By Martin Kelly
An SNP MSP has written to Scottish Secretary Michael Moore asking him to explain why Scotland’s most senior Catholic was not invited to join an official UK delegation to the Vatican to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.
Clare Adamson, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, wants to know why a Foreign Office arranged Vatican trip, which extended an invite to the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, did not contact Scotland’s senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien.

Writing in her letter, Ms Adamson says: “I am sure you will know the Catholic Church in Scotland is independent within the Holy See, represented by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, and has equal parity with the Catholic Church of England and Wales. 

“I am therefor seeking full and frank disclosure of the decision making process that ended up with Scotland’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal O’Brien, being excluded from the UK delegation.”

Demands for an explanation follow revelations on Wednesday that Cardinal O’Brien, who is the most senior Catholic figure in the UK, was not invited to join the UK delegation which was led by Tory Minister Baroness Warsi and included Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore.

Mr Moore had claimed that there was no oversight and that invitations were the responsibility of the Vatican.  However this was challenged by Vatican officials who said UK Ministers should have known that Cardinal O’Brien needed to be invited. 

It subsequently emerged that Baroness Warsi had herself personally invited Archbishop Nichols.

In a statement issued today, Ms Adamson said:

“It is hugely disappointing that on the day of the UK Prime Minister’s visit to Scotland, the UK Government once again appear to have forgotten about Scotland by not including Scotland’s Cardinal in the delegation.

“The Catholic Church in Scotland is independent and has parity with the Catholic Church of England and Wales.  I am therefor seeking full and frank disclosure of the decision making process that ended up with Scotland’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal O’Brien, being excluded from the UK delegation.

“Sadly this is another glaring example of Westminster failing to translate their warm words about the ‘respect agenda’ into practical deeds.

“The basic bread and butter duty of the Secretary of State for Scotland is to ensure that the Scottish dimension is reflected across government departments in Whitehall – but the Tory-Lib coalition seem to be either unwilling or unable to show Scotland enough respect to even carry out procedural matters such as inviting the Cardinal with them to Rome.”

Cardinal O’Brien only found out about the planned visit last Thursday and was reported to have been angry at the snub.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland said:

“The Foreign Office have obviously been involved in planning this visit for several months and should have been aware the Catholic Church is organised into three distinct Bishops’ Conferences; the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, England & Wales and Ireland.

“All three should have been represented.”

The spokesman also singled out Lib Dem MP Moore for strong criticism and claimed that an opportunity to voice Scotland’s interests had been missed.

“This situation is especially regrettable since one of the members of the ministerial delegation is the Secretary of State for Scotland, whose constituency is in Cardinal O’Brien’s Archdiocese.

“It was to be hoped that as a result of this, Scotland’s interests would have been fully represented. This, however, has not proved to be the case.”


# alicmurray 2012-02-17 16:02
Cardinal O’Brien and his flock did not deserve this snub but what really gets me is Moore caught out again lying. The electorate should not have to be represented by a man of such low morals. He really makes me feel sick.
# mato21 2012-02-17 16:10
I too feel strongly about the lying toad that is Michael Moore.He has no interest in Scotland his interest is in keeping his snout in the trough that is Westminster He has been promoted above his ability through a freak of nature and obviously likes the power he imagines he has
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 16:10
I have to be VERY, VERY, VERY careful here, any article that contains references to Moore usually lands me on the naughty step. 😀

What I will say is that perhaps Baroness Warsi was instructed by “Call me Dave” to act as if Scotland was already an independent country. That is the only sensible excuse that I can deduce from such a humongous oversight on the part of the UK government.
# Vincent McDee 2012-02-17 16:17
Hi Arby, back from detention, aren’t you. Missed.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 17:06
Yep. I’m back and raring to go! 😀

For what you are all about to receive may you be truly thankful. 😀
# Fungus 2012-02-17 21:19
Not detention…he merely fell asleep in the darkened room.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 22:29
Oh was that where I was. I thought it a bit strange, sitting on a SOFT naughty step in the dark. 😀
# Jimbo 2012-02-17 17:25
Hi Arb,

I think it’s a case of undermining any sense of Scottish national pride that may be felt upon the inclusion of one of our leading citizens.

Good to see you back btw.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 17:56
Don’t count your chickens yet Jimbo. It’s early days and I’m sure I can see the vultures circling. 😀
# Briggs 2012-02-17 16:11
I enjoy reading and occasionally posting on NNS, but I wonder why inoffensive comment should be arbitrarily removed by folk who are the moderators of this forum.

