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Extirpation of Popery

For a while we are going to enjoy excerpts from " Scalan: Leaves from the Master's Day Book" by Dr. John Watts...

In 1560 the Scottish Catholic Church was struck by the tidal wave of the Protestant Reformation, and found itself suddenly swept aside, indeed almost swept away. In most parts of the country its collapse was remarkably swift and complete. In a matter of years it fell from a position of power, wealth and privilege to a position of none, and was driven from the centre of society to the very margins. Its laity were now but a remnant, its priests pariahs. Though a small number still held on, as an organised body it had virtually ceased to exist.

In contrast to the position in England, almost no Scottish Catholics actually died for their Faith. Rather, very many suffered lifelong persecution, living under a kind of apartheid, vilified from pulpit and press and victims of a formidable battery of anti-Catholic legislation whose aim was to extirpate their religion entirely from the land.

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