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Persevere in a hostile culture, Pope urges Scottish seminarians

April 14, 2016

Pope Francis told a group of Scottish seminarians on April 14 that they are "living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel."

In a message to the Pontifical Scots College, which is marking its 400th anniversary, the Pope reminded students and staff that the seminary was founded shortly after the martyrdom of St. John Oglivie, who was hanged in 1615 for celebrating Mass in Scotland. When the Pontifical Scots College was formed, the sixteen original students vowed to return to their native land, despite the threat of martyrdom, to preserve the faith. Thus, the Pope said, the death of St. John Oglivie, "which was meant to silence the Catholic faith, instead was an impetus for its promotion and for defending the Church's freedom to remain in communion with the See of Peter." 

"I urge you to have that same selfless spirit," the Pope told the students.



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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Apr. 16, 2016 6:43 PM ET USA

    Another not-so-frequent clear statement by the Pope that no thinking person can disagree with. All of us, not just the Scots, are "living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel." Speech, morality, and the public expression of religion are rarely tolerated in the United States. Recent news stories about prudential political decisions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama furnish good examples.

  • Posted by: loumiamo - Apr. 14, 2016 9:48 PM ET USA

    St.John Oglivie's martyrdom inspired 16 students to maintain their Catholic witness to the world, to help the Scottish Church be " remain in communion with the See of Peter." Is it wrong, in light of Amoris Laetitia, to wonder if the See of Peter is remaining in communion with the rest of the Church, if the contemporary Church is maintaining the same deposit of faith that inspired those original 16 seminarians? Would they be impressed by the nuance in AL's Eucharistic gymnastics?