13 January 2021, The Tablet

Archbishop of Glasgow dies after positive Covid test

Archbishop of Glasgow dies after positive Covid test

The late Archbishop Philip Tartaglia leading a mass at St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow in 2014.
Danny Lawson/PA

Archbishop of Glasgow Phillip Tartaglia died suddenly at his home in Glasgow today, on the feast day of St Kentigern, known as St Mungo, the patron saint of Glasgow.

According to the Archdiocese he “had tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after Christmas and was self-isolating at home. The cause of death is not yet clear.”

The eldest son of Guido and Annita Tartaglia, the Phillip Tartaglia was born in Glasgow on 11 of January 1951, and was educated at the National Junior Seminary at St Vincent’s College, Langbank and, later, St Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen. He completed his ecclesiastical studies the Pontifical Scots College, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

The late Archbishop was ordained by then-Archbishop Thomas Winning in 1975, and after completing his doctorate in Rome he returned to Scotland where he served as assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardonald, and as a visiting lecturer at St Peter’s College, Newlands, Glasgow.

He went on to teach at St Peter's and serve as vice-rector and then Rector of Chesters College, Bearsden until 1993. He spent the next few years serving as a parish priest. He was appointed to St Patrick’s, Dumbarton, as assistant priest and then parish priest of St Mary’s, Duntocher in 1995.

In 2004, he briefly became the Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, Rome before being nominated as Bishop of Paisley. On 24 July 2012, Bishop Tartaglia was appointed Archbishop of Glasgow and was installed at St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, on Saturday 8 September 2012, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Archbishop was a popular figure in Scotland and his Glasgow archdiocese, and messages of grief and condolence have already begun pouring in across social media.

Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Justice Minister said via Twitter: “Deeply saddened to hear news of passing of Archbishop Tartaglia. Have many fond memories of conversations we shared over years. He was a regular visitor to Catholic Schools in my constituency, he spent time engaging with pupils & staff. Prayers with our Catholic community.”

Local MP for Glasgow North-West, Carol Monagham joined the expressions of sorrow and praised his efforts on behalf of the poor and marginalised: “Sad news for the Catholic community today with the news that Archbishop Philip Tartaglia has died. I am reminded of his letter to the UK Government challenging the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in our communities.”

The Archbishop’s role during the pandemic and the lockdown was especially noted with Patrick Grady MP, of Glasgow North remarking: “Abp Philip Tartaglia was a wonderful, gentle shepherd of his flock.  His livestream preaching during early days of lockdown was a particular source of comfort & support to the faithful in Glasgow.  His loss, on feast of city's patron, will be keenly felt. May he rest in peace.”

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