Earth to Archbishop of Glasgow…Hello!

Earth to Archbishop of Glasgow…Hello!

Our blogger, Gabriel Syme writes:

Look at this jaw dropping story from the Church in Scotland.

Scottish Catholics are “too wishy-washy” about standing up for their beliefs, the Archbishop of Glasgow has warned.
Click here to read entire Herald Scotland article 

While advocating robust, confident Catholicism is admirable, this is hilarious coming from the Scottish Bishops. Their only priority for decades has been to play down Catholicism in order to pander to ecumenism and the secular world.    

The statement also ignores the fact that modern Catholics (including in Scotland) are the most ignorant and poorly instructed in all history. This because they have not been taught the faith properly and deliberately so – because properly instructed Catholics reject ecumenism and the like.

In 13 years at Catholic schools and many years in novus ordo parishes I learned literally nothing about the Catholic faith, beyond the Our Father, Hail Mary and the rudiments of the nativity story. I always knew I had not been properly taught, but even so was shocked at the extent of my ignorance, when (in my 30s) I first held a Baltimore Catechsim No 1 (which is aimed at small children).

I struggled to answer even the obvious and basic questions listed therein. Of course, I knew what a Bar Mitzvah was, and knew some Hebrew Phrases (but not a word of Latin). And I could describe the good work a Protestant minister had done with gangs in New York City. But I could not have given a coherent answer as to why God made me.
(Fortunately, thanks to Catholic Truth and the SSPX I have been able to back-fill much of this missing knowledge).

And so Archbishop Tartaglia can hardly call Catholics wishy-washy, because modern Catholics do not know the Catholic faith, nor are they equipped to defend it.

Another reason Catholics struggle to speak out to defend the faith (even if able) is because should you do so, in a modern parish or Catholic organisation, you can bet on being immediately savaged by other “Catholics” whose lives conflict with Church teaching and do not like being reminded of it. This is one reason I withdrew from participation in modern parishes / organisations – its all a facade, there’s no substance to it.

For example, we discussed St Brides LGBT welcome recently. Who in that parish now would be confident to speak out on (e.g.) sexual morality when it is clear that the Parish Priest does not support that morality and when the local homosexual MP and his ‘husband’ are in the next pew?

I can only conclude that Archbishop Tartaglia is completely out of touch with the results of the non-teaching in the Scottish Church.


Gabriel Syme’s insightful assessment of the state of the Scottish Church was underlined by the announcement, on – of all days – the Feast of the Assumption, yesterday, that yet another priest of the archdiocese was leaving active ministry. Only in this case, the priest in question – Father Gerald Walsh – has only been ordained for 6 years. Reflect: a young man like Fr Walsh can go through the entire Catholic education system following the syllabus issued by the Scottish Catholic Education Service, thus approved by the Scottish Bishops, and learn sweet nothing about the Catholic religion. Then, feeling called to the priesthood (although goodness knows how this comes about given the widespread ignorance of true Catholicism is anybody’s guess), a candidate goes on to seminary to be further mal-formed in the Faith.  Little wonder so many abandon the ministry, sometimes after only a handful of years, as in the case of Fr Gerald Walsh, ordained in 2011, his resignation announced on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption, 2017.  More sad than words can express. 

The Mass-goer who contacted us to report Fr Walsh’s resignation after the morning Mass in St James’s Crookston, where the Archbishop himself made the announcement, opined that the Archbishop seemed more concerned with the fact that this latest “ex-priest” now created a situation that meant more work for him and for the priest in a neighbouring parish who would now administer both parishes. 

“Wishy-washy”?  I think the Archbishop needs to look at his own Catholicity, or lack thereof, before labelling the rest of us  “wishy-washy”; from what I hear, he is not exactly setting the heather on fire with his zealous leadership of either clergy or laity.  

The key question for this thread is this:  how on earth is the Church in Scotland EVER going to attract genuine and lasting vocations, if the Hierarchy don’t restore what has been lost of the glorious Catholic religion?  

