Pope appoints new Archbishop of Glasgow


Pope Benedict XVI has today, July 24 2012, appointed Bishop Philip Tartaglia (until now Bishop of Paisley) as Archbishop of Glasgow.   The new Archbishop will succeed Most Rev Mario Joseph Conti, who has been Archbishop since 22 February 2002.  

Commenting on the appointment, the new Archbishop-Elect said: I am conscious of the historic place of the Archdiocese of Glasgow in the history of Christianity in Scotland and of its importance for the Catholic community in particular.   It is a great honour for me to be appointed Archbishop of my native city and diocese.

Archbishop Tartaglia said he had been very happy and fulfilled as Bishop of Paisley where he has served since late 2005. He added: I have loved my diocese. The priests and people of the Diocese of Paisley will always be in my heart. And I would want to serve the Archdiocese of Glasgow with the same affection and devotion.

The Archbishop-elect said: I know I can only be a good bishop with help from above, so I ask everyone to pray for me.

Archbishop Conti said: I am delighted that the Holy Father has appointed Bishop Philip as my successor.   I have known him for more than 30 years and I have the greatest admiration for his gifts of leadership, intelligence and pastoral sensitivity.   The Archdiocese will be in very good hands. I hope to remain of service to the people of the Archdiocese and I will place myself at the service of my successor to assist him in whatever way he may wish in the life of the Church in Glasgow.

The President of the Bishops Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Keith Patrick O Brien, also offered his sincerest appreciation for the outgoing Archbishop Conti, saying: He will indeed be missed in his own Archdiocese, and beyond.   However, alert as always, I am sure that he will be available to add to any discussion about ways forward for the Catholic Church in Scotland and will continue to show himself as an ardent pastor in our country.

Cardinal O Brien added: The successor appointed to Archbishop Conti “ Bishop Philip Tartaglia, Bishop of Paisley “ has greatly endeared himself to the priests and people of his own diocese and I am sure that while they deeply regret his move from Paisley, they will also be happy to know that he will be able to continue his heavy responsibilities in the larger Archdiocese.

Background notes:

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia was born at Glasgow on the 11th January, 1951. He is the eldest son of Guido and Annita Tartaglia and has three brothers and five sisters. After his primary schooling at St. Thomas , Riddrie, he began his secondary education at St. Mungo s Academy, Glasgow, before moving to the national junior seminary at St. Vincent s College, Langbank and, later, St. Mary s College, Blairs, Aberdeen. His ecclesiastical studies were completed at the Pontifical Scots College, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained Priest by Archbishop Thomas Winning in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun on the 30th June 1975. He then returned to Rome where he completed his ordinary course of studies in 1976 before beginning his research for his Doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 1978 he was additionally appointed as Dean of Studies at the College in Rome, and was also acting Vice-Rector at that time.

On completing his Doctorate in 1980, on the Council of Trent s teaching on the Eucharist, he was appointed assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardonald, while at the same time becoming visiting lecturer at St. Peter s College, Newlands, Glasgow.

A year later, he was appointed Lecturer at St. Peter s College, Newlands, becoming Director of Studies in 1983. When Chesters College, Bearsden, opened in 1985 he was made Vice-Rector. In 1987 he was appointed Rector.

He served as Rector until 1993 when he was sent to St. Patrick s, Dumbarton, as Assistant Priest before being appointed Parish Priest of St. Mary s, Duntocher in 1995. In 2004, the Bishops Conference asked him to return to seminary as Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, Rome.

On 13th September 2005, it was announced that Father Philip Tartaglia had been nominated by the Pope Benedict XVI as Bishop of Paisley.   On 20th November 2005, the Solemnity of Christ the King, he was ordained bishop in St. Mirin's Cathedral by Archbishop Mario Conti. The co-consecrating bishops were Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Missouri and Bishop John Mone, Emeritus Bishop of Paisley.

The new Archbishop s Episcopal motto is the Latin phrase, Da robur, fer auxilium , taken from the traditional Eucharistic hymn O Salutaris Hostia , composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. These words serve as an invocation: Thine aid supply, thy strength bestow.

Some of the new Archbishop s recent talks and speeches can be accessed at the Diocese of Paisley website “  

The new Archbishop has a brother who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, Canon Gerry Tartaglia who is Parish Priest of St Margaret s and Our Holy Redeemer Parishes in Clydebank.

The Mass of Installation of the new Archbishop will take place in St Andrew s Cathedral, Glasgow, at 11.30am on Saturday 8th September 2012, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. More details will be forthcoming in due course.

Notes for Editors

The new Archbishop will be the eighth Archbishop to hold office since the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy to Scotland in 1878.   The Diocese was vacant following the Reformation from the death in Paris on 24 April 1603 of Archbishop James Beaton until the appointment of Archbishop Charles Eyre on 15 March 1878.

Following his retirement Archbishop Conti will have the title Archbishop Emeritus of Glasgow. Between today s announcement and September 8, Archbishop Conti and Archbishop-elect Tartaglia will continue to administer their current dioceses.  

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is the largest of Scotland s eight Dioceses with an estimated Catholic population of 200,000.   It comprises 95 parishes and is served by 203 priests.

The new Archbishop is a regular contributor to a variety of journals and reviews in the UK, Europe and the USA. He also counts football among his hobbies and is a regular attender at Celtic s home matches.  

The new Archbishop will travel to Rome in October to represent Scotland at the worldwide Synod of Bishops which will discuss the New Evangelisation.

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia is also president of the Communications Commission of the Bishops Conference of Scotland.

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