Archbishop of Glasgow On “Low Level of Catholic Formation” … So What? 

Below, the text of the Pastoral Letter sent from the Archbishop of Glasgow to be read in all parishes tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd March, 2019.  Underneath the Pastoral Letter, is the text of the ad clerum – that is his letter to priests – on the same subject.  Compare the two – and weep!

ARCHDIOCESE OF GLASGOW
Curial Offices, 196 Clyde Street Glasgow, G1 4JY
E-mail: archbishop@rcag.org.uk / http://www.rcag.org.uk          

Pastoral Letter for Sunday 3rd March 2019

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are approaching the time when, each year, young Catholics make First Confession and receive First Holy Communion.

It is incumbent upon the whole community to pray for these children, to support them in their journey of faith and to show them good example of Catholic faith, practice and discipline in the celebration and reception of the Sacraments.

I call especially upon the parents and guardians of these young Catholics to be mindful of the promises they made when they presented their child for baptism. The Church considers you as “the first and best teachers of your children in the ways of faith”. There is no doubt that the influence of parents, siblings and family is central to the faith formation of children. So, please, pray with your children, accompany them to Sunday Mass and be a good example to them of practising Catholics. Please cooperate with your Parish Priest, with our teachers in Catholic schools, with Parish Catechists and with all who are currently preparing your children.

The Sacraments are Sacraments of Christ, of the Church and of faith. Our faith teaches us that the Sacraments confer grace when they are received with the right disposition. When we go to Confession, our sins are truly forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, we are nourished by the true Body and Blood of Christ. When we receive the Sacraments, the Lord deepens our belonging to his Church.

Please help your children to receive the Sacraments with faith, devotion and reverence. Let your families and friends rejoice with you. Let your enjoyment always be worthy of the “holy things” that you and your children have received.

I hope and pray that this Season of the Sacraments for your children will bring us all an increase of faith and of the immense joy of profound encounter with Jesus Christ our Lord. May Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for children and families, and bring them to Jesus.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

18th February 2019

Dear Monsignor, Canon, Father,
Dear Rev. Deacon

Ad Clerum Letter on Preparation for the Sacraments

As you know, I have written a short Pastoral Letter on the Season of First Confession and First Holy Communion addressed to parish communities and especially to the parents and guardians of the boys and girls they have presented for these Sacraments. My letter to them encouraged them to prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments. Finally, I wished them and their family holy joy in this Season of the Sacraments.

With this Ad Clerum letter, I wish to address a few words to you. I want to express my support for you in your attempts to prepare the children and their families for the Sacraments. We all know that in this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality, good preparation for the Sacraments is both rather challenging and very necessary. It is such a joy and such a consolation for priests and deacons when children and their families respond to our promptings with sincere faith and regular practice.

At the same time, my dear brothers, you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances andometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in.

I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them. They are the ones who above all need the love and encouragement of their Priest and Shepherd.

I have always taken the following as a pastoral rule of thumb in discerning the threshold for the reception of the Sacraments. If the child is baptised, is a pupil at a Catholic school, if the parents request the Sacraments for their child, and if the child sincerely wants to receive the Sacraments, I believe that the minimum threshold for reception of the Sacraments has been reached. This minimum threshold is not to place an obstacle to the grace of the Sacraments (cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacraments in General, Can 6).

Of course, we want more, and that is why we invite parents and candidates to engage in various initiatives. The Sacraments are Sacraments of faith (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, 59), and we want as much faith as possible to welcome the encounter with Christ, which is the core of the sacramental event.

These are our neediest brothers and sisters. Jesus died for them. He loves them. He reaches out to them through you. I do not wish to supplant your pastoral judgment. You are there on the spot and you know your people as the Good Shepherd does. Please consider carefully what you are asking them to do. Please do not place unnecessary obstacles or hurdles in their way. Please give the child and the grace of the Sacrament the benefit of the doubt, for Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour, and we are the priests and servants of his mysteries of grace.

