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Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow and Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh celebrates Mass tonight (Monday 4 March) at St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow at a pre-scheduled Lent Station Mass.

In his sermon he will make reference to the current difficulties facing the Catholic Church in Scotland. The relevant extracts from his sermon

"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.

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.

So what can I say to offer us hope? Well, in the first place, a new Pope will be elected in the coming weeks, and that will be certainly be a wonderful moment of hope and joy for the Church throughout the world, for since Pope Benedict announced his resignation and since he stepped down, we sensed the absence of Peter among us. But the Lord will again give us Peter, the rock, who will confirm his brothers and sisters in their faith in Jesus Christ...

And this sad time for the Catholic Church in Scotland will also pass.
We will endure it with prayer and patience and hope. We will not forget for a long time, but we will heal and we will carry on. We will draw what conclusions and lessons we can from it and, if anything, we will learn to trust even more fully in Jesus Christ who is alone the Lord of the Church

As for the Church’s mission in our country, yes our credibility and moral authority have been undermined. It will take time, perhaps a long time to recover these intangible but important realities. But we cannot be defeatist. The answer to this sad episode is not to throw in the towel. We need, rather, to renew our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and to go about our business humbly.

Remember that we are not alone as a Church. We are in communion with the See of Peter and with the whole Catholic Church. We are in communion with the Church throughout history. We are in communion with the saints in heaven. Through that communion, we will draw strength from Jesus Christ in whom we trust"

Press Statement issued 04/03/13
Editor 04/03/2013 20:13