FOR the first lime since the Reformation, a Catholic diocese has been granted permission to bear a Coat of Arms.
The Scottish Diocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh has been authorised to hold Armorial Bearings after it was found that an act barring Catholic dioceses from such practices only applies to England and Wales.
The Ecclesiastical Titles Act of 1851 came about when Protestants were furious at Cardinal Wiseman taking the title of Archbishop of Westminister after the restoration of the English hierarchy. Some 130 years later it was only after intense discussions between archdiocesan authorities and the office of the lord Lyon King of Arms that it was found that the rules did not apply north of the border.
The Coat of Arms now held by the archdiocese consists of "Azure a Saltire Agent charged on each of the upper limbs with a Cross Pats filch) Sable and at the centre a representation of Edinburgh castle as in the Arms of the City".
The Catholic Bishops of Motherwell, Paisley and Argyll and the Isles are also applying for historic coals following the success of Si Andrews and Edinburgh. A formal presentation of Letters Patent convey ing the Arms to the archdiocese will take place at Edinburgh on August 15,