With the greatest respect and esteem for your priestly and diaconal service,

Yours always in Christ,

Most Rev. Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

Comment: 

Well, doesn’t that take the proverbial biscuit?  In essence, Archbishop Tartaglia tells parents to practise the Faith, show good example to their children as they prepare for First Confession and First Holy Communion,  only to tell his priests not to expect too much, and by too much, he means ignore the fact that they’re lapsed. Just let the children receive the Sacraments and get back to your golf.  Honestly, it really does take the biscuit. But don’t take my word for it – let’s examine what, precisely, the Archbishop of Glasgow is saying to his priests in the above ad clerum…  

In paragraph one, he mentions his Pastoral Letter acknowledging that he is encouraging parents to do what he later (in his ad clerum) admits they just cannot do, which is to “prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments… ” [para 1]

He describes “this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality” [para 2] without mentioning the part he and his priests have played in creating and perpetuating this apathy, indifference and superficiality. Think, for example, of the many dissenters given platforms in Glasgow – even to the point of having a female Anglican vicar speak in the Jesuit church, St Aloysius College only a few weeks ago. 

The entirety of paragraph three is a damning indictment of the Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Archdiocese of Glasgow in particular: “…you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances and low level of Catholic formation sometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in. ” [para 3 – emphasis added].  Who, pray, is to blame for the fact that children are now coming forward for the Sacraments, from homes where the parent(s) have not, themselves, been adequately taught the Faith? As he laments this scandal, the same Archbishop is allowing the Scottish Catholic Education Department to push homosexual/transgender propaganda in Catholic schools.  Is the Archbishop really that incapable of joining up the dots?

In paragraph four,  the blindness becomes even more apparent: “I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them.”   Talk about missing the point!  The whole reason why these families are faithless is because of negligent priests in pulpits and teachers in schools – overseen by “liberal” bishops; it is precisely because nobody has been remotely demanding with them.  Can he really not see that?  And as for this nonsense about contemporary culture – Muslims, Jews and Hindus live, move and have their being in the very same contemporary culture and they can be picked out on any street as they, literally, wear their religion for all the world to see. So, don’t gimme “contemporary culture” – gimme instead, an open admission of negligent hierarchy, clergy and allegedly Catholic teachers.  

The rest of the Archbishop’s letter to priests can be summed up thus:  don’t bother your heads if the parents are not practising; don’t put obstacles in their way – if they want their child to dress up in a pretty Communion dress, kilt or nice suit, and have their “special day”, don’t go and be a spoil-sport by talking about off-putting things like Commandments (to keep holy the Sabbath) or Church laws (like regular Confession, Sunday Mass etc)  

Left unsaid in the ad clerum:  do you really want to have to say you had no First Communicants this year?  Think of the field day Catholic Truth would have with that little nugget… 

 

Consider:  what SHOULD priests do when presented with non-practising families;  child is baptised and attends Catholic school – should they be permitted to make First Confession, Communion and, later, Confirmation?  Does it make sense to be confirmed in a Faith you know little to nothing about and don’t actually practise – except when weddings and funerals come around?  Let’s hear it…     

Why Are Catholic Schools Giving The Wrong Message to Young People?

Young people urged to ‘change the world’ at Paisley youth Mass – click here to read more While across in Glasgow, St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch has put a stop to the high-sugar and caffeinated beverages, following calls from both teachers and experts in the UK –  click here to read about that nonsense...  

Comment:

I don’t remember being made to feel obligated to “change the world” during my schooldays.  Some pressure! 

Instead, the focus was on God and on our own souls.  We were to change ourselves, not “the world”.

What about you?  Would you be hurrying to get to Catholic school these days or do you prefer the “old” model where we were brought to understand that it is holiness of life, achieved by being faithful Catholics,  that changes us… and thus, the world?   Isn’t that the message Catholic educators should be delivering? 

