Glasgow, Scotland, Jul 25, 2012 / 11:20 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop-designate Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow could see himself being imprisoned for speaking out in support of the traditional married family.
“I could see myself going to jail possibly at some point over the next 15 years, if God spares me, if I speak out,” Archbishop Tartaglia said in an interview with STV News July 24.
His comments came just a day before the Scottish government announced it would legislate in favor of same-sex “marriage.” Archbishop Tartaglia warned that the redefinition of marriage will have “enormous implications for religious liberty.”
“I am deeply concerned that today, defending the traditional meaning of marriage is almost considered ‘hate speech’ and branded intolerant. Such a response is undemocratic, closes debate and is highly manipulative,” he told CNA on July 24.
Last month the leading Scottish lawyer Aidan O’Neill warned that same-sex “marriage” legislation will radically undermine religious liberty in Scotland.
He predicted that a change in the law could result in employees being fired for opposing same-sex “marriage,” ministers and priests being sued for refusing to allow “wedding” ceremonies to take place in their churches, school children being forced to attend homosexual history lessons, and couples being rejected as foster parents if they oppose the new legislation.
Archbishop Tartaglia, 61, has been the Bishop of Paisley since 2005. Before that he served as rector of the Scots College in Rome. A native of Glasgow, he will now be the 41st successor of the city’s 7th- century founder, St. Mungo.
“I am conscious of the historic place of the Archdiocese of Glasgow in the history of Christianity in Scotland and of its importance for the Catholic community in particular,” he told the media at his opening press conference.
He was appointed as the new Archbishop of Glasgow on July 24 by Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Tartaglia succeeds 78-year-old Archbishop Mario Conti who has been at the helm in Glasgow since 2002. He said he was “delighted” with Pope Benedict’s choice of successor.
The Glasgow archdiocese is the largest of Scotland’s eight dioceses, with an estimated Catholic population of over 200,000.
Archbishop Tartaglia will be installed in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow on Saturday, Sept. 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.