The Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office –monitoring and influencing the Scottish Parliament

The head of a foreign state arrives in Edinburgh with the Duke

The power and influence of organised religion in the Scottish Parliament and with the Scottish Government is evident in the handling of recent issues raised by secularist groups.

One of the strongest lobbying groups focussed on the Scottish Parliament is the Catholic Parliamentary Office. It employs a staff of four. Its only major defeat in the 15 years of the Scottish Parliament is the same sex marriage legislation. Its website is http://www.rcpolitics.org/index.html

Secularist groups in Scotland are staffed entirely by volunteers. They have made a great impact and they will continue to do so.

Read ‘Parliamentary Focus’ on the front page of its website for the Catholic Parliamentary Office’s view of recent secularist initiatives in the Parliament.

Comment on the feature. The UK state, for historical reasons, does regard the Church of Rome as a potentially hostile foreign power since the monarch cannot is not allowed to be of that faith. No political parties propose to change the relevant laws either in a continuing UK or an independent Scotland.

The hierarchy of priests, bishops and archbishops in the Church are answerable to the head of a foreign state. The Church is an international organisation headquartered in Rome with local paid priestly staff following the decrees of headquarters and with their careers dependent on their superiors as the experiences of exiled former Archbishop of Edinburgh, Keith O’Brien, demonstrate. It has no democratic annual conclave like that more democratic deliberative Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Like all multinationals the organisation may have interests that conflict with local ones.

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