American Layman to “Reboot the faith” in the [Dying] Archdiocese of Glasgow…

One of the world’s top Catholic speakers is coming to Glasgow – with a mission to reboot the Catholic faith of the Archdiocese.

Chris Stefanick is currently selling out events across America in his ministry which presents the Catholic faith in all its beauty, power and truth in an engaging and uplifting way.

He has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the areas of marriage and family life, laity, and youth. This month he brings Reboot Live to Glasgow.
Glasgow University’s historic Bute Hall has been booked for Thursday July 27 for the event and organisers are hoping for a sellout.

Fr Joe Lappin, Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese, who has been instrumental in bringing Chris Stefanick to Scotland said: “Reboot Live will be like no ordinary Church event. Chris’s dynamic presentation will bring people to tears, to laughter, and most importantly, to Christ. He presents the Gospel in all its beauty to a world much in need of the joy only Jesus can bring.

“It’s like hearing the Gospel for the first time. We all need a ‘faith boost’ from time to time. This is like no other faith event you’ve ever been to. We hope those who come along will reach out to their family and friends who have fallen away from the faith, who have lost touch with the Lord and His Church and invite them to come home.”

One attendee at a recent event said: “We can’t believe it. We had a man at the event last week who hasn’t been to Church in 50 years. I saw him at Mass yesterday. He told me he is so grateful for the event because it finally opened his heart to God. He just needed an invitation to the right thing. We haven’t felt this joy-filled leaving the church in a very long time.”

Fr Lappin said: “I became aware of Chris Stefanick through his website: www.reallifecatholic.com. It contains some great resources that we use with teachers and we recommend them to make use of his material in the classroom. Of particular help are his short videos which can be informative, instructional and inspirational.

The event in Glasgow can only be described as guided by the Holy Spirit. On the spur of the moment I contacted Chris by email to explore the possibility of him coming over to do some youth, teacher and parish events. In the meantime, he was planning to come to Britain on holiday with his family this summer.”

Chris Stefanick said: “One evening I was praying about going to the United Kingdom and whether to break the family holiday with some ministry work. I asked the Lord about getting to Scotland – if I was going to England, how could I reach out and present the beautiful message of the Gospel in Scotland? I left it with the Lord, went to bed and when I got up the next morning Fr Joe’s email was waiting for me with an invitation to Glasgow.”

Since that initial contact, a great team of volunteers has offered time and talents to organise the event and presentations have been made to the priests of the Archdiocese, the Head Teachers and many of the school staff to promote the event.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “When I was in Philadelphia recently I was struck by the Archbishop of that city – Archbishop Charles Chaput’s view of the Reboot phenomenon. He said to me, ‘Chris Stefanick is recognised as one of the most creative ministers to youth and young adults in the United States. He has extended his ministry to parish communities as well. He brings deep personal faith and an exciting energy to the Reboot programme. Chris Stefanick practises what he preaches. And what he preaches is exciting and Catholic.’ With a recommendation like that I think we are in for a great event in Glasgow.”  Source – Flourish

Comment:

When a fellow parishioner handed me a copy of Flourish, this morning, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I groaned.  When  I saw the headline: “Reboot the faith” and read the above article, I groaned again.  “One more gimmick to add to the list.” I thought. I then watched a couple of the videos, and realised that the young man, Chris Stefanick, whom I initially and very uncharitably dubbed “the new Michael Voris”,  appears to be a very well-meaning person, who loves the Faith.  My next thought was, “But, wait: is the Faith which he loves, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith as it has been handed down to us from the apostles, or is it the changed faith that has come down to us from the Fathers of Vatican II?”  So, I went in search of a video talk on the Mass and found the video below.

I’m not quite sure why, but it seems to me – I have a kind of sense, albeit having only watched it once – that Chris is a step away from the Traditional Latin Mass, if he’s not there already, but then, is it remotely likely that a TLM attending Catholic would be invited to “reboot the faith” in the highly modernist archdiocese of Glasgow?  You tell me!

