BY SCO Admin | March 5 | comments icon 6 COMMENTS     print icon print


Church ‘credibility and moral authority’ have been undermined in Scotland

Archbishop Tartaglia speaks at Lenten Mass in Glasgow on Church problems in the wake of Cardinal O’Brien’s admission of sexual conduct below the standards expected

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow said last night the Scottish Church’s ‘credibility and moral authority have been undermined’ in the wake of Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s resignation but that the Church would endure.

Cardinal O’Brien released a statement on Sunday saying his sexual conduct had ‘fallen below the standards’ expected of him. He resigned as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh on Monday 25 February after accusations of inappropriate behavior by three priests and an ex-priest were made public and will no play no part in the public life of the Church.

Archbishop Tartaglia, the newly appointed apostolic administrator for St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese, it was a ‘a sad moment for the Church in our country.’ He made the comment in his homily at a Lenten station Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, last night.

“The events around Cardinal O’Brien, his resignation, his statement, have left us all very sad, both for him, for everyone involved and for the Church,” he said. “We need to pray for our sister archdiocese, our brothers and sisters in Christ and in the Catholic Church.”

The Glasgow Archbishop said that the Church could not ignore the accusations of hypocrisy that the situation had generated.

“Many reproaches have been aimed at the Church and at individuals over this matter,” he said. ”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.”

Archbishop Tartaglia then assured the congregation at the cathedral and the wider Scottish Church that ‘this sad time for the Catholic Church in Scotland will also pass.’

“We will endure it with prayer and patience and hope,” he said. ”We will be able to put it in perspective as time goes on. We will not forget for a long time, but we will heal and we will carry on.”




Comments - 6 Responses

  1. Mrs McGrory says:

    We, the faithful know how hard the devil is striving to steal souls from God and it is usually the priests that are targetted, nothing new. We need to pray unceasingly for priests and families who are being attacked mercilessly from all angles. St Michael protect us.

  2. Andrew Paterson says:

    This is a very low key approach.
    There was no representative from the hierarchy of the Church on the Newsnight programme of 4 March where this subject was discussed.
    At some point soon Archbishop Tartaglia needs to make it clear that the Church is composed of sinners, and that bishops are as open to temptation as anyone else.
    He also needs to make it robustly clear that the views of the Church that were expressed by Cardinal O’Brien in respect of homosexual “marriage” amongst others remain very firmly the views of the Church and will not and cannot change.
    The sin is not the sinner, nor the sinner the sin.
    This is not a crisis as described by the secular Press, this is the normal business of the Church.

    • Jo says:

      I think those present in that Newsnight Programme did very well Andrew. Liz Leydon and John Haldane along with another Professor whose name I’ve forgotten, apologies to him, coped very well in the debate. That was quite an accomplishment considering Catherine Deveney was also present and was intent on following her own personal agenda. John Haldane exposed her inaccurate statement about the church in Scotland knowing about the allegations long before they were published in the Observer. The allegations had gone straight to Rome via a separate official route. They did not go to the church in Scotland. Ms Deveney was attempting to suggest they had. She also wanted to focus on same sex marriage and adoption and to use the Keith O’Brien revelations to damage the position of the church on both when, in fact, they are unrelated matters.

  3. Jim Monan says:

    What i want to know is how many senior clergy… knew of O’Brien’s misconduct and other sinister goings on and if they did why was nothing done about it!

  4. Ian Collins says:

    The Archbishop is right the credibility of the Church has been undermined by both the Cardinal’s hypocrisy and the subsequent attempt to cover it up by the Church. The behaviour of Keith O’Brien has been widely known for a long time in clerical circles. The Catholic Media Office misrepresnted the facts and colluded with the Cardinal’s untruthful denial. Legal action was threatened against the Observer the week after the story broke.

    The priests and former priest who broke the story should be applauded. Why has Philip Tartaglia not publicly thenked the priests for bringing this to light ? Was he hoping if they kept silent it could be concealed and the caridinal allowed to quietly retire? This is not about the private sin of an individual but about corruption and abuse of power at the highest level in the Church.

    These matters can not be left to the bishops or clergy to manage. The time has come for competent laity to play a full part in the governance of the church including investigating complaints against senior clergy.

    • Jo says:


      I would disagree with a great deal in your post.

      There is nothing to suggest the CMO “colluded” with anyone! The allegations about Keith O’Brien went straight to Rome.

      And I absolutely disagree that the priests at the centre of this matter should be remotely “applauded”. How long did THEY sit on the truth. You are accusing others of hiding things. What about them? Why did they wait thirty years?

      Why did they time their revelations as they did? The whole thing smacked of meticulous timing and the need to extract maximum revenge and cause maximum damage. And by taking that route they abandoned an on going investigation in favour of the media route where the truth, whatever that is, will be swallowed up while the more salacious detail takes centre stage. Applaud them? You can’t be serious.

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