Friday 23 November 2012
Archbishop Tartaglia responds to new Religious Hate Crime statistics
The Catholic Church has called for a public acknowledgement of the
extent of anti-Catholicism in Scotland as new Crown Office statistics show
an increase in Religiously Aggravated hate crimes directed at Catholics.
The data contained in the report RELIGIOUSLY AGGRAVATED OFFENDING IN
SCOTLAND 2011-12 (www.scotland.gov.uk/socialresearch) shows an increase of
26% in religious hate crimes. 876 charges with a religious aggravation in
2011-12 were analysed by the Justice Analytical Services.
As per previous years attacks on Catholics constitute the largest
identified group, with 509 such incidents accounting for 58.1% of all such
offences. Anti-Catholic attacks are more prevalent than attacks on all
other religious groups combined.
Commenting on the statistics, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of
the Bishops Conference of Scotland said;
"I am saddened by the latest figures on religiously aggravated offending.
While most Catholics are safe most of the time, these figures show a side of
Scotland which is truly unfortunate. Sadly, it seems incontrovertible now
that our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism. This is
regrettable because popular culture is inventing all kinds of new reasons to
marginalise and hate Catholics. In the face of this, the Catholic community
of Scotland remains steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and fully committed
to being part of Scottish society."
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168