But, where to begin?  Reform the schools?  Begin teaching the Faith?  Nobody can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, as the saying goes, so young men who haven’t been taught a thing about true Catholicism, are hardly going to make terrific priests.  What on EARTH is going to keep them living a single, celibate life in today’s permissive society if they’ve essentially been taught a false religion?

And is it any surprise that the new Mass isn’t keeping young priests? Countless saints not only stayed faithful throughout their lives, but actually GAVE their lives in order to preserve the Mass.  Who’s ever going to sacrifice their lives for this complete break with Catholic Tradition known as the Novus Ordo Missae, which no saint or martyr returning to earth today would recognise as the Mass?  That’s what’s known as a “rhetorical question”…  

Imagine you’re on the telephone line from Earth to Archbishop Tartaglia.  He is keen to have your advice (well, it’s only a pretend game)… What will you say to him – where would you advise him to start, in order to begin to restore the Faith in Scotland? 

Comments (57)

  • Petrus

    First of all, what a terrific comment from Gabriel Syme. I concur with every single word and it reflects my Catholic upbringing perfectly. That Archbishop Tartaglia has the audacity to talk about “wishy washy Catholicism” almost beggars belief. I thought that was his speciality!

    How do you begin to sort out the mess that is the Catholic Church in Scotland?!? I think the axe has to fall on all of those heads that sit mitres. They are a useless, incompetent bunch who personify “wishy washy”. That’s not to say they aren’t nice men. Some of them are. However, a nice man does not necessarily make a good Bishop. The issue is, who would replace them?

    Then the Mass needs to be restored. This can’t happen over night and needs to be preceded by sound catechisis. We have generations now who have grown up without the true Mass and proper grounding in the Faith. Again, though, we hit a buffer – do we have enough well-trained and knowledgeable priests to ensure that sound catechesis is going to happen? Are the current crop of Scottish priests able to preach the Faith, entire and true, effectively?

    It’s a sorry, sorry state of affairs and the saddest thing is that the majority of Catholics in Scotland are blissfully ignorant!

    August 16, 2017 at 8:06 am
    • editor


      “I thought ‘wishy-washy Catholicism” was Archbishop Tartaglia’s specialty!”


      Breaking News….

      Radio Scotland hosted a discussion on “wishy-washy” Catholics on the Kaye Adams Show this morning and I managed to get the Catholic Truth tuppence worth in which shook up Ronnie Convery, Spokesman for the Archbishop, somewhat. You can listen again here at 1.27.17.

      I know we are quick to criticise the BBC for their anti-Catholic bias, but to be fair, Kaye Adams did let me say my piece, largely uninterrupted. I quoted from Gabriel Syme’s piece, to drive home the truth that the schools are not teaching the Faith. That went down like a lead balloon, and although I had been introduced only by my Christian name, Convery revealed my surname and the fact that I “belong to a fringe group which is outside the Church” or words to that untruthful effect.

      Anyway, if you can spare the time to listen to it later, I am sure they still have a “listen again” facility available.

      August 16, 2017 at 11:20 am
      • gabriel syme


        a fringe group which is outside the Church

        How very unedifying that Mr Convery – a senior official in the Archdiocese of Glasgow – would resort to public lies and slander about his co-religionists, instead of giving a mature response to their arguments.

        I would hope the Archdiocese is embarrassed by his conduct.

        At the same time, I would bet he regards every heretic going as his “brothers and sisters in Christ”.

        August 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm
      • editor

        Gabriel Syme,

        Every comment after I’d said my piece, reveals that the “mainstream” Catholics really do not “get it”. They do not understand that there is a crisis in the Church that reaches up to the very top, and that the hierarchy do not hold to the Catholic Faith personally which is why they cannot teach it.

        Note the remark about me daring to say that the Archbishop has lost the Faith (or whatever way I put it, can’t recall) focused on his years of training etc. As if anyone is guaranteed to keep the Faith as long as they do a couple of degrees or whatever educational qualifications they choose.

