
Religious orders contributed significantly to the Church's involvement in the life of the nation by their commitment to education in private schools and secondary schools, in chaplaincies at Scottish universities, and in colleges for educating teachers. However, during the late 20th century, as schools throughout Scotland faced rising costs of building, staffing, and maintaining their campuses, the presence of religious in secondary education diminished dramatically, leaving only one Catholic college of education in Scotland, St. Andrew's College in Glasgow. It was funded by the state to prepare all Catholic teachers for Catholic schools in Scotland, a substantial responsibility given the large number of Catholic primary and secondary schools.
Intellectual Life. Among the journals and newspapers devoted to Catholicism was the Innes Review, a journal named after Thomas Innes (1662–1744) that was published semi-annually by the Scottish Catholic Historical Committee. The Scottish Catholic Observer, a newspaper, focused on more parochial concerns. Library resources included collections on Catholicism at St. Andrew's College of Education and at the national seminary in Glasgow, as well as historical resources in Edinburgh at the Scottish Catholic Archives, Columba House, and in the National Library of Scotland. Extensive divinity collections were also housed at libraries of the universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and St. Andrew's.
A significant phenomenon in the life of the Church in Scotland after Vatican II was the translation of the Sunday liturgies and lectionary readings into Scots Gaelic. This accomplishment brought significant cultural enhancement to the celebration of weekly worship, especially in the parishes of Argyll and the Isles.
Governance. The Scottish Bishop's Conference had its roots in the principle of collegiality that permeated Vatican II. Of the conference's various agencies, the work of the Glasgow-based Scottish Catholic Tribunal achieved the most significant growth, dealing as it did with requests for the dissolution of the bond of marriage and declarations of nullity. The collegiality of the Bishops' Conference also inspired many pastoral letters, some receiving international recognition. After Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae vitae in July of 1968, the Scottish bishops published a letter in support of the encyclical, confirming the papal teaching and insisting that papal authority on artificial contraception could not be overridden by the primacy of individual conscience. In 1982 the conference published the pastoral letter Disarmament and Peace. Considered among their most important, the letter condemned nuclear war and nuclear deterrence as immoral. While their stance was acclaimed widely within Great Britain, it received a lukewarm reception at a meeting of bishops called by the Vatican. It was the first time in modern history that Scottish bishops ventured beyond Rome's teaching with regard to a controversial moral concern. In 1990, the Scottish Bishops' Conference published the pastoral letter A Challenge for the '90s, implementing Pope John Paul II's call for a decade of evangelization.
Ecumenism. Catholicism remained a minority religion in Scotland, where the Protestant majority was divided between the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Anglican, Episcopalian and other denominations. After the Vatican published the Ecumenical Directory, Part I in 1967, the National Ecumenical Commission was established in Scotland, and was renamed the Commission for Christian Unity in 1977. In 1969 two official Catholic "observers" attended meetings of the Scottish Churches' Council, and after 1966 similar participation was made in the British Council of Churches. In 1968 the Church of Scotland invited the Catholic hierarchy to send a visitor, the first attending in 1969 with the status changed to delegate in 1991. In 1968 the Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church began an ongoing dialogue, generating such reports as The Nature of Baptism and Its Place in the Life of the Church (1969), The Ecclesial Nature of the Eucharist (1973), and Priesthood and the Eucharist (1979). In 1974 the Joint Commission on Christian Marriage was set up between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church, marking the first official talks between them since the Reformation, and by the following year a joint (but not agreed) statement on the doctrine and discipline of marriage was completed. A Joint Commission on Doctrine was also organized. In 1990 an ecumenical breakthrough occurred when the Catholic Church agreed to became a full member of two national ecumenical bodies: the Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland (CCBI) and the Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS). ACTS was launched echoing the words of Pope John Paul II on his 1982 visit to Scotland: "We are strangers no longer but pilgrims together on the way to Christ's Kingdom." Replacing the Scottish Churches' Council, ACTS consisted of nine churches committed to working together.
Religious Life. While corporate religious life ended following the Reformation, by the restoration of the hierarchy in 1878 there were 15 houses for men's orders and 24 houses for women's orders, with considerable expansion thereafter. Despite the improved standing of the Church within Scottish society, there was a statistical decline in many aspects of Catholic religious life during the late 20th century. Between 1965 and 2000 the number of major seminarians declined from 159 to 56. Because of the substantial decline in vocations in Scotland, in the 1990s seminaries and other centers of learning were forced to either consolidate or close. Between 1965 and 2000, the number of diocesan priests decreased by more than a third, from 1,021 to 677 (including religious, the total number of priests declined from 1,309 to 847). Although the Catholic population also decreased slightly— from 826,000 to approximately 760,000—Catholic baptisms and marriages more or less halved in number. Because of changing demographics, the number of parishes increased from 421 to 459, but fiscal management necessitated the closure and amalgamation of many. Similar ratios of decline occurred in the other denominations in Scotland.
Voice of Moral Leadership. In 1994 Glasgow Archbishop Thomas Joseph Winning (1925–2001) became the third Scottish cardinal since the Reformation. Winning remained an outspoken, and even controversial, advocate of traditional Catholic values, and he was tireless in keeping alive public debate on such social issues as declining moral values, abortion, human cloning, sex education in the schools, and institutional racism. By the 1990s Scotland had the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the United Kingdom, a situation prompting the Scottish Health Ministry to dispense more birth control. Winning responded by noting that "Family life in Scotland is under attack from many quarters," and that "government should be attempting to support it, not undermine it with… clinics which effectively promote immorality." Pressure also mounted to liberalize abortion laws. In response to this movement, which culminated in the opening of the first abortion clinic in Scotland in 2000, Winning began a pro-life initiative that offered financial and emotional support for pregnant women. And in March of 2001 he achieved a significant victory when his advocacy of teaching core values in the schools resulted in the passage of a law ordering all Scottish schools to instruct students in the vital role marriage and parenthood play within the family. The law was passed at the end of a heated debate over the repeal of Section 28, a law banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools, during which Winning fought tirelessly for preserving the ban. In support of Winning's position on this issue, Scotland's bishops issued a message stating: "We pray we can build a Scotland of justice for all, free of bigotry and intolerance but ever mindful of God's law and morality."
Bibliography: b. aspinall, "The Formation of the Catholic Community in the West of Scotland," Innes Review 33 (1982) 44–57. Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, ed. n. m. de s. cameron (Edinburgh 1993). Catholic Directory for Scotland (Glasgow 1829–). j. darragh, The Catholic Hierarchy in Scotland. A Biographical List, 1653–1985 (Glasgow 1985). m. dilworth, "Roman Catholic Worship," in Studies in the History of Worship in Scotland, ed. d. b. forrester and d. m. murray (Edinburgh 1984) 113–31. g. donaldson, "Into a Secular Age?," in The Faith of the Scots (London 1990), 138–147. t. gallagher, Glasgow: The Uneasy Peace. Religious Tensions in Modern Scotland (Manchester 1987); Edinburgh Divided (Edinburgh 1987). c. johnson, Scottish Catholic Secular Clergy 1879–1989 (Edinburgh 1991). Modern Scottish Catholicism, ed. d. mcroberts (Glasgow 1979). m. t. r. b. turnbull, Cardinal Gordon Joseph Gray. A Biography (Edinburgh 1994). Annuario Pontificio has latest data annually on all dioceses.
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"Scotland, The Catholic Church in." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/scotland-catholic-church