In media profiles of the young Angela Merkel, now re-elected as German Chancellor, it was instructive to learn of her childhood and youth in the GDR (East Germany) as the daughter of a Lutheran pastor.
The GDR was, according to its constitution, a “socialist and humanist” state. Frau Merkel’s mother, as a Christian, was automatically unable to ply her trade as a schoolteacher in East Germany’s rigidly secular state.
There seems to me some reason to fear that if the Scottish secular lobby has its way, we will eventually end up in the same kind of intolerant society that saw to education in the former German Democratic Republic.
The alternative model for a European secular society is France, where the state pays for the teachers’ salaries in private Catholic schools. If that model were to be transferred to Scotland, we could perhaps have the state paying teachers to work in Christian private schools.
However, in my own view, it is much better for us in Scotland to leave our schools to function as they traditionally do and to ignore the calls by a few secular activists for change in a Scottish system of church and state education balance. This has stood the test of time and causes no great concern for most born and bred Scots who have been through the system and have seen their children do so also.
I would like to correct the egregious errors of Norman Bonney (Letters, 23 September). The Roman Catholic Church is a universal church – that is what the word catholic means. No Catholic could ever think that the idea of a national church makes sense. As St Paul says: “There is no distinction between Jew and Greek.”
However, the Catholic Church has always recognised the Scottish identity, which is why we have our own Scottish hierarchy, and England and Wales have their own hierarchy. All episcopal appointments have to be authorised by the Pope to safeguard orthodoxy and unity.