Hardly scholarly

Your correspondents Thomas Clancy and Michael Turnbull strangely continue to pronounce on the funding arrangements of the Scottish Catholic Archives (Letters, 1 June).

Their assertions are error- ridden.

Their approach is suspicious since a letter or phone call to the Bishops’ Conference would have been all that was required to obtain accurate information regarding actual costs.

Their decision to become public inquisitors does suggest ulterior motives which have nothing to do with serious scholarship and even less with a genuine concern for the future of the collections held at the archives.

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Reference is made to the Menzies Trust. This trust has as its purposes the furtherance of the Catholic religion in Scotland inthe broadest terms, and in particular the formation of the clergy. It has been unable to achieve its hoped-for level of income in recent years.

What income it has is used to support Scotus College, Priests for Scotland and other works of the Catholic Bishops of Scotland as well as the Blairs Museum and the archives.

A collapse in income has meant that the fraction used to offset the cost of the Catholic Archives does not come close to the actual costs and has therefore to be heavily supplemented by contributions from the dioceses of Scotland.

Sadly, none of those who have rushed into print on this matter in recent weeks have made any effort whatsoever to offer funding or fundraising expertise to the Church.

Had such a response been made some years ago when decisions were being taken, it may have been both relevant and useful. The current round of self-serving sniping and grumbling from people who have been unwilling to lift so much as a finger to help is unseemly and does them no credit whatsoever.

Peter Kearney

Scottish Catholic Media Office

St Vincent Place