        Ronnie Convery, yet again, revealed himself to be completely ignorant of the Faith and the urgency of the Gospel imperative to “Go out into the whole world, baptising them…” He likened “seeking conversions” to nothing more than encouraging friends to play golf because HE found golf good… So, talking about the Faith comes down to this; well, I find it helps me, why not try it, as it will probably help you – otherwise, what’s to lose?” Nothing about the DUTY to spread the Faith because that is what… er… (cough, cough) GOD wants!

        Spiritual blindness has fallen like a blanket over the so called “mainstream” Catholics, ordained and lay.

        Just to remind everyone, however, we’ve never had a category of “mainstream Catholics” until now, because ALL Catholics had to adhere to those two pillars of Catholicism: Tradition and Scripture.

        Convery does not adhere to Tradition any more than his “wishy-washy” boss does, which is why the only truly “mainstream” Catholics are those who DO adhere to Tradition and are therefore now labelled “traditional Catholics” as opposed to “liberals” who make up the new “mainstream”.

        What a mess!

        August 16, 2017 at 1:33 pm
      • RCAVictor


        It seems to me that this Ronnie Convery is not only clueless, he is completely unprofessional, thus the hiring of him to represent the Archdiocese is very revealing. His behavior also indicates that he has something to hide, which embarrasses him (e.g., he is ignorant about the Faith).

        August 16, 2017 at 4:00 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I think most people these days realise that when someone resorts to ad hominem attacks, they’ve nothing really to say that is of any interest. Listening to him, I just kept wondering why, if this new Church, this new “inclusive” and “welcoming” Church is so broad, that there’s no room in it for me!

        August 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm
      • Lily


        It was good that you got on and said what you said (although I wondered why you said “hello, hello, is there anyone there?”? ) but there just wasn’t enough time to really answer the people in the studio. So much more needed to be said.

        The fact that you were the only one to phone in, proves the point about “wishy-washy” Catholics, if more proof was needed, LOL!

        August 16, 2017 at 2:56 pm
      • editor


        Thank you – I could, of course, have said much more but there were too many people on the panel making so many points that required addressing that I really couldn’t have said much more, although I did try to interrupt a few times. I don’t think I was heard and listening again, I can see that there was some interference when I thought I had been cut off.

        Which I think explains my “hello .. hello…” – I thought I had been cut off, or had cut myself off, at one point, but I can’t complain, really because I did get a fair enough crack of the whip in the circumstances. There’s never sufficient time given to these conversations. And I do have a reputation for talking too much. THAT I cannot deny – there’s too much evidence. That’s why RCA Victor will always be my friend: he knows too much!

        August 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm
      • Richie

        I agree that you really can’t complain. It’s not as if you were invited to be on the panel – you chose to phone in, so I think you were given plenty of air time, that considered.

        I do agree that the schools are not teaching the faith properly. That’s for sure.

        August 16, 2017 at 5:30 pm
      • editor


        Correct – I wasn’t invited to join the panel. I rang in because a reader phoned to alert me to the topic of today’s show. Nine times out of ten when readers do this, I’m too late to participate but today there was clearly a scarcity of calls – although the gentleman who alerted me to the show did ring in himself but didn’t get on air, unfortunately.

        The schools are not teaching the faith at all, let alone “properly” and that is because of the negligence of the Bishops who appoint modernists to produce the schemes of work and run the schools. THAT’S for sure!

        August 16, 2017 at 8:02 pm
      • Josephine

        I can see why you would want to interrupt! I was constantly talking to the screen listening to those speakers on the panel.

        I’m looking at your poster and laughing because if I’d said everything I was thinking listening to those so-called Catholics on the panel, I’d have been locked up LOL!

        The fact that Ronnie Convery could say that you were on the fringe of the Church when you were saying they should return to teaching the faith in the schools, just beggars belief, and you made comments about traditional marriage, so all in all, you have to ask who is actually on the “fringe” of the Church if not Ronnie Convery himself and the other man who had no problem with the Archbishop. As the saying goes, the lunatics are running the asylum now!

