Glasgow & West Scotland

Profile: Archbishop of Glasgow-elect Philip Tartaglia

Archbishop-elect Philip Tartaglia
Image caption Archbishop-elect Philip Tartaglia is moving to Scotland's largest Diocese

The Roman Catholic clergyman who clashed with the Scottish government over the issue of gay marriage has been elevated to Archbishop of Glasgow.

Philip Tartaglia, 61, outgoing Bishop of Paisley, will be installed in his new office in September.

He has been no stranger to controversy, however, having recently criticised ministers over anti-bigotry legislation and proposals for same sex marriage.

His 37-years as a clergyman has taken him from Glasgow to Rome and back.

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia was born in Glasgow on 11 January 1951 - the eldest son of Guido and Annita Tartaglia.

He has five sisters and three brothers, one of whom is a priest of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

After attending St Thomas' Primary in Riddrie, he began his secondary education at St Mungo's Academy before moving to the national junior seminary at St Vincent's College, Langbank.

He later attended St Mary's College, at Blairs, Aberdeen, before completing his ecclesiastical studies at the Pontifical Scots College, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Philip Tartaglia was ordained by then Archbishop Thomas Winning in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun, on 30 June 1975.

He then returned to Rome where he completed his ordinary course of studies in 1976 before beginning his research for his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.

In 1978 he was additionally appointed as Dean of Studies at the College in Rome, and was also acting Vice-Rector at that time.

On completing his Doctorate in 1980, he was appointed assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardonald, while at the same time becoming visiting lecturer at St Peter's College, Newlands, Glasgow.

A year later, he was appointed lecturer at St Peter's College, Newlands, becoming director of studies in 1983.

When Chesters College, Bearsden, opened in 1985 he was made vice-rector, becoming rector two years later.

He served in this position until 1993 when he was sent to St Patrick's, Dumbarton, as assistant priest before being appointed parish priest of St Mary's, Duntocher, in 1995.

In 2004, he was appointed Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, Rome.

The following year, after being nominated by Pope Benedict, he was ordained as Bishop of Paisley.

His highest-profile public statement in this role came last year when the Bishop wrote to First Minister Alex Salmond, criticising the Scottish government's stance on anti-bigotry legislation and proposals for same-sex marriage.

In the letter, Celtic fan Bishop Tartaglia, warned against the "hasty introduction of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill", following on-field and off-field trouble at a so-called Old Firm "shame game".

Image caption The new archbishop will be based at St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow

He stated that official figures "show conclusively that sectarian criminality is made up predominantly of acts of intolerance and hostility towards Catholics".

The Bishop expressed concern "that the Bill's introduction has served as a distraction from the real nature of sectarianism in Scotland".

His letter also strongly condemned ministers over "plans to dismantle the definition of marriage in Scotland".

It said: "As you will know by now, Scotland's Catholic bishops are dismayed that your government has seen fit to launch a consultation on same sex marriage and declare itself minded to introduce legislation which would permit it."

Bishop Tartaglia warned the first minister that any "commitment to such a course, will, I fear, bring about a serious chill to relations between the Scottish government and the Catholic Bishops' Conference".

He later met Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to discuss his concerns over both issues.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is the largest of Scotland's eight dioceses with an estimated Catholic population of 200,000. It comprises 95 parishes and is served by 203 priests.

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia will be the eight person to hold the office since the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in Scotland in 1878.

He follows Archbishop Mario Conti and Archbishop Thomas Winning, who later became Cardinal Winning.

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