Church of Scotland General Assembly 2022: Statement of Friendship with Catholics approved

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In the statement – already endorsed by the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church of Scotland – the two churches repent for “the hurt and harm that our ancestors have done to each other in the past” and ask forgiveness from each other. other.

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And they say, “We reaffirm that what we have in common is often greater than what divides us. While recognizing that unity does not mean uniformity, we pledge to continue our pilgrimage towards greater unity.

The Reverend Sandy Horsburgh, chair of Kirk’s ecumenical relations committee, told the Assembly“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 side by side.

“We regret that our two churches have not always been friends, we recognize our need for repentance and forgiveness for the hurts and wrongs we have caused each other. In making the Declaration of Friendship, we put these things behind us decisively and deliberately Declare to us the truth that we share in the one faith.

“By saying loud and clear that the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church of Scotland are friends, we are helping to change not only the narrative of our churches, but also the narrative of our country. There is no back to back.”

And attending the Assembly to represent the Catholic Church in Scotland, Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said: “We all know the history we share. It contains some dark pages and much to regret. It would also be naïve to wish for everything, but I believe that is all the more reason for us to do something about it.

Catholic Archbishop Leo Cushley addresses the General Assembly. Photo: Andrew O’Brien

“The statement is also a consciously new approach to ecumenism, an attempt to re-imagine the path to Christian unity. Instead of listing our problems and points of friction or grievance, old or new, the statement chooses to focus on what we have in common, and to emphasize that we cherish and hold, together, so many things that are inspiring, ancient and profound.

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Church of Scotland General Assembly 2022: Truth in public life ‘never matters more’

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