Are certain subjects not to be commented on critically?

No doubt this post will be removed as was my first.

A very poor show NNS.

[Online Editor – Your post was unpublished because it appears to deliberately misrepresent the thrust of this article and the role of the Catholic Church in this visit.]
# Vincent McDee 2012-02-17 16:21
Briggs please do not do a “lamont”.

See contact us up on the bar? click on it and then choose Moderation Policy.

Everything you wanted to know about moderators but were not affraid to comment.
# Vincent McDee 2012-02-17 16:12
It would be easier for Mr. Moron “the moore” to explain the Relativity Theory, why do dogs chase rabbits or cats catch mice.

Lets not forget here that in the Vatican State Hierarchy a Cardinal is a Prince of the Church.

Abbots, Bishops, Archbishops and the like are managers in charge of the Sursum Corda, or “lifting up the spirits” of the flock. They may be important, even vital, but they can never reach the ultimate position of Power, the Papacy.

With respect to the invitation to join the delegation, I’m more surprised His Most Reverend Excellency Antonio Mennini, actual Nuncio (Ambassador) in GB, was not included.

In the particular case of O’Brien, I’m quite certain his position in favour of Scottish Independence “provoked” the oversight. They literaly can’t see him, as is easier to forget what you can not suffer, than to deal with it.

C’mon!, is the ConDems we are talking about. To be more incompetent they would need extra training.

Imagine the hoot if O’Brien ever make Pope.
# MAcandroid 2012-02-17 16:55
“ConDems” is awfy close to “condoms” should they not have excluded themselves ?
# clootie 2012-02-17 17:30
They certainly cover the same things.
# ds12 2012-02-17 16:14
No problem here.The Cardinal is sufficently senior to sort out a wee trip to the Vatican for Scottish ministers.Archbishops are ten a penny not so Cardinals.
# Juteman 2012-02-17 16:23
Maybe the UK government remembers what happened the last time the Church got involved in the independence struggle.
# Arraniki 2012-02-17 16:30
Pace Juteman 2012-02-17 16:23
Maybe the UK government remembers what happened the last time the Church got involved in the independence struggle.

Aye, indeed.

But pity it sold the jerseys in 1707.
Ok, I know, it was the other Church of Scotland.
# art1001 2012-02-17 16:32
To the Vatican, Scotland is I think already regarded as a nation albeit only spiritually. It is of huge importance to Scotland that we have a Cardinal and I am not Catholic.

I am sure it would be a significant victory for the good of mankind if the power of Westminster to wreak havoc around the world was curtailed. What better way to do this than to support us at least spiritually. In all sincerity if our prayers are answered I will use it as a sign to convert.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 17:15
To the Vatican, Scotland is I think already regarded as a nation albeit only spiritually. It is of huge importance to Scotland that we have a Cardinal and I am not Catholic.

Well the proof is in the reading art.

A wee while back I read an article about a woman from Orkney who was on a visit to London and was booked into the Mayfair, I think, hotel. They didn’t believe that she was British and demanded her passport as proof. According to the registration staff Scotland was an INDEPENDENT country and not part of the UK. Hence the need to show a passport. I kid you not.

I am just wondering if Baroness Warsi and her “gang” visited the Mayfair hotel before making up their list of invitees to Rome. It would certainly explain a lot don’t you think?
# lumilumi 2012-02-17 17:22
Didn’t Mr Salmond also deliver a gentle dig to Mr Cameron a couple of days ago, about his “courtesy call”, something usually reserved to foreign heads of state. 🙂
# hadrianswall 2012-02-17 16:43
The ‘respect agenda’ in action.

# lumilumi 2012-02-17 17:03
Mr Moore had claimed that there was no oversight and that invitations were the responsibility of the Vatican. However this was challenged by Vatican officials who said UK Ministers should have known that Cardinal O’Brien needed to be invited.

This is the bit in the article that really caught my eye. This is the second time in a few weeks that foreign officials have had to put the record straight.

The first time was when unnamed Westminster/Whitehall sources said unnamed Spanish sources had said that Spain would veto Scotland’s EU membership – which was prompty denied by the Spanish Foreign Minister.

