Bishops fear hate crime law could criminalise Bible

The Catechism could be seen as inflammatory in Scotland under proposed legislation (Bigstock)

Bishops in Scotland have warned that the country's proposed hate crime legislation could criminalise the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Source: CNA.

In a statement yesterday, the bishops argued that the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Bill could lead to censorship of Catholic teaching.

“We are also concerned that section 5 of the Bill creates an offence of possessing inflammatory material which, if taken with the low threshold contained therein, could render material such as the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other texts such as Bishops’ Conference of Scotland submissions to government consultations, as being inflammatory under the new provision,” they said.

The bishops made the comments in a submission to the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee, which is scrutinising the bill introduced by the Government on April 23.

The proposed legislation creates a new crime of stirring up hatred against any of the protected groups covered by the bill, which include race, religion, sexual orientation, and transgender identity.

The bishops cited their recent submission to the Government on the proposed revision of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, in which they set out the Church’s teaching “that sex and gender are not fluid and changeable, and that male and female are complementary and ordered towards the creation of new life.”

They said: “Such pronouncements, which are widely held, might be perceived by others as an abuse of their own, personal worldview and likely to stir up hatred.”


Catholic bishops fear Scotland's hate crime law could criminalise Bible and Catechism (CNA)


Freedom to disagree must be protected, say Scotland’s Bishops (Bishops Conference of Scotland) 

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