CAMPAIGNERS are demanding Orange walks in Renfrewshire be rerouted away from Catholic churches.

The plea comes after Call It Out, which campaigns against anti-Catholic bigotry, organised a silent demo outside St Conval’s Church, in Linwood, as members of Hanover District Loyal Orange Lodge 18 passed by on Saturday afternoon.

The group stood outside the church and held banners which read: “No anti-Catholic marches past Catholic Churches.”

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Jeannette Findlay, chair of Call It Out, told The Gazette: “We were contacted by people in Linwood who told us they had objections to the plans to march past St Conval’s.

“There is no reason why the walks have to pass the church.”

The Gazette: Protestors carried signs with slogans such as ‘reroute the flute’ to make their feelings clear outside St Conval’s Church while members of Hanover District Loyal Orange Lodge 18 marched pastProtestors carried signs with slogans such as ‘reroute the flute’ to make their feelings clear outside St Conval’s Church while members of Hanover District Loyal Orange Lodge 18 marched past

Video footage has emerged which appears to show members of the band playing controversial song ‘No Pope of Rome’ during the march.

The song’s lyrics include: ‘No, no Pope of Rome. No chapels to sadden my eyes. No nuns and no priests, no rosary beads. Every day is the 12th of July.’

Ms Findlay added: “They played No Pope of Rome, which is anti-Catholic and provocative.

“All we are asking is that walks do not take place past Catholic churches.”

The Gazette:

Call It Out say they will return to Linwood in August for the Apprentice Boys of Derry’s march, which is also due to pass St Conval’s.

Marches also pass the likes of St Aidan’s Church, in Johnstone, and St Mirin’s Cathedral, in Paisley.

However, the Orange Order has insisted marches are done with respect.

A spokesperson for the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said: “We note recent comments from Archbishop Leo Cushley, where he confirms that the Roman Catholic Church does not have an issue with Orange parades passing their churches, as long as it is done respectfully. It is only Irish Republican groups like Call it Out that are trying to ban Orange men and women from Scottish streets. At the parade in Linwood, there was no restrictions in place to prevent the parade bands playing music as they passed the church. However, as can clearly be seen in the video posted, the parade organisers themselves took the decision to stop bands playing as they passed by directly outside.

The Gazette:

“We will continue to show respect for other faiths and work with the authorities and other faith groups to ensure Scotland remains a country of different faiths and cultures, without the need for religious no-go zones.”

When approached by The Gazette, chiefs at the Paisley Diocese insisted there had never been any issues with the marches in the area.

A spokesperson added: “People have a right to make their own marches and demonstrations, so long as they don’t infringe upon our right to public worship.”

Police have said they will not adopt a presumption that such marches should not pass Catholic churches as, legally, the Orange Order is not deemed to be an anti-Catholic organisation.

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Inspector Cassie Glass added: “Unless there are public safety, public order, damage to property and/or disruption to the life of the community issues, which in this specific case there are not, we don’t have grounds to object to parades and the democratic right of people to assemble and march.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman said permission for the Linwood march was given in line with the council’s “standard conditions.”

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