Do I see a pattern here?
# Caledonian Lass 2012-02-17 23:47
Yes, Lumilumi, there is a pattern here. The unionists often tell lies.
# Juteman 2012-02-17 17:06
The UK establishment has been used to ignoring Scotlands wants or needs. They have never cared about any insult to the north British. They are slowly waking up to the fact that the game has changed, and every percieved slight is adding another vote to the Yes campaign.
My only worry about the 2014 date, is that it gives them a lot of time to tighten up their act, and really get into gear. By 2014, i fully expect to see the whole might of the UK establishment machine in play.
It will get scary.
# Lydia Reid 2012-02-17 17:06
To insult our Cardinal is bad enough to lie about it is even worse

I read somewhere that the Cardinal was actually in the Vatican so the situation could so easily have been rectified

Cardinal O’Brien is of course the head of our church and as such has a right to be included but he also stands up in many ways for Scotland

He is also a very intelligent and educated man so it is their loss as he would make a good contribution to any meeting
# macgilleleabhar 2012-02-17 17:07
As my late auntie would have said,

“Is that no a Cardinal sin?”

The Church of Rome is no new kid on the block and will see through this as well as we do.

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!”
# InfrequentAllele 2012-02-17 21:18
# uilleam_beag 2012-02-18 06:49
Surely that has to be down to a computer with a wicked sense of humour. Joseph Heller would be proud!
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 17:17
Oh Heck. I keep seeing that name again!

I’m counting to ten, really,really,r  eally slowly but I’m having TROUBLE! 😀
# clootie 2012-02-17 17:32
Ab 1320
Just remember the old sicilian saying “revenge is a dish best served cold”. Our time will come
# mato21 2012-02-17 17:43
Awa an hiv yer tea ye’ll feel better
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 17:53
Already getting cooked.

Thanks mato. 😀
# Fortitudine 2012-02-17 17:54
Can anyone explain just whit business the SoS for Scotland has going on a wee jolly to Rome anyhoo? Especially since no reps of Scottish Catholic Church were invited along.
Could it be due to being arranged by FOREIGN office and they already see Scotland as just that 😀
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 18:10
Awe, be fair Fort. Remember, he had just had a VERY strenuous meeting with A.S. at the beginning of the week. He needed a wee bit of R & R before making a return visit to A.S’s office with “Call me Dave” yesterday.
# Fortitudine 2012-02-17 18:19
Fair point Arb. So long as he disnae think he’s getting into the darkened room to recuperate lol
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 21:53
Absolutely no way Fort. The “Darkened Room” is for PATRIOTS and pro Independence peeps only.

The room for him is still under construction, namely the “Enlightening Room”. 😀

I can confirm that this building is in fact well advanced. Macart has already acquired the necessary bunk beds and the bar is already in place. So I guess we could send “Him of whose name I dare not speak of” an invitation to become the “Enlightening Room’s” inaugural guest. 😀
# uilleam_beag 2012-02-18 06:51
Aye, and I gather the wallpaper is being printed as we speak and all.
# Teri 2012-02-17 19:49
Och, the wee soul’s recovering from chickenpox. The jaunt to Rome waspart of the recuperation process.
# X_Sticks 2012-02-17 21:31
Perhaps he was looking for a miracle to keep him in a job after the next election?
# Legerwood 2012-02-17 18:01
From what I have read here and elsewhere this visit was supposed to consist of Government Ministers and was intended to build on the Pope’s visit to the UK in 2010.

It was Baroness Warsi who invited the RC Archbishop. I just wonder if she cleared it with the FO and in doing so upset all the planning for the visit because the Archbishops presence changed the nature of the party.

I have seen the Baroness on QT and not exactly impressed so I could easily imagine that she was completely unaware of the protocl minefield she was entering. But someone should have told her.

So as far as I can see it looks more cock-up than conspiracy.
# Fortitudine 2012-02-17 18:08
Normal day at the office for them then lol
# lumilumi 2012-02-17 18:17
Maybe it is just a simple cock-up, with Mrs Warsi going solo and inviting the RC Archbishop, thereby changing the nature of the party, as you said.

Still, FO people would (or at least should) be aware of protocol and should’ve rectified the situation by inviting the senior RC cleric in Scotland along with the senior English/Wales counterpart (and NI(?), do they come under the RC church in the Republic or what? I don’t know) but they didn’t.

Then Moore cocks up more and lies about it so that Vatican officials have to set the record straight.

Incompetence, contempt or a secret agenda?
# Legerwood 2012-02-17 19:31
Incompetence, contempt or a secret agenda?

# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 21:54
Incompetence, contempt or a secret agenda?