        August 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm
      • Petrus

        I was livid when I heard Convery make that comment. So livid, in fact, that I fired off this email in a fit of anger to everyone apart from the cleaner at the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

        I write to you today to express my astonishment at Ronnie Convery’s comments on the Kay Adams radio show this morning regarding a participant in the phone in debate.

        Convery stated that the participant “belonged to a fringe group outside the Church”. He has absolutely no authority to declare who is “outside the Church”. The person in question was the editor of Catholic Truth. I am a contributor to Catholic Truth. Therefore, I must be “outside the Church”? Is that the official position of His Grace Archbishop Tartaglia? Are all contributors to Catholic Truth “outside the Church”? Are priests of the Archdiocese instructed not to administer Holy Communion to contributors to Catholic Truth?

        No one has ever informed me that I am “outside the Church”. If Mr Convery is correct, doesn’t the Archbishop have a duty to inform me of my excommunication, including the grounds for excommunication, referencing Canon Law?

        If Mr Convery was NOT speaking for the Archbishop, then he should apologise publicly for stating a falsehood, misleading the public and slandering others.

        I await your response.


        August 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm
      • editor


        Thank you for sending that email.

        As a matter of fact, I’ve had some telephone calls following the programme and one of those callers had been shocked at Ronnie Convery’s ill-disguised attempt to discredit me with that accusation of belonging to a fringe group outside of the mainstream life of the Church.

        While I replied to the lady that, yes, it was ridiculous, and laughable, given all the baloney talk about being “inclusive” and “welcoming” TO those allegedly on the “fringes”, I hadn’t thought too much about it until her telephone call.

        I thought hard about it then, because the lady was adamant that I ought to take legal action, since, she argued, it was surely slanderous to claim or imply that I am not a full member of the Church; anybody reading our blog, she pointed out (as she does regularly, apparently) knows that we are Catholics who know the Faith, not members of any “fringe” group.

        This very kind lady emphasised that not only is my own personal credibility at stake, but the credibility of Catholic Truth itself, and you have underlined that fact, being one of our regular contributors in many ways through both our newsletter and blog, tarnished, by association with the false charge of belonging to a “fringe group” – not fully Catholic, to say the least.

        I have, therefore, decided to write to the Archbishop to ask him to confirm, in writing, that I am “a Catholic with full membership of the Church”, since I can readily provide evidence of my attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation, and he may rest assured that I confess my sins many more times than the statutory annual attendance at the Sacrament of Penance.

        August 16, 2017 at 11:13 pm
      • Petrus

        Excellent, Editor! I’m also going to write to the Archbishop directly, as my email to the minions in Clyde Street will probably be sent straight to the “trash” folder.

        As for Ronnie Convery, the least said about him the better. Rumours abound that he is not as white as the driven snow, but the least said about that the better!

        August 17, 2017 at 9:39 am
      • Lily

        Petrus, have you (and editor) had any reply from the archbishop?

        August 23, 2017 at 3:53 pm
      • editor


        I’ve had no reply but then it would be a tall order to expect the Archbishop to acknowledge that his communications director is a public liar or, at best, ignorant of Canon Law to the extent that he doesn’t know that a Catholic is a Catholic, that one is either a Catholic or not a Catholic in which case one is outside the Church, not on its fringes. There’s no such thing as being “on the fringes of the Church”.

        So, I didn’t really expect much of a reply, although I think I’m right in saying that the archbishop normally replies to my epistles if only to acknowledge receipt. However, a seed of doubt crept in when I read a post from someone recently, saying he/she has NEVER had a reply from the archbishop, so maybe I’m looking at the whole thing through rose-coloured specs, me being such a fan of the archbishop 😀

        In this case, anyway, he has probably realised that it is always best not to try to defend the indefensible although I expect Convery had his knuckles wrapped and told to be more careful with his tongue next time – if there is a next time: remember, according to the friendly exchange between Kaye Adams and himself at the start of the discussion, they hadn’t met since last century – what, 17 years ago? He’s not exactly an A-List celebrity, is he? 😉

        September 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm
  • gabriel syme

    I do not understand the thinking of the Bishops regarding the teaching of the faith.

    By what mechanism do they believe the faith is being adequately passed on?

