Scotland's Archbishops Urge Referendum Participation

Stress Importance of September 18th Vote on Scottish Independence

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Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow and Archbishop Leo Cushley of St. Andrews and Edinburgh are both urging their flocks to take part in the Independence Referendum, to take place Sept. 18th.

They also ask Catholics to engage with the issues being raised in the period up to the vote. The appeals will be made in pastoral messages issued to parishes this coming weekend.

«The Scottish Independence Referendum is now just a short time away,” Archbishop Tartaglia said. “Along with the Bishops of Scotland, who are deeply conscious of the importance of this referendum, I encourage and urge all those eligible to vote to do so with complete freedom of choice and in accordance with their prayerful judgment of what is best for the future. May God guide us and bless us in whatever choice we make in good conscience.”

Archbishop Cushley said: «I encourage you, in the light of Catholic social teaching, carefully to consider the issues and to do your civic duty on the day itself.

“No matter the result of the Referendum, “ he added, “I would hope that all Catholics will continue to engage positively in public discourse, and ensure that the Christian message and its values are better expressed and understood, to the benefit of the whole community.  By doing so, our beloved land will be a more just, peaceful and prosperous place for all its citizens. “

The UK Government has stated that if a simple majority of the votes cast are in favour of independence, then «Scotland would become an independent country after a process of negotiations». If the majority is against independence, Scotland would continue within the United Kingdom.

Polls leading up to the vote have consistently suggested Scots will vote against independence.

After a history of battles for independence dating back to the 13th century, the Kingdoms of Scotland and England united to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.

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