Catholic Church and Kirk commit to ‘irrevocable’ friendship

The Catholic Church in Scotland and the Church in Scotland are to sign a historic statement of friendship.

Next month the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will be invited to confirm a declaration of friendship with the Catholic Church in Scotland that offers ‘a decisive and irrevocable statement of our friendship with one another, based on our shared faith in Christ.’

“We recognise each other as brothers and sisters in Christ, and we wish to express our friendship and respect for one another as fellow Christians, citizens and partners in announcing the kingdom of God in our land,” the declaration says.

Written by senior figures from both Churches, the declaration describes the Churches’ shared beliefs and common Christian history and has already been approved by the Bishops of Scotland.

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh (above), said that after years of living abroad, he was ‘soon struck by how far the people of the Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland have come along the path of friendship in these last decades.’

“We have now spent forty years working diligently to respect and understand each other, what we have in common, what still divides us,” he said. “In the meantime, through prayer together and social action, we have also become friends, and have grown to appreciate each other as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.”

He called the statement something to ‘acknowledge and celebrate’, stating that the bishops of Scotland welcomed the declaration.

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said that during his term as Moderator he had ‘very much valued the friendly and productive working relationship’ he had with members of the Catholic Church.

This declaration, he said, was a signal that ‘what unites us is so important to the lives of our fellow citizens and to being witnesses to the Gospel message in this land of Scotland’.

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