    There is no longer a formal, universal catechesis – with stated learning outcomes – in schools or churches. Accordingly, by this point, this isn’t happening in the home either except only by the most motivated of parents (I say motivated because, today, parents first have to teach themselves, before teaching their children).

    It very much seems as though everyone is resting on their laurels, thinking some anonymous other is doing the spade work.

    My experience of RE in school would be well summed up by “wishy washy”. It was difficult to discern the substance behind it, in terms of “what am I to take on board from this?” – in that sense it could be compared to trying to nail jelly to the wall.

    To see the everyday Catholic in the average parish – they are essentially following a religion they have made up themselves, normally it’s just secular values with a cross on top.

    On comment from the St Brides Facebook page sticks in my mind, on the subject of homosexuality. It said “We need to move with the times and realise love is love”.

    This very clearly highlights the dismal failure to form Catholic minds in the modern day. It’s so “off reservation” as to be almost funny, like a Fireman convicted of arson (as happened recently in Sicily!).

    Regarding Fr Walsh – was any reason given for his sad departure? Is he definitely abandoning the priesthood, or have they convinced him to have a sabbatical first?

    August 16, 2017 at 12:50 pm
    • editor

      Gabriel Syme,

      Fr Walsh has left the priesthood. Apparently the Archbishop stated words to the effect that it was his decision, and it was too late by the time the Archbishop got to know of his decision, to change it. That, of course, speaks volumes about his (lack of) pastoral care of his priests – imagine that he is so out of touch with his clergy that he doesn’t even know that a recently ordained young priest is unhappy or for whatever reasons struggling in his vocation. And clearly the young priest did not feel confident enough to approach the Archbishop until the decision had been made.

      I’ve heard speculation about why he left, but whatever the reason, the Archbishop’s lack of care – or, to use the in-phrase of the day – his (alleged) “wishy-washiness” towards his priests seems starkly obvious in this case.

      August 16, 2017 at 1:26 pm
  • Frankier

    I was always of the opinion that no genuine priest with a calling from God would commit paedophilia but a paedophile would have no hesitation in joining the priesthood.

    I have the feeling also that someone wishing a right good education at other people’s expense would also be willing to join up for a few years. I don’t know anything about Fr Walsh
    but I do know that he won’t ever become too familiar with a pick and shovel unless he decides to plant some turnips in his garden.

    August 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm
    • Lily


      I think that is well out of order. Nobody should assume that Fr Walsh was in bad faith to begin with – that’s totally uncharitable.

      Also your inverted snobbery is unchristian. I won’t ever become familiar with a pick and shovel, so what? I can’t stand snobbery of either kind.

      August 16, 2017 at 2:58 pm
      • Frankier


        I spent many happy days on building sites using a pick and shovel before I became the owner and hirer of the mechanical versions so I don’t understand your snobbery accusations.

        I didn’t assume the priest in question was in bad faith to begin with but
        I certainly resent the number of young priests who decide to give up the priesthood after, repeat, after, gaining an education which can take in the finest teaching establishments in Europe.

        My point was that if a job with a pick and shovel was the only one available after their departure they might well decide to stay the course.

        August 17, 2017 at 1:41 am
      • editor


        If you read through this thread carefully, you will see that the one thing priests are NOT gaining in today’s seminaries is a good education – no matter the “finest teaching establishments in Europe”. The Catholic religion has been wiped out from these “finest” establishments, believe me.

        It is highly unlikely, to say the least, that any young man will think of himself as gaining a particularly good education in any seminary anyway, with the secular universities being “the place(s)” to go, if you want to impress the hoi polloi.

        As for “pick and shovel” – it really is irrelevant what sort of work Fr Walsh will do now, because it is the fact that he has turned back once his hand was set to the plough (to cite Scripture) that should concern us all, and thus I recommend that we pray for him.

        August 17, 2017 at 9:30 am
  • RCAVictor

    Kudos to Gabriel Syme and Petrus, whose perspectives on this are so lucid. I think a good first step in re-introducing the Catholic Faith would be to teach the TLM in seminaries. The TLM itself is true and solid catechesis, so that would inevitably lead to a more comprehensively traditional curriculum.

