BY Ian Dunn | March 27 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Archbishop Philip Tartaglia: Pope Francis will guide us in these difficult times

Laity and clergy stood united during the Chrism Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, last night as archdiocesan priests renewed their commitment following Cardinal O’Brien’s resignation

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia rallied the Faithful in Edinburgh last night, saying that, though the Devil is ‘having his way with us right now,’ the Scottish Church cannot give in to ‘self pity’ or ‘resentment.’

The Glasgow Archbishop was speaking at the Chrism Mass (above) at St Mary’s Cathedral in St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese, where he is currently serving as apostolic administrator  following the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, former Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Archbishop Tartaglia, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland,  told the congregation and priests—gathered in great numbers for the Chrism Mass—that he had to acknowledge ‘the sad and surreal circumstances in which we gather this evening.’

“The cardinal archbishop of this diocese has stepped down in disturbing and perplexing circumstances involving a group of priests,” he said. “The Faithful have been disappointed, distressed and saddened beyond belief. The media has reported and commented on the matter relentlessly and unsympathetically for the last month. The fallout has been very damaging and is still happening. We feel weary and besieged and vulnerable.”

The archbishop thanked the large congregation for coming to show support for the priesthood, and invited them to stand with the clergy during certain parts of the Mass traditionally reserved for the ordained as they renewed their priestly commitment.

The archbishop told his fellow priests that they should not be ‘afraid or downhearted’ as their renewed that commitment.

“Renew it with a sense of thanksgiving,” he said. “And renew it with a pledge and a promise to this Church of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and to the assembly gathered here this evening, that, whatever has happened in the past, we will be faithful to our promises and strive ever more for holiness, and that our conduct in public and in private will be irreproachable, always reflecting the gift we have received from Jesus Christ.”

Archbishop Tartaglia also told all present that the Lord had sent Pope Francis to help guide the Church through this difficult time.

“For whatever reason, the Devil is having his way with us right now, but we cannot give in either to self-pity or to destructive emotions of anger or resentment,” he said. “The Lord has given us Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, as a messenger of reconciliation, of peace and of love. As we gather for this Mass of Chrism, we look to the Lord for forgiveness, for hope and for renewal.”


—The St Andrew’s and Edinburgh Chrism Mass was celebrated after the Easter SCO went to press this week.

Pic: Paul McSherry

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