Scotland: priests attacked

From the Scottish Catholic Observer:

Priests under attack
By Ian Dunn and Martin Dunlop

An arson blaze and robberies show that Scotland’s priests are, once again, being targeted by opportunistic criminals. [Again?!?]

Priests in Scotland are increasingly living in fear after several crimes against clergy came to light this week.

A vindictive arson attack on Holy Cross parish in Glasgow saw two priests’ cars destroyed and severe damage caused to the parish house. There has also been a separate robbery at another Glasgow parish and a man in Perthshire was convicted for robbing an 80-year-old priest shortly after his golden jubilee. [Remember what happened to the guy who, thinking he was helping David, dared to kill Saul, the Lord’s anointed?]

While none of these attacks are thought to be sectarian in nature, [hmmm] concerns are growing that priests, who often live alone in tied accommodation near parishes, are again being seen as ‘easy targets’ for opportunistic thieves and vandals.


There is more.

Let’s offer prayers for priests in Scotland.  May Mary, Queen of Priests, protect them.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful I live someplace where the means of defending myself and others around me are still available.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Priests and Priesthood, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. disco says:

    I don’t see how arson is a crime of opportunity. Burning someone’s house down is about as personal as it gets.

  2. Ygnacia says:

    St. Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland, pray for them~

  3. rtjl says:

    “While none of these attacks are thought to be sectarian in nature,”

    I think they mean that they don’t think this is a case of protestants attacking Catholics. Presumably that would be bad – you know – more religious violence. But if it’s just ordinary folk targeting Catholic clergy, well that’s not so bad; it’s just ordinary violence; or it’s justified violence. Or something silly like that.

  4. RJHighland says:

    Arsen, that is personal. Didn’t a Scotish Catholic Priest recently release a book on the vast homosexual network in the priesthood in the Scotish Church? I googled it. It is Fr. Despard who was removed from his post by Bishop Toal after the books release. His parshish filed a petition to the Bishop to retain Fr. Despard but it looks like the “Lavendar mafia” took down one of the good guys.

  5. jaykay says:

    rtjl: “I think they mean that they don’t think this is a case of protestants attacking Catholics. ”

    Yes, that’s what they mean. Glasgow in particular has historically had huge problems with vicious sectarian violence. It’s basically a Scots/Unionist/Loyalist -v- Irish/Catholic/ Nationalist thing. The two football (soccer) teams are still divided along nationalistic/religious lines: Glasgow Rangers = Protestant Unionist and Glasgow Celtic = Irish Catholic. So the police would actually be “relieved” to think it’s just “ordinary” criminality and not sectarianism because of the huge past and ongoing problems they have with this. It exists in other parts of Scotland too, but nothing like Glasgow.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    Scotland is not and has not been since the Protestant Revolt, a Catholic country. Like Northern Ireland, anti-clericalism runs deep and wide. However, these attacks may be by the rising tide of anarchists across the EU, which hate any institutions (except their own website organizations) and especially the Church.

    Mindless violence does not have to have a rational basis, does it?

  7. Priam1184 says:

    Arson deliberately targeting priests is not random. But this is not ‘sectarian’ like in the sense that we see sectarianism in Iraq or in Syria. Most likely these attackers did not have any agenda to advance other than either a personal grudge or a furtherance of chaos and anarchy in general. And we’re Catholics anyways Father: when our Lord wants us to go we will go; it doesn’t matter how many human measures we take to defend ourselves.

  8. Uxixu says:

    St Augustine taught not only that we could defend ourselves and Holy Mother Church, but that those who can have a duty to do so.

  9. Hughie says:

    “While none of these attacks are thought to be sectarian in nature…” While this is, indeed, the view of the “Glesca Polis” (usually regarded by my co-religionists here in the West of Scotland as being strictly “half and half”: half Orange, half Mason) it is not the view of anyone I have spoken to.

    Sadly, this morning as we celebrate Saint Andrew’s Day we are grieving the tragic accident which occurred at 10.35 pm last night (local time). A police helicopter crashed on to the roof the Clutha Vaults, one of the two most famous folk music pubs in Glasgow (the other being the Scotia Bar just across the road). Both regularly feature both Scottish and Irish folk music. The Clutha was packed last night with in excess of a hundred customers of all ages crowding the pub on a live music night.

    It is so far known that three have died (thought to be the crew of the helicopter) and 32 seriously injured casualties have been removed to hospitals in the city (the Royal Infirmary, the Victoria Infirmary and the Southern General Hospital). It is known that there are still casualties trapped in the wreckage of the pub and both these figures are likely to rise.

    Despite our problems with the police, our hearts and our prayers go out to the families of the police dead and to the families and friends of the other casualties – irrespective of creed or lack of one. I would ask for your prayers also.

  10. Emilio III says:

    The current British version of The Divine Office has a proper hymn for St Andrew’s feast for use in Scotland. The last two stanzas are:

    The faith that Andrew taught once shone
    O’er all this kingdom fair;
    The Cross that Jesus died upon
    Was honoured everywhere.
    But evil men that faith beat down,
    Reviling Andrew’s name;
    The cross, though set in kingly crown,
    Became a sign of shame.

    Saint Andrew, now in bliss above,
    Thy fervent prayers renew
    That Scotland yet again may love
    The faith, entire and true;
    That I the cross allotted me
    May bear with patient love!
    ‘T will lift me, as it lifted thee,
    To reign with Christ above.

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