    Using the same principle as above, the WWM (Wishy-Washy Mass) is actually the source of the problem, since it is a man-centered pseudo-liturgy.created specifically to avoid offending heretics. It could also therefore be called the PCM (Politically Correct Mass).

    Now on a lighter note, since we traditionalists are a “fringe group,” I suggest we put on our own “Fringe Festival”! With events and conferences led by traditional priests, such as:

    -How to read and sing Gregorian Chant
    -Latin 101
    -How to serve at the altar (boys only, if you please….that is, no girls or former girls whose gender has been “reassigned”….)
    -The polyphonic musical heritage of the Church, e.g. the Masses of Palestrina
    -The Baltimore Catechism
    -How to celebrate a Traditional Mass
    -The Four Last Things
    -The 33 Doctors of the Church
    -How to pray the Rosary
    -The major Marian Apparitions
    -Catholic daily life

    August 16, 2017 at 3:06 pm
    • Josephine

      RCA Victor

      “Kudos to Gabriel Syme and Petrus, whose perspectives on this are so lucid.”

      Hear, hear! I completely agree. Great posts from both of them.

      August 16, 2017 at 5:55 pm
  • crofterlady

    These poor clergymen are not in the real world. it’s like they don’t know that there has been a seismic change in the Church and especially in the passing on of the Faith. In other words, it is NOT being passed on. Fullstop. But then, how can a person pass on what they haven’t received themselves? There has been a widespread destruction of the very life of Catholicism with the abolition of all things truly Catholic: Catholic training colleges, Catholic catechesis, the liturgy, the devotions etc.

    How can we defend our religion when we don’t know it? Instead of attacking us for being wishey washy perhaps the Archbishop should check his own back yard. Perhaps he should take his head out of the false ecumenical bog hole and start TEACHING the Faith.

    We have, on the whole, terrible priests in Scotland. There are still some well formed ones in England but not up here that I’ve come across unless they have been formed elsewhere. But even then, after these poor souls have been subjected to endless “support groups” and “seminars” they soon lose what little Catholicity they had in the first place!

    August 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm
  • Prognosticum

    Let me say at once how sad I am at the news of Father Gerald Walsh’s departure. Probably none of us here — certainly not me — know why he reached this decision. One can only hope and pray that the Archdiocese marshalled all of its resources to ensure that this course of action was the fruit of an authentic spiritual discernment arrived at through the assistance of experienced men skilled in the ways of the spirit. Although defections from priesthood have become extremely common since Vatican II, they are not ‘normal’. There is something far amiss when a man who has made the most solemn promises a man can make before the Church asks to be dispensed from them barely six years later. The Church in Glasgow ignores this ominous sign at her peril, for priestly defections take their toll not just on the unfortunate priests concerned, but also on their families and on the communities where they served, to say nothing of the damage inflicted on the morale of those priests who continue to serve as well as on seminarians and potential vocations.

    But Glasgow seems to have become inured to priests leaving the priesthood. There was the much publicised case earlier this year of a senior priest who apparently ‘stood down from priestly ministry’, to use the doctrinally unfortunate language of the Archdiocese’s official statement, at the tender age of sixty! It is a personal tragedy when any man gets to the age of sixty and discovers that he is in the wrong line of work. But for a priest to get to the age of sixty and decide that he no longer wants to be a priest is, frankly speaking, incredible. One has to ask what he has been going through his mind for the last thirty-five years or so. Yet on we go, with apparently no-one on high prepared to say, ‘Wait a minute! Perhaps all is not well in the priestly body. What are we doing wrong, or is there anything we could be doing better?’

    Here begins my advice to the Archbishop, but caveat emptor! There but for the grace of God go we all!

