Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Queen's chaplain calls for Catholics to make concessions

A CHAPLAIN to the Queen has called for Catholic concessions to balance proposed changes to the Act of Settlement, including the end of "sectarian schools".

Rev Alastair Symington, minister at Troon Old Parish Church in Ayrshire, said the reforms in aid of the Catholic Church were welcome but that they needed to make a "quid quo pro".

In a letter to The Scotsman, the 61-year-old writes that the restrictions on children attending Catholic schools and the future role of a potential Catholic monarch within the Church of Scotland needed to be addressed.

His comments came in response to discussions about scrapping the Act of Settlement.

The Catholic Church in Scotland said Rev Symington's comments were "unfortunate and inaccurate". They said a fifth of pupils at Catholic schools were not Catholic, showing wide acceptance and high regard.

Rev Symington wrote: "I trust ... the Roman Catholic Church will drop its request that children of any such future royal union must be baptised into the Roman part of the Catholic Church and raised in equally sectarian separate schools."

Peter Kearney, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said: "While existing legislation prevents a Catholic marrying or becoming head of state, current legislation does not prevent non-Catholics from attending Catholic schools."

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(Source: TSCOM)