Anti-Catholicism in Scotland is over, says church leader

 History was made when a Moderator of the Church of Scotland preached for the first time at St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh - to mark the opening of the Edinburgh festival. Throughout his homily, the Rt Rev Andrew McLellan rejected the idea that that Protestants were anti-Catholic. He said: "Those who say that Protestants are against Catholics are liars, but no lie can live forever and this one is long past its die-by date. "It is a lie which has done immense damage to Protestants for it has allowed the most wicked parts of our psychology - I mean our capacity to hate people - to have some spurious quasi-religious justification. "Protestants have been much damaged by being told that it is all right to hate Catholics. And it is a lie which has done much damage to Catholics. Anyone who knows how heavy industry used to work in Scotland - shipbuilding is the example I know best - knows that for generations promotion was out of the question if you went to a school called St Anything's." Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Fr Danny McLoughlin, said: "We agree wholeheartedly with the Moderator. Genuine Christians are not bigoted against other Christians. The big problem is those who profess belonging to a church without taking any part in its activities." The Reverend McLellan also spoke of his personal friendship with prominent Catholics such as Archbishop Keith O'Brien - who also attended yesterday's service - and how his wife, a teacher, had been supported at the Catholic school where she works. He was greeted by warm applause when he said that Protestants and Catholics both struggled for justice for the poor and peace in the world. But he added: "It is a matter of great hurt to us that we are not able to share in Christian sacraments with our Catholic sisters and brothers, and we disagree strongly about what the Bible means about justice for women and ordination of women. We recognise that you are upset by much that we believe about ethical questions about birth and death and sexuality."

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