Historic agreement between Church of Scotland and Catholic Church in Scotland

May 23, 2022 By Web Editor

A declaration of friendship has been announced between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Scotland.

It has been named the Saint Margaret Declaration, after the 11th Century Scottish Queen venerated for her missionary Christian faith and her kindness and generosity to poor people.

Commissioners at the 2022 Church of Scotland General Assembly gave a ringing endorsement to the historic agreement which had already been approved by the Bishops Conference of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

“Friendship is a very deep relationship, a relationship of conscious and deliberate choice, in which individuality is respected and there is room for disagreement, but a relationship in which we stand alongside one another, support one another, rejoice together and weep together, pray for and with each other, and do things together”, said Rev Alexander Horsburgh, Convener of the Ecumenical Relations Committee at the Church of Scotland: “We are declaring a friendship which already exists, which has existed for a long time, and we want everyone to know about it and understand it. By saying out loud that the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church in Scotland are friends, we contribute to changing, not only the narrative of our churches, but the narrative of our country too. There is no going back.”

Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop and Metropolitan of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Catholic Church in Scotland said:

“The Declaration is also a consciously new approach to ecumenism, an attempt to re-imagine the path of Christian unity.

“Instead of listing our problems and points of friction or grievance, old or new, the Declaration chooses to focus on what we have in common, and to underline that we treasure and hold, together, so much that is inspiring, ancient and profound…

“Do I expect our two old institutions to be perfectly aligned and united any time soon? I suspect that may be a task for another generation. Nevertheless, I believe that by acknowledging all the good that we hold in common, we can walk and pray together as friends, deepen our affective unity, and be a more authentic Christian witness in the land. The rest will come in God’s good time.”

For more details of the Saint Margaret Declaration please see the Church of Scotland website.

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