YES! 😀
# seven 2012-02-17 19:58
It’s arrogance and incompetence.To the English bandit party the superior nation is England therefore the English priest must be the superior to his Scottish counterpart. Also it is Baroness Warsi were taking about.
# InfrequentAllele 2012-02-17 21:27
It’s usually a cock up with Westminster. They’re not competent enough to organise a decent conspiracy.

As a fur-exaimple – just look at Davie C’s visit to Scotchlandshire this week. First he visits a porridge factory (… rolls eyes …) and then he delivers his speech behind a lectern bearing the coat of arms of the English monarch, not the Scottish monarch. The two titles may be invested in the same individual, but she’s got separate coats of arms for each of her kingdoms. You’d think Davie being a former PR man would understand presentation, but apparently not.

I’m quite sure no one at the UK Foreign Office or Baroness Warsi realised that the hierarchy of the Scottish Catholic Church is entirely independent of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, nor that the Catholic Church in Scotland is headed by a cardinal, who outranks an archbishop.

Michael Moore and the Scotland Office don’t have the same excuse of ignorance. The only explanation for them is gross stupidity.

Stupidity and ignorance, that’s Westminster for you.
# Jim1320 2012-02-17 18:15
Moore might say “we all know you are going to win the independence referendum so we are just practising at doing things separately”
# H Scott 2012-02-17 18:43
This was no ‘cock-up’. These things are not left to chance. I suspect the clue about how and why this happened is the inclusion of the Secretary of State for Scotland, a junior minister with no minsterial relevance to the visit. I suspect it is just another petulant snub like that by the BBC on Alex Salmond. If you behave yourself you get to go on important trips with the big boys.
# Legerwood 2012-02-17 19:36
I should imagine their reasoning with regards to Mr Moore’s inclusion in the delegation went something like this: Include Sec Stat Scot and show how we respect Scotland. Show how Scotland can play on the international stage as part of the Union. Show RCs in Scotland that they are important because the Sec Stat Scotland is included – would not do any harm either come the vote on the referendum.

And it is on that last point, and the invitation by Baroness Warsi to the RC Archbishop, that it all went to hell in a handcart.

If she did run the idea passed the FO then the person she asked was clearly making a decision outwith their competence.

Incompetence rules OK.
# D_A_N 2012-02-17 19:05
o/t anyone watching this on the one show?

about scottish gold?

apparently there may be a new boom. New mine has opened and starting mining next year.

At least £165 million that they know of..

# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 22:04
I didn’t see the item D-A-N, I try and avoid watching the One Show. However, if they were discussing a new gold mine in Scotland I suspect that it might be Scotgold’s mine in Loch Lomond National Park. They have been trying to get planning permission to reopen this mine for quite some time and now appear to have gain the the necessary permission. The mine in question, if memory serves me right, is not a “NEW” mine but an old mine that Scotgold want to reopen and start mining the gold.

The BBC carried a piece on this mine a few days ago.…/…
# mato21 2012-02-17 22:09
Someone who posted on this site last year advocated buying shares in it Seems he had the right idea
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 22:35
I’ve just checked up on Scotgold Resources.

Their share price is, if I’ve got it right, 5.13 pence per share.

I picked up the price from here.…/…

No doubt all you financial whizz kids out there will be quick off the ball if my assumption is wrong.
# GavB 2012-02-18 05:12
I bought a wee holding of shares last year when I read about it here 🙂
# Islegard 2012-02-17 19:13
Maybe they should organise a seperate Scottish trip? That’s the way it should be anyway and they way things will be in the future hopefully.
# Teri 2012-02-17 19:51
Without Herman Munster, I hope.
# Islegard 2012-02-17 20:00
Moore no mates in Scotland that goes without saying.
# J Wil 2012-02-17 20:08
Baroness Warsi got quite excited about reinstating religion in town halls, and in the country in general, last week after the court ban on prayers. She has dropped a clanger on this one and Moore has abrogated his responsibility to look after Scotland’s interests.

The affair reminds me of the Pakistani Trade delegation and the Pakistani Pipe band who were refused permission to come to Scotland, by the wise men in London, at the time of the World Pipe Band Chanpionships, a couple of years ago.
# seven 2012-02-17 20:46
It also has to be remembered whythey were there. To get support for their free/faith/academy school project no doubt and as education is devolved we are irrelevant.
# Barontorc 2012-02-17 21:33
Seven – this may be the missing piece of information that goes to root of this faux-pas. In any case why was SoS Moore invited along, which kinda confuses that line of argument a wee tad.

I’m still stinging with it so I’ll go along with the cynical snub theory.

