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Final thoughts regarding Saint John Ogilvie

I would like to conclude these posts on Saint John Ogilvie with three observations:

Miscarriage of Justice?

If Saint John was standing trial in Scotland in a Scottish Court under Scots Law, why was he being pursued over something which was essentially an English issue created by Henry VIII’s Act of Supremacy of 1534? Was that a miscarriage of Justice? Furthermore, under Scots Law he had not exhausted the three stages under Scots Law that would have made him liable for execution.

The Proposed Statue

If we could establish that there was a miscarriage of justice, the statue which is proposed would surely be more acceptable to a wider constituency of Scots, since as a nation we have the reputation of being naturally supportive of victims of injustice. Even so, in these days of tolerance and equality, the statue should surely be accepted as a recognition of our whole history and not just the bits people like to talk about. Certainly, the statue will be a test of our maturity as a nation that we can honour, or at least allow others to honour freely, the memories that are important to each community which make up the great nation of the Scots.


If Henry VIII had not claimed to be Head of the Church in England in 1534, Fr. John Ogilvie would not have been executed in Scotland 81 years later. What are we doing today that will have an effect on people still to be born? In particular, what are we doing now that will have consequences for our fellow Catholics here in Scotland one hundred years from now? Hopefully it will be a good effect. What will they think of us? What will they thank us for? What will be our legacy?

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