One Church in Scotland in 50 years time!
CARDINAL Thomas Winning claims, a report in The Scotsman says, that Roman Catholicism will be the only faith in Scotland in 50 year’s time. He has also expressed the view that other denominations will be forced to share its beliefs and accept bishops. In a letter to the newspaper a day or two later he appears to have backed down somewhat, not by denying that he said, but by saying that “such terminology . . . jars particularly in this week of prayer devoted to Christian unity”.
And what does he mean by unity? “My vision of ecumenism,” he says in his letter, “involves the final reunification of the whole of Christ’s Church into a church that is truly catholic – that is, universal.” We would be fools if we thought that the one church he has in mind is other than his own. Quoting the Pope, Winning says also, “Can we not make that journey together, hand in hand?” As the proverbial spider politely invited the fly into his parlour, so Rome uses smooth words to beguile ignorant Protestants into her web.
Winning is also reported to have said, “When we speak to other Churches, we have to say, Look right back to the beginning and ask yourselves, Why did you abandon us?’ Remember it was them [sic] who left us.” Another example of Romish arrogance! Even some secular historians can see that the Church of Rome has departed greatly from the pattern of doctrine, worship and practice given by Christ in His Word. The fact is that those Churches which more or less adhere to that pattern are true Christian churches. The Church of Rome, especially by its ancient heresies and the blasphemy of the mass, has become a veritable “synogogue of Satan”.
Furthermore, the Celtic Church in Scotland was not Roman Catholic. It was established by the missionary labours of Columba in the sixth century and by others in the seventh, and it gradually replaced paganism. It was the Church of the land of Scotland until it was swallowed up by Rome, a process that was given great impetus during the time (1068 to 1093) of that ardent daughter of Rome, Queen Margaret. From the end of the twelfth century until the Reformation, Rome had full power in Scotland. She certainly was not on the scene in Scotland before the Celtic Church existed. John Noble rightly says in his Religious Life in Ross, “The Church of the Reformation in Scotland can trace her evangelical succession’ back through Columba and Patrick, Christian Roman soldiers, and refugees from the Diocletian persecution, to the Apostolic age.” What, we ask, was the Scottish Reformation but the regaining, in an even purer form, of the Christian heritage given to us in those early centuries, long before Rome appeared in our fair land?
The Roman Catholic hierarchy is determined that it will prevail against the Church of the Reformation. Whatever progress they may make in that direction, the words of Christ will not lose their authority, nor will His promise fail, “Upon this rock (that is, the truth concerning Christ, and therefore Christ Himself as revealed in the truth) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:18.