Friday 18 November 2011
Archbishop Tartaglia comments on Crown Office analysis of Sectarian Offences
Reacting to the publication of the Crown Office analysis, Bishop Philip Tartaglia, as President of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, said:
"Although it has taken five years and repeated requests and in spite of the fact that in the intervening period hundreds of Crown office documents have been destroyed, preventing a more complete and balanced analysis, this report does nonetheless make a useful contribution to the sectarianism debate.
Catholics will take little comfort from the fact that they were previously five times more likely to suffer a sectarian attack than anyone else and are now 4.5 times more likely. Since Catholics represent just 16% of Scotland's population, the fact that they account for almost 60% of the victims of sectarian crime reflects poorly on modern Scotland and is an indicator of entrenched hostility on a worrying scale.
It remains the case that the overwhelming majority of sectarian incidents are not football related. Therefore, far more engagement is needed with the church in future by all public authorities committed to the eradication of religious intolerance. I restate the willingness and the readiness of our church officials to assist Strathclyde Police in their efforts to understand and monitor religiously aggravated behaviour.
Finally, the Catholic Church in Scotland condemns in the strongest possible terms any sectarian behaviour or criminality from any quarter whatever, as having no place in a civilised society.
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