Kirk disputes Pope's view of the past

The first signs of a Church of Scotland backlash over the Pope’s views on the Reformation and Scottish sectarianism emerged yesterday when his remarks were described as "unhelpful" by leading figures in the Kirk.

In a statement issued last week by The Vatican, Pope Benedict, who will visit Scotland in September, described the 16th-century Reformation, which split the two faiths, as a "great rupture" that had led to religious intolerance.

But Kirk ministers yesterday disputed the Pontiff’s description and expressed concern that he had chosen to draw attention to sectarianism in Scotland.

Those in the Church of Scotland who want to see a formal celebration of the 450th anniversary of Scotland’s break with the Vatican later this year, claimed the Pope’s remarks would promote the idea that marking the Reformation would be seen as anti-Catholic.

• Full story at The Scotsman.