As a Catholic priest living and working in Scotland, I would like to reject Peter Kearney's suggestion that Scotland is a hostile place for Catholics ("Scotland remains a hostile place for Catholic to live in", The Herald, May 27).

His comments appear exaggerated and pessimistic; they are not what most of us experience. We are aware that not all people would agree with our Christian view, but that is a long way from suggesting these same people are hostile to us. I would also like to reassure readers that neither myself nor my colleagues are often subject to violence, as Mr Kearney suggests. On the contrary, we are met with courtesy by others in the public forum who don't share our faith.

Mr Kearney's comments should be seen as his personal opinion and not that of the majority of Catholics. He should be mindful his post as a spokesman is to represent the church and not formulate or present his own ideas. Neither should he allow himself to be persuaded that he is a Catholic layman whom people seek out; that way leads to hubris.

Peter Kearney speaks of the situation of the Catholic Church in recent times. He must know there is dismay among all of us at how poorly we have been represented by his office and how those who were outspoken seem to have fallen silent or become invisible.

Rev Paul Morton, St Bride's, 21 Greenlees Road, Cambuslang.

The biggest problem the Catholic community faces in Scotland is probably the victim mentality of some among it and Peter Kearney does us no favours by feeding this.

Any disagreement with Catholic doctrine, moral code or practice, no matter how mild, honest, well considered or well intentioned, is waved in the air as evidence of anti-Catholicism. Most Catholics in Scotland recognise the rights of those around them to hold different opinions and get on with their lives.

Sadly there has been evidence of unscrupulous people trying to deploy this element for political reasons. This is an abuse of Scotland's Catholic community whose interest lies, with the rest of Scotland, in providing a better, fairer, more prosperous and well-integrated Scottish community for future generations. Most Scottish Catholics understand this.

Those of us with a West of Scotland Catholic upbringing are well aware of a history of virulent anti-Irish Catholicism which disfigured parts of Scotland in the not-very-distant past. This was as much political, social and historical as it was religious and we are aware it lingers on in the shadows. There are bigots here, as there are in most countries. This is written into human nature. But Scotland is not a hostile place for able, ambitious and confident Catholics who are prepared to recognise the rights of all to hold different opinions. Those who seek out insult are the ones likely to provoke it.

David McEwan Hill,

1 Tom Nan Ragh, Sandbank, Argyll.

Kenneth Stanton's characterisation of the schools system as educational apartheid betrays an ignorance of reality (Letters, May 28). Denominational and non-denominational schools are open to all. The comparison is inappropriate. While I teach in a Catholic school, I have a spectrum of religious belief and none in my class. I know parents value the choice in most communities and affirm the value of a diverse education system by selecting Catholic schools in such numbers.

Christopher Morris, 17 Tanzieknowe Road, Glasgow.