Warsi is a muslim and maybe unaware – but sure as hell, she’s got an army of advisers, plus the invitee list would have to go to the vatican for approval and clearance, but it’s a hard ask to expect them to correct lack of protocol on UK Gov’s part.

Yip, it was an intentional snub and Archbishop Nichols is certainly not out of the woods on this one – he knows fine well what protocol is and isn’t. Oh, dear!!
# seven 2012-02-17 22:13
conundrum indeed but who can really tell what they are it goves’ free school stuff, is it warsis’ lets indoctrinate the kids (after all if you fall for sky faeries you’ll fall for anything), is it the behavioural unit. I’m really lost, used to be able to tell but this lot have me guessing.All I know is it’s not good (never trust a bandit)
# Talorcan 2012-02-17 20:52
I’m a Scottish Presbyterian Protestant and Cardinal O’Brien is, obviously, a Roman Catholic, but he’s one of OOR Catholics and I’ll fight Hell and high water to defend him. He SHOULD have been included in that Papal visit.
# Soixante-neuf 2012-02-18 00:43
What he said.
# Fungus 2012-02-17 21:28
Ach it’s all to the good. I’m an atheist masel but if am wrang and there is a big man up there then they’ve stood on the wrang taes this time.
# seven 2012-02-17 21:37
I went to catholic school, came out a atheist libertarian socialist but I do remember being told that if I stuck to my guns god would forgive me!
# Zef 2012-02-17 22:23
Probably wasn’t a deliberate snub. They simply don’t care or think about Scotland beyond tapping into it for extra cash for the South East of England. To that London clique Scotland may as well be next door to Tibet and they probably know next to nothing about the important figures or characters within.

It is another part of the case to end the union charade. A constant unthinking and uncaring attitude towards Scotland. Except when they are looking for a scapegoat.
# mato21 2012-02-17 22:25
I feel bad laughing at this but I cannot help it
I was reading a welfare rights officer who had written about a client who was in a coma and that lot ATOS had his benefits stopped because they considered him fit for work as the forms had not been returned in time

A wag wrote the following (the source of my mirth)

Surely he can find work as a tailors Dummy or as an extra on Eastenders? Thats the problem with todays generation : people just arent prepared to make the effort. They dont WANT to work
# Edna Caine 2012-02-17 22:54
Nil nove sub sole.

For hundreds of years, the English Crown tried to establish the primacy of the Archbishopric of York over the church in Scotland, especially in the 13th and early 14th centuries.

This strategy was essentially a political one, designed to enhance the spurious claims of the English monarchs to hegemony over the Scots.

The claim was only abandoned as late as 1472 when Pope Sixtus IV created the Archbishopric of St Andrews.…/…

History has a strange habit of repetition.
# Robert Louis 2012-02-17 23:10
This whole sorry mess, just shows yet again, that Michael Moore is NOT doing the job he is paid to do. As secretary of Sate for Scotland, his role is to represent the views and matters of importance from Scotland to Westminster. Instead, he seems contented to be London’s ‘lackey’, doing their dirty work, so as to preserve the reputation of David Cameron.

He is so obsessed with trying to continually undermine and wrong foot the Scottish Government, that he has forgotten what his job actually is. Perhaps, somebody in St,Andrews house could maybe give him a copy of his JD , to remind him.

Seriously, hat a thoroughly disreputable bunch the Libdems have become. They will say and do anything for a ministerial mondeo- they are the 21st century prostitutes of British politics.

Is this not yet another example of just why Westminster is no good for Scotland, when even their Scottish Secretary treats us with contempt.

Independence cannot come soon enough.
# Sleekit 2012-02-17 23:38

But Hilarious!!!…/…

Stirling Council has failed to set a budget after Labour councillors voted against their own amendment, causing the motion to be defeated.

The Labour group accused the SNP minority administration, which runs the council, of attempting to “steal” its alternative budget.
# Arbroath1320 2012-02-17 23:48
You couldn’t write this stuff. If you did write this sort of material I am sure you’d be locked up in the funny farm.

On second thoughts let’s just lock up the Labour party in the funny farm.:D
# Fungus 2012-02-18 07:49
Not all that hilarious to the council employees who are now in danger of not getting paid at the end of the month because of this petty politicking.
# the wallace 2012-02-18 13:25
I for one would like to hear the cardinals thaughts, on the blatant snub to him and scotland.
# K Mackay 2012-02-18 13:31
[Posting the same post on multiple threads is “spamming”, and not permitted – NNS Mod Team]

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