Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia: ‘The Catholic Church has been damaged by hypocrisy’

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The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, has admitted that the Catholic Church stands accused of hypocrisy over the Cardinal O’Brien affair.

Archbishop Tartaglia is currently in temporary charge of Cardinal O’Brien’s former St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese until a new Archbishop is appointed.

Cardinal O’Brien had been due to retire this month but stepped down prematurely after several allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced in February.

On Sunday night he admitted that his “sexual conduct” had been “below the standards expected” of him.

Lawyer Nick Freeman, well-known for representing a string of celebrities, has now called on police to investigate the allegations.

On Monday evening, Archbishop Tartaglia struck a humble tone when referring to the events of the past two weeks at a special Lent service at Glasgow Cathedral.

According to Ekklesia, Archbishop Tartaglia said: “This is a sad moment for the Church in our country. The events around Cardinal O’Brien, his resignation, his statement of yesterday, have left us all very sad for everyone involved and for the Church. I have been asked to administer the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh until a new Archbishop is appointed, and I will do my very best to help in this difficult time.”

He added: “Many reproaches have been aimed at the Church and at individuals over this matter. The most stinging charge which has been levelled against us in this matter is hypocrisy, and for obvious reasons. 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 is also a vociferous opponent of equal marriage and caused outrage in 2012 when he linked the death of gay Labour MP David Cairns to his sexuality.

He subsequently apologised to Dermot Kehoe, Mr Cairns’ partner of 15 years, who said the remarks had added to the “grief and pain” both for him and of Mr Cairns’ family.

Archbishop Tartaglia has now been urged to start a new dialogue with Scotland’s LGBT community after Daniel Donaldson, a solicitor in Edinburgh, called on him to do so in an open letter published yesterday.