    Your Grace,

    Can it really be true that on the Solemnity of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin you announced the defection from the priesthood of the parish priest of the parish in which you were celebrating? I and everyone else I have spoken to about this news are utterly incredulous that you should chose one of the principal feasts of She who was the icon of perfect fidelity to Our Lord, from his Incarnation to his Ascension, to deliver news of what is, objectively speaking, an unfortunate example of infidelity. I admire the fact that you took the time to go to St. James the Greater and impart the bad news personally, rather than just sending one of your minions or, worse, a letter, but would another day not have been more appropriate? Was there no-one in the engine room in Clyde Street who said, ‘Wait a minute, Your Grace. Today is hardly the day to deliver such news.’ Even if it never occurred to your advisers that this was not a wise thing to do, did it never occur to you who have not only been a parish priest yourself, but also a seminary rector?

    And now to poor Father Walsh. Is it true that you found out he was at the door of defection only when there was nothing more that could be done? If so, how did this anomalous — to put it mildly — state of affairs come about? Who in the Archdiocese is charged specifically with looking after young priests and their ongoing formation? Is there even a programme of ongoing formation? If there has been a breakdown in the system somewhere along the line, it is surely high time that an inquiry was set in place.

    But this is not the first defection to hit Glasgow this year. Another very senior priest defected before the Summer, albeit with many more years of service than Father Walsh. Shakespeare tells us (Macbeth Act 1, Scene 4) that ‘There is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face’, and you certainly cannot be held responsible for the human weaknesses or psychological vagaries of your clergy, but surely two defections in so short a space of time will induce you to review the general situation of the priests and seminarians in your care with a view to ensuring that those who are struggling receive the help they require.

    Please allow me to make make some practical suggestions.

    1. Draw closer to your clergy. Do you pray together with them? How often do you see them? Do you see them socially? Do you ever invite them over for a meal, or even just a cup of tea? Do you drop in on them from time to time? If you do not, then I really think that you should look again at your priorities and change things accordingly. You have to invest time and resources in your priests. They are your most valuable asset. The example to follow is the interaction in the Gospel between Jesus and the Twelve.

    2. Foster good relations among your priests. Do you encourage them to pray together, to meet socially, and to share one another’s burdens? If not, then you should. The priesthood should be the greatest brotherhood on earth. Are your appointments to diocesan offices based on merit? Very often priests become disaffected when they see people promoted for reasons which have nothing to do with objective merit.

    3. Take a long hard look at the mistakes of the past. If I were you, I would organise a seminar, or, even better, a series of one to ones, at which I would invite Father Walsh and all the other priests who have left the exercise of their ministry in the last, say, fifteen years. Listen to what they have to tell you about why they lost their vocations and identify the common denominators. Of course not all of them will be honest since, like the good sons of Adam we are, few of us like to admit or mistakes or face up to our responsibilities, but I am sure that, given a climate of sincerity on all sides, the truth would out.

    4. Take a long hard look at what the Archdiocese offers by way of ongoing formation. Formation does not end with ordination. All priests, but young priests especially, need to be nurtured. To take just one example, do you keep a check on whether your clergy make their annual spiritual exercises which, I seem to remember, are required by canon law, or do you just leave them to their own devices? Seek out serious retreat houses and require and pay for their attendance, refusing to take no for an answer.

    5. What I said above about priests, I also say about seminarians. Do you have a personal relationship with them? Do you have frequent one to ones with them in order to gauge the worth and the direction of their vocations, or are you just content to read the reports the seminary sends you? Do you personally discern who gets to enter seminary and who does not, or is this delegated to others? Do you verify that the seminaries where you send your vocations are fit for purpose? Do the superiors of said seminaries owe their appointments to their objective worth or to Buggins’s turn which has been so detrimental to the Church in Scotland? Are these seminaries just university residences with chapels bolted on to them, or are they powerhouses of priestly spirituality and fidelity? Are your seminarians in it for themselves or in it for Christ and his Church? Do they love the Church as Christ loves her, or do they succumb to the temptation to judge her in the light of the prevailing political paradigms of left and right? Are they truly seeking holiness, or has the idea somehow crept into their minds, however unconsciously, that the they should be compensated for their sacrifices, especially as regards celibacy, by being allowed to over indulgence in food and drink? In order words, have they come to serve or be served? Are they engaged spiritually and intellectually? Do they really try to assimilate the theological disciplines of which their personal holiness as well as their preaching and teaching will be an important function, or do they treat theology as just another body of knowledge in which they have no personal stake? Do they have a zeal for souls, or do they think, as unfortunately many Catholics think today, that salvation is automatic or, at worst, automatic after a divine slap on the wrist? These are all questions which need to be asked over and over before the decision is taken to ordain a man.

