Pope appoints anti-gay temporary successor to Cardinal Keith O’Brien

Benedict XVI appoints Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia to the position, who has previously connected premature deaths to homosexuality

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia


Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a temporary successor to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.

Archbishop of Glasgow Reverend Philip Tartaglia will govern the vacant diocese until a permanent appointment is made.

It follows Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who has previously compared gay marriage to slavery, resigned after allegations he initiated inappropriate acts with his male priests.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: ‘These are painful and distressing times for the archdiocese, I also feel pained and distressed.

‘With the grace of God, I will do my very best to oversee and govern the archdiocese until the appointment of a new archbishop. I ask for your prayers.’

But with Tartaglia’s appointment, it shows the pope is not planning on putting a pro-gay Catholic in charge as Scotland works towards marriage equality.

When he was made an archbishop last year, Tartaglia was criticized for connecting former minister David Cairns’ death, who passed away from pancreatic cancer, to his sexuality.

He said: ‘Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so, and nobody said anything, and why his body should just shut down at that age?

‘Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody. But you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won’t address it.’

On 25 February, Benedict XVI agreed to O’Brien’s resignation and accepted it should take effect immediately.

The four priests who have made the claims against the cardinal filed them with the Pope’s ambassador in the week before Benedict’s own resignation on 11 February.

Speaking to Gay Star News, Tim Hopkins from the Scottish LGBT rights charity Equality Network said: ‘We hope that Archbishop Tartaglia’s future contributions on equal marriage will be considerate and measured, and will contribute to a mutually respectful discussion of the proposed [marriage equality] legislation here in Scotland.’

–  Gay Star News.

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