Archbishop Philip Tartaglia on the current difficulties facing the Catholic Church in Scotland

Monday 4 March 2013

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow and Apostolic
Administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh celebrates
Mass tonight (Monday 4 March) at St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow at a
pre-scheduled Lent Station Mass.
 
In his sermon he will make reference to the current difficulties facing
the Catholic Church in Scotland.  The relevant extracts from his sermon
follow:
 
"This is a sad moment for the Church in our country. The events around
Cardinal O’Brien, his resignation, his statement of yesterday, have left
us all very sad for everyone involved and for the Church. I have been
asked to administer the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh until a
new Archbishop is appointed, and I will do my very best to help in this
difficult time.
 
Many reproaches have been aimed at the Church and at individuals over
this matter. The most stinging charge which has been levelled against us
in this matter is hypocrisy, and for obvious reasons. I think there is
little doubt that the credibility and moral authority of the Catholic
Church in Scotland has been dealt a serious blow, and we will need to
come to terms with that.
 
So what can I say to offer us hope? Well, in the first place, a new
Pope will be elected in the coming weeks, and that will be certainly be
a wonderful moment of hope and joy for the Church throughout the world,
for since Pope Benedict announced his resignation and since he stepped
down, we sensed the absence of Peter among us. But the Lord will again
give us Peter, the rock,  who will confirm his brothers and sisters in
their faith in Jesus Christ...
 
And this sad time for the Catholic Church in Scotland will also pass.
We will endure it with prayer and patience and hope. We will not forget
for a long time, but we will heal and we will carry on. We will draw
what conclusions and lessons we can from it and, if anything, we will
learn to trust even more fully in Jesus Christ who is alone the Lord of
the Church
 
As for the Church’s mission in our country, yes our credibility and
moral authority have been undermined. It will take time, perhaps a long
time to recover these intangible but important realities. But we cannot
be defeatist. The answer to this sad episode is not to throw in the
towel. We need, rather, to renew our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to
go about our business humbly.
 
Remember that we are not alone as a Church. We are in communion with
the See of Peter and with the whole Catholic Church. We are in communion
with the Church throughout history. We are in communion with the saints
in heaven. Through that communion, we will draw strength from Jesus
Christ in whom we trust"

ENDS

Note to Editors:

1. Archbishop Tartaglia will not be available for interview

Peter Kearney
Director
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168
07968 122291
pk@scmo.org
www.scmo.org


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