Let us not forget that anti-Catholicism is alive and well in certain parts of Europe still, particularly the British Isles. A Polish soccer player for a Scottish club was warned by police for crossing himself. You need to know the background. The footballer plays for the Glasgow Catholic team, a historically Catholic club. There has often been violence between the supporters of the Catholic club and their rivals, the Celtic Rangers, whose fans often spout anti-Catholic rhetoric. While it hasn’t reached the level of violence you see in Northern Ireland, it is no less dangerous and vitriolic.
The player, Artuc Bosuc, the Glasgow Catholic goalkeeper, crossed himself during a game against the Rangers, and some Ranger fans complained. Because of the history of violence, the police got involved.
After an investigation by the procurator fiscal — the Scottish crown prosecutor — it was decided that Boruc’s behaviour provoked alarm and crowd trouble and constituted a breach of the peace, but not one serious enough to warrant court action.
The decision, which leaves Boruc with a criminal record, was condemned by religious leaders. “The sign of the cross is globally accepted as a gesture of religious reverence,” said Peter Kearney, for the Catholic church in Scotland.
Boruc said he always makes the sign of the cross while playing.
The Reformation may have been centuries ago, but it’s effects are still felt today. But this also provokes an interesting thought: More and more Eastern Europeans, especially those from Catholic countries are emigrating West. While the wave of Muslim and Buddhist immigration may be larger, there are still quite a few Catholics. I wonder how that will affect such incidents in the future. I wonder how it will affect the reflexive anti-Catholicism.
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