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Scottish bishop warns of 'something sinister happening to religious freedom in UK'

 In a Pastoral Letter read out at all Masses in the Diocese of Paisley yesterday, Bishop Philip Tartaglia called for action to protect "the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom." As an indication of the depth of threat felt by the Church, and the extent to which the Sexual Orientation Regulations compromise religious freedom, Bishop Tartaglia said: "this unfortunate episode may well herald the beginning of a new and uncertain time for the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom." The Bishop of Paisley continued, saying that the "regulations which force the Catholic Church and individual Catholics to act against their religious convictions to implement this policy offend against religious freedom and against freedom of conscience." The Pastoral Letter encouraged Catholics to "defend ourselves by all legitimate democratic means" and to enact their right and duty "to make their concerns known to their elected representatives." Bishop Philip called for people to be "attentive to the wider issues" and warned that for the first time in the modern era "in this country the Catholic Church is facing the prospect of being forced to act against her faith and against her convictions." He concluded: "we cannot but sense that something sinister is happening." Source: SCMO