Queen´s Vatican Trip Blamed for Disasters

LONDON, MAR. 12, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Foot-and-mouth disease hasn´t done much to lift a Scottish denomination´s ecumenical spirit.

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The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland says the recent cases of foot-and-mouth disease, floods and train crashes are the result of the Queen Elizabeth´s visit to the Vatican last October, according to The Times newspaper.

The church, popularly known as the «Wee Wee Frees,» has pointed an accusing finger at the monarch for traveling to the Vatican and meeting the Pope.

Since then, the Scottish church notes, Britain has suffered a variety of Old Testament-style punishments. A national day of humiliation and prayer should be called by the Queen to end the plague, it adds. «Since Your Majesty´s visit to the Vatican, our nation has passed through difficult times and, for our part, we cannot but see the hand of God, for instance, in the floods that have caused so much distress in the areas affected, in the train crashes and the lives lost as a result of them and, not least, the present epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease with so many animals slaughtered.»

The letter is written by John MacLeod, clerk to the Outer Isles Presbytery in Stornoway. The pastor has sent a similar rebuke to Henry MacLeish, the First Minister, about his meeting with the Pope at the Vatican in December. MacLeish was reminded that the Scottish Parliament in 1649 ratified the Westminster Confession of Faith identifying the pope as «that Antichrist.»

Buckingham Palace responded: «The Queen´s meeting with the Pope has been extremely well received with much positive comment from a wide range of opinion. However, the Queen listens carefully to all approaches made by individuals and groups and, if appropriate, would forward views on to Government for consideration.»

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