    I could go on, but I am sure that you get my gist.

    I fully realise that your job is far from easy and that hindsight and armchair criticism are wonderful things, but, like many priests and lay people in Scotland, I am extremely concerned, not to say fearful, about the future. The Church in Scotland has taken some very big hits in the twenty years since the Roderick Wright scandal which, in a very real sense, marks the visible beginning of a period of degeneration which in its essence probably predates Vatican II. Humanly speaking, the Church cannot really take much more. Many of us are of the opinion that it is high time that the laissez-faire approach to pastoral governance of the last four or five decades, which consists largely in papering over the cracks or not facing up to problems until ‘events, dear boy’ force us to do so, must be abandoned in favour of a more systematic approach which, in keeping with Catholic tradition, places the transmission of the faith (catechesis) and evangelisation at the heart of the Church’s endeavour. We feel that not to do so is to court oblivion which would be to the great detriment of individual souls and of our nation.

    Your Grace, I fully realise also that you personally cannot be held responsible for the errors of your predecessors, or for decisions which belong to the Apostolic See. But you have to step up and remember that you are called to be a Father for your priests and your people, not the CEO of a failing charity.

    I have the honour to be Your Grace’s obedient servant, etc., etc.

    August 16, 2017 at 9:15 pm
    • editor


      That is a very beautiful and eminently charitable letter.

      It would certainly be interesting to see if you receive a reply.

      Actually, to be fair, the Archbishop does (in my experience) reply to correspondence, albeit not always (in my case “never”!) the reply one would like to receive! Still, he does reply and so I would credit him with that courtesy.

      I would encourage you to send it, in the same spirit of charity in which it has clearly been penned.

      August 16, 2017 at 11:47 pm
      • Heloisa

        Editor – Archbishop Tartaglia never replies to letters (at least mine), along with about 65 of the other ?73ish UK/Eire hierarchy. I do sometimes wonder whether many are just filed by personal assistants in the rubbish bin and so are never read by the Bishops themselves. However, occasional replies show a range of mentality including 1) possible genuine concern (1 Bishop); 2) an unpleasant attitude towards anyone daring to suggest there’s something wrong in the Church; 3) Can you not discern the The Holy Spirit moving the Church (that’s the Franciscan ‘spirit’ not the Holy Ghost). 4) Thank you for your letter which has been filed – in the bin.

        The problem with this whole issue is that it would really be pointless asking a ‘wishy-washy’ Archbishop to become more involved in giving personal ‘formation’ to new Priests etc. It will not make them better Priests, teach them the True Faith, increase their zeal for souls. Why would we want to encourage such an Archbishop to have a personal care for seminarians? Or encourage the Priests and seminarians to all support each other under his fatherly care?

        Let us not kid ourselves – the horse bolted long ago and no amount of ‘Catholic charity’ in writing letters is going to change that fact. The only solution is the complete return, lock, stock and barrel to Traditional Catholicism.

        Prognosticum’s letter, whilst perfectly correct, Catholic and charitable, is a letter for a ‘wishy-washy’ Archbishop operating within a an existing Traditional Church. It would tell him politely to get his performance up to scratch within a strong, existing framework. That framework has collapsed and the NO Church is no longer ‘Catholic’.

        To a Novus Ordo Archbishop/Bishop such a letter will read “There’s nothing wrong with the existing Church but your Priests need far more support and better formation as Novus Ordo Priests – under your own direction.

        Novus Ordo Priests do not need support and better formation; they need retraining to be Catholic Priests. Bad superiors (badly-formed themselves or just not really Catholic) should not be encouraged to involve themