Roman Catholic Church in Scotland

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Religion in Scotland

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Church of Scotland
Roman Catholic Church
Associated Presbyterian Churches
Free Church of Scotland
Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Scottish Episcopal Church
Action of Churches Together in Scotland
Scottish Reformation
History of the Jews in Scotland

The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland describes the organisation of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church in the geographic area of Scotland, distinct from the Catholic Church in England & Wales and the Catholic Church in Ireland.

In the 2001 census about 16% of the population of Scotland described themselves as being Roman Catholic, compared with 42% claiming affiliation to the Church of Scotland.[1]

One of the issues it has had to face is sectarianism, though this is now largely restricted to education and football in parts of the Central Belt, especially in the west, or to spillovers from Northern Ireland.


[edit] History

Christianity probably came to Scotland around the second century, and was firmly established by the sixth and seventh centuries. However, until the eleventh century, the relationship between the Church in Scotland and the Papacy is ambiguous. The Scottish 'Celtic' Church had marked liturgical and ecclesiological differences from the rest of Western Christendom. Some of these were resolved at the end of the seventh century following the Synod of Whitby and St Columba's withdrawal to Iona, however, it was not until the ecclessiastical reforms of the eleventh century that the Scottish Church became an integral part of the Roman communion.

That remained the picture until the Reformation in the early sixteen century, when the Church in Scotland broke with the papacy, and adopted a Calvinist confession. At that point the celebration of the Roman Mass was outlawed. When Mary Queen of Scots returned from France to rule, she found herself as a Roman Catholic in a largely Protestant state and Protestant court. However, some few thousand indigenous Scottish Roman Catholics remained mainly in a small strip from the north-east coast to the Western Isles. Significant strongholds included Moidart, Morar and Barra. However some Scottish Lairds and land owners remained Roman Catholic and some converted such as Saint John Ogilvie.

The Jacobite risings in 1715 and 1745 further damaged the Roman Catholic cause in Scotland and it was not until the start of Catholic Emancipation in 1793 that Roman Catholicism regained a civil respectability.

During the nineteenth century, Irish immigration substantially boosted the number of Scottish Roman Catholics (especially in the west), and by 1900 it was estimated that 90-95% were of full or partial Irish descent. Italian and Lithuanian immigrants also boosted numbers of Roman Catholics in Scotland. More recently immigrants from Poland have also boosted numbers of Catholics.

A Roman Catholic hierarchy was (re-)introduced in the mid 19th century.

[edit] Organisation

There are two archbishops and six bishops in Scotland:

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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