Secularists seek royal seal of approval for Catholics

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SECULARIST campaigners have appealed to Alex Salmond to use the current debate on new powers for Scotland to help end discrimination against Catholics.

The National Secular Society claims Holyrood’s consideration of constitutional changes proposed by the UK Government in the Scotland Bill offers a “historic opportunity” to promote a change in legislation to remove the ban, contained in the 1701 Act of Settlement, which prevents Roman Catholics or people married to them from succeeding to the throne.

Norman Bonney, the society’s council member for Scotland, has written to the First Minister, pointing out the issue was first raised in the Scottish Parliament in 1999.

He said: “It not just about creating a fairer society but it is also about creating a social environment that will moderate some of the occasional eruptions of unacceptable religious sectarianism that surround disorder at football matches.”