BY Ian Dunn | November 23 | comments icon 3 COMMENTS     print icon print


Scotland remains an anti-Catholic country

Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow speaks out as Crown Office figures prove football legislation has failed to tackle wider the problem.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow has said the Scottish Government is refusing to face up to the brutal nature of anti-Catholicism in Scotland as new Crown Office statistics show an increase in attacks on Catholics.

The data contained in the latest report—Religiously aggravated offending in Scotland 2011-2012—shows an increase of 26 per cent in religious hate crimes, with 509 attacks on Catholics making up 58.per cent of all such offences. Anti-Catholic attacks are more prevalent than attacks on all other religious groups combined.

Archbishop Tartaglia, newly elected President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said the statistics proved Catholics can not feel completely safe in Scotland.

“I am saddened by the latest figures on religiously aggravated offending,” he said. “While most Catholics are safe most of the time, these figures show a side of Scotland, which is truly unfortunate.”

The archbishop also said the Scottish Government had to face up to the reality that Scotland was and still is an anti-Catholic country.

“Sadly, it seems incontrovertible now that our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism,” he said.  “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.”

Scotland introduced the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 on March 1 this year and it was reported this month that 89 per cent of reported cases of offensive behaviour have been prosecuted and 83 per cent of those have brought convictions.

While Archbishop Tartaglia has himself witnessed anti-Catholic bigotry on the football terraces, sectarianism in Scotland is not limited to sporting events. As Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, told the SCO last week: “The reality is that football-related incidents only ever made up 15 per cent of sectarian-aggravated offences, so that is a total red herring.”

Comments - 3 Responses

  1. paul stewart says:

    i disagree that the Scottish Govs policy is not working, surely if more people are reporting or if more folk are getting caught, then this shows that the policy is working? I wonder how many of these sectarian offences take place at orange walks? I have been asking for decades for these hate filled bigot fests should be banned! Only by voting for an Independent Scotland can these orange walks be properly targeted.

  2. paul stewart says:

    sorry “that” instead of “for”

  3. rob mcdonald says:

    neither labour or snp have been honest about anti- catholicism, it is easier to play the old song about them both being as bad as each other and the problem being a glasgow and a football one. Sadly their own statistics could not be swewed to say this so were lost last time and misrepresented this time. I suspect the politicoes fear to tell the truth in case it damages the country’s reputation. Good on the archbishop and previously the cardinal for daring to tell the unpallatable truth

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