Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Scot cannot be Pope

Libby Purves in The Times explains why a Scot cannot be a Pope.

Apparently Scotland is the only country in the world where it is still illegal for a citizen to become Pope.

The Act (The Papal Jurisdiction Act 1560) was passed by the Old Scots Parliament after The Reformation and has never been repealed.

The Papal Jurisdiction Act 1560, APS 1560 c.2 provides:

Papal Jurisdiction Act 1560, APS 1560 c.2

Concerning the jurisdictioun and autoritie of the bischope of Rome callit the Paip

In the Parliament haldin at edinburgh the tent day of Julij the yeir of God JmVc&lx yeiris and thairefter continewit to the first day of august nixt thaireftir following with continewatioune of dayis vpoun the tuenty foir day of the said monethe of august

The thre estaitis then being present vnderstanding that the Jurisdictioune and autoritie of the bischope of Rome callit the paip vsit within this realme in tymes bipast hes bene verray hurtful and preiudiciall to our soueranis autoritie and commone weill of this realme

Thairfoir hes statute and ordanit that the bischope of Rome haif na Jurisdictioun nor autoritie within this realme in tymes cuming

And that nane of our saidis soueranis subiectis of this realme sute or desire in ony tyme heireftir title or rycht be the said bischope of Rome or his sait to ony thing within this realme vnder the panis of barratrye

That is to say proscriptioune banischement and neuir to bruke honour office nor dignitie within this realme

And the controvenaris heirof tobe callit befoir the Justice or his deputis or befoir the lordis of sessioun and pvnist thairfoir conforme to the Lawis of this realme

And the furnissaris of thame with fynance of money and purchessaris of thair title of rycht or manteanaris or defendaris of thame sall incur the same panis

And that na bischop nor vther prelat of this realme vse ony Jurisdictioun in tymes to cum be the said bischop of Romeis autoritie vnder the pane foirsaid

However the Act does go further than simply forbidding a Scotsman becoming Pope. No one would object to the declaration that the Pope is to have no jurisdiction in Scotland. Perhaps it is time to look at the Act and consider its amendment ?