Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Martyr?

Here is a question for you.  Today we celebrate the feast of unlikely martyrs, the Holy Innocents, but I wonder was Mary, Queen of Scots, a martyr?  Part of the reason why Elizabeth I put the Queen to death was because she was a Catholic, a Catholic who threatened her own position as Queen - similar to King Herod's fears with regard to Christ.

The opening of the Vatican Archives exhibition in Rome has left me wondering again about this question - a letter the imprisoned Queen wrote to Pope Sixtus V is included in the exhibition.

I remember speaking with a dear friend of mine about this - the late Canon Francis J. Ripley.  He was an authority on the Reformation martyrs of Great Britain, and he concluded that religion and politics are so intertwined in Mary's life, it would be difficult to unravel them, so a Cause would present many problems.  But I think that doesn't rule out an attempt? 

I think the Church in Scotland should have a look and see if they can open the Cause for Mary.  There is no better man to meet a challenge than Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who has proven himself to be a marvellous defender of faith and life in Scotland, and indeed in the world.  If anyone could meet the challenge it is Cardinal O'Brien.

Mary saw herself as a martyr, going to her death with great serenity dressed in red.  Despite a wild youth, became a holy woman during her years of imprisonment in England.  As Queen of Scots, she was tolerant of other religions, she even tolerated John Knox who was forever attacking her for her "Papist" faith.  To be honest, if she was more like her cousin Elizabeth she would have had Knox's head off: but she didn't, she tried to reach out to him.  However, it was his fanatic extremism which prevented any reconciliation.

Something to think about.  What do our friends in Scotland think? 

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