Archdiocese of Glasgow in Meltdown

On 17th May, Catholic Truth received a copy of the following Statement sent to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, by  the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Monsignor Paul G. Murray B.Sc., Ph.B., S.T.L…

Statement regarding Monsignor Christopher McElroy

Mgr. Chris McElroy recently informed the Archbishop of his decision to step down from priestly ministry to allow him to reflect on his future. He will leave the Cathedral on Friday 19th May. A new Administrator will be appointed as soon as possible.

Well, I think we all know by now that “reflecting on his future” is a euphemism for “I’m off”.  So, the Archbishop, presumably stuck for a suitable replacement within the geographical confines of the Archdiocese has, literally, turned to Rome for help;  I mean, think about it; his Vicar General, subject of our front page report in January is hardly going about the place cutting the mustard, is he?  (Visit Newsletter Page on our website, and select the January 2017 edition in our Archive Section). And so it came to pass that the Archbishop has recalled the young Father Gerald Sharkey from the Scots College, to take up the post of administrator in the Cathedral in Glasgow.  Photo and text below is taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – click here for source

Father Gerald Sharkey has been named by Archbishop Tartaglia as the new Administrator of St Andrew’s  Cathedral.

He succeeds Mgr Chris McElroy who is stepping down from active ministry.

Fr Sharkey was ordained in 2006. Currently he holds the post of Vice Rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome, and previously served as Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Helen’s in Condorrat.

Commenting on his appointment, Fr Sharkey said: “Although I will be sad to leave the eternal city and the happy environment of the Pontifical Scots College, I thank Archbishop Tartaglia for the trust he has shown in me by appointing me as the new Administrator of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow.  Please pray for me in this time of great change.”

He will take up his new post on the Feast of the First Martyrs of the Roman Church,
June 30, 2017.

Comment:

We wish Father Gerald Sharkey well in his new appointment.  He has a reputation for being a sound priest – which is becoming something of the norm among the younger, more recently ordained clergy, thanks be to God. 

That said, it is clear from conversations with various priests around the archdiocese and beyond, that  the informed, more orthodox clergy are of the undiluted opinion that “the game’s a bogey”: it’s over –  the archdiocese is in meltdown. 

This is not a new thought here at Catholic Truth – we’ve known this to be the case for a long time now.  Click here to read one of our previous discussions on the topic of the Archdiocese of Glasgow R.I.P.

The “new” question is …drum roll… is the end of the Archdiocese of Glasgow as it now operates under Archbishop Tartaglia… (another drum roll) … a good thing?  What – in your considered opinion – lies ahead? 

Glasgow: time for Archbishop Targaglia to share office with a Co-Adjutor Bishop?

Archbishop Tartaglia

Archbishop Tartaglia

Angry parishioners were told to “go to confession” after they raised objections to their new priest accused of “unwanted harassment” during a drunken homosexual incident.

Father Paul Milarvie was accused of trying to “constrain” a male guest at his parish house in 2010, just months after he returned to Scotland.  That led to an investigation by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

Milarvie was later allowed to keep his parish and dragged the church into a row over homosexuality after the incident was classed as “totally unworthy of a priest”.

The complaint against Milarvie alleged he invited a man to dinner at his parish house and an incident, which is disputed, occurred.

Milarvie apologised to the man, who agreed to return for a second dinner. It was during this evening he claimed he was subjected to unwanted harassment.

After an investigation, Archbishop Mario Conti later said there had been no crime committed and claimed there had been “consensual” activity, rather than an unwelcome approach by Milarvie.  [Emphasis added]

He said allowing for the “morally reprehensible over-indulgence” in drink, Milarvie’s actions had been “voluntary and totally unworthy behaviour on the part of a priest”.

Now churchgoers at St Mary’s chapel in Duntocher, near Glasgow, are up in arms over the proposed move by Milarvie to their parish.

One, who asked not to be named, said: “Parishioners are outraged and disgusted at his dark secrets. Meetings are being held to discuss the way forward.

“This priest is not wanted or welcomed. It’s a disgrace after the way he’s behaved and this dreadful issue has been swept under carpet by past and present church authorities. No one is listening to the people who pay for the upkeep of the church.”

The parishioner claims they emailed and phoned Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, a friend of Milarvie, but were ignored.

He added: “People are utterly appalled. We have contacted Archbishop Tartaglia and have been met with a disgraceful attitude.

“The priest we spoke to said we should ‘go to confession’ and that Milarvie was ‘forgiven’.

“We said that wasn’t good enough and that we’re very concerned he’ll do this again. He said, ‘We don’t know if he’ll do it again but we hope not’. Disgraceful.

“People deserve to know the truth. We want this priest out. Not only of our parish but of the priesthood.”

The case, which came to light in 2012 after the church spoke out against SNP plans to legalise same-sex marriage, prompted accusations the church was confused in its attitude to homosexuality.

Milarvie, 51, was vice-rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome from 2001 to 2005 and rector from 2005 to 2009. He is currently the parish priest for St Flannan’s in Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow.

The Record approached both Milarvie and the Catholic Church for comment.  Source  

Comment

Click here to read the response of Archbishop Tartaglia to the scandal reported by us in our current,  January newsletter and then vote in our poll below.  It seems clear that, his health concerns together with his failure to act in the face of scandals involving his priests, Archbishop Tartaglia is not fit for office. A bishop with equal authority to himself, who is not tainted by scandal and who will deal fairly and transparently with the legitimate concerns of the faithful, would go a long way to restoring confidence in the Archdiocese of Glasgow.  I can’t see how anyone could disagree with that solution to a very dysfunctional archdiocese.  After all, part of the problem may be due to the Archbishop’s poor health, so in charity, the Vatican ought to do all that is possible to lighten his load.  What do you think? 

 

Archdiocese of Glasgow RIP ?

Archdiocese of Glasgow RIP ?

Catholic parishes in Glasgow could face closure or amalgamation as part of plans to reorganise resources.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is launching a consultation with parishioners amid changes in congregation numbers.

The move is being driven by the city’s falling population and a shift in whereabouts Catholics live in Glasgow.

The church said there was no “hit list” or target number of parishes that would close but that closures or amalgamations were a possibility.

Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow, said: “It is a consultation about rearranging our resources to match our buildings and priests to where people are.

Population move

“At the moment it’s largely based on a model from the 1950s and the emergence of new housing schemes all over the city.

“These areas grew in the 50s, 60s and 70s but by the 80s they were beginning to depopulate, so we ended up with areas with churches but virtually no population, and the population has moved to another area of the city where it’s bursting at the seams.”

Mr Convery said the church was clarifying where its resources lay presently and where they needed to be in the future.

He said: “We want to get the whole Archdiocese thinking about how to reconfigure for the 21st century.”

The population of the city of Glasgow has dropped from 1.1 million to 585,000 in the past 40 years, he said.

Parishoners leaflet

There are 200,000 Catholics in the wider Archdiocese area, which has 93 parishes and 200 priests.

The consultation will be launched on Sunday, when parishioners will be handed the leaflet titled “This Affects You”, which asks people to think about their local parish and what would be the ideal set-up.

By next spring representatives from parishes will meet priests to discuss people’s responses and just before Easter priests will give feedback to the Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia.

Mr Convery said: “I think people will be glad to be consulted. In the past people complained about decisions being made from on high without a chance to hear their side.

“I think people will be generally glad to be encouraged to feed back about their own experience of the church in their own area.”

Click on photo for source of this report.

So, what’s going on here – a simple “reorganisation” (on a grand scale!) or a PR exercise to cover up the lapsation through to apostasy in Glasgow in the wake of the Vatican II project? And are these “consultation” exercises to be the norm in the Church from now on? Anglicanism by the back door?