Withdrawal without agreement would be reckless, says Kirk
The General Assembly building of the Church of Scotland on the Mound.
By Cameron Brooks
Withdrawal from Europe without agreement would be reckless, according to a senior figure in the Church of Scotland.
Reacting to the vote at Westminster to reject the EU Withdrawal Agreement, Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said: “The Church of Scotland calls on the Westminster Parliament and UK Government to make a commitment not to withdraw from the EU without a comprehensive agreement in place.
“To do so would be reckless, not only in the short-term, and represents a loss of good faith with our closest neighbours on which we depend for our common good.
“Reconciliation across our divided society needs a different approach, one in which we can take a deliberately slower and more thoughtful approach to discerning our future relationship with the EU.
“We need a much more respectful dialogue, one which is based on listening attentively rather than shouting louder.
“The Westminster Parliament and UK Government must work actively towards consensus in all parts of the UK about our future relationship with the EU and to use whatever mechanisms are necessary to create the time for this to happen.
“What we do, and how we do it, over these coming weeks will have an impact not just for the next few years but for generations to come.”
There was a reaction too from Bishop Mark Strange of the Scottish Episcopal Church – “The UK parliament has voted against the deal that had been negotiated by the UK government, we now enter into
unknown territory. Whatever your opinion of the merits or otherwise of our membership of the European Union, please, if you pray, pray tonight for those who will undoubtedly suffer from the uncertainty that continues.”
Bishop Willie Nolan has called on Scots to visit the Holy Land
Meanwhile, a Scottish Catholic bishop has called on Scots to visit the Holy Land in order to help beleaguered Christian communities there who are dependent on pilgrims and tourism.
Bishop William Nolan, the Bishop of Galloway, is currently visiting the Holy Land as part of an international delegation in support of Christians in Israel and Palestine.
The Holy Land Coordination delegation is made up of Bishops from across Europe, North America and South Africa, who have made an annual pastoral visit to Israel and Palestine for the past 20 years.
Speaking from City of Haifa, Bishop Nolan said: “In many parts of the Holy Land the indigenous Christian populations are declining or at risk. Many of them depend on pilgrims and tourism.”
“I pray that Christians at home will consider visiting the land of Christ’s birth and in so doing give their support to Christian communities here.”