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Scots who hoe (Not)! (News in Brief: Scotland).

Edinburgh--Anti-Catholic bigotry has long been a feature of the Scottish political and social landscape. At its zenith in the 1920s, there were even campaigns to deport Catholics back to Ireland. Now the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) has admitted its part in this sectarianism and vowed to support moves toward a more tolerant society. Significantly, this change of heart happened at a time when the Presbyterians themselves are suffering declining membership.

Secular values predominate now in this land. This is reflected also in the Catholic community which, in a May 2000 poll, voted 59% against continuing the separate Catholic school system, established there in 1918.

Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow has attributed attacks on the schools to residual bigotry. However, they are more likely to arise from a morally vacant culture, currently seasoned with mere utilitarian values. The archbishop defended Catholic schools vigorously in his January 2003 New Year's letter. He lambasted the idea that the schools are breeding grounds for bigotry.

Unlike the bishops of Quebec who voluntarily surrendered Catholic schools to the state in 1990, Scottish bishops are rallying the Catholic community to defend their schools. The archbishop called upon Catholics to defend their schools with the candidates for the upcoming elections. Surveys and statistics show that more than 90% of Catholic parents avail themselves of the schools where they are available (Zenit, Jan. 10/03).
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUS
Date:Apr 1, 2003
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