Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Early Scottish Church

The origins of the Scottish Church go back to very early times, even to the second century.

Celtic Monasticism in Scotland
The cradle of the Scottish Church is to be found with Celtic monasticism, the specific form of Celtic Christianity that saw missionaries living among men, women and children in a settlement built around a church. All the families and individuals within the settlement lived as one spiritual family united in the faith in Christ. These were the early monastic settlements on which the Scottish Church was edified.

Early Scottish Abbots
The abbots of Celtic monasteries in Scotland did not recognise mortal persons, including the pope, as being superior to them in ecclesial authority. Holding true to the Word of the Gospel, Scottish abbots believed in the superior authority of Jesus Christ. Together with a number of their followers, they would travel far and wide to bring the Word of the Gospel to the people.

The monastery where a Scottish abbot resided was the centre of his ecclesial ministry, and the surrounding settlements he visited were part of his missionary territory. Scottish abbots, like all Celtic abbots in general, were priests of Jesus Christ, and their authority was the equivalent to that of a missionary bishop, regardless of whether they actually received the title of bishop.

Read more on the origins of the Scottish Church:

Saint Patrick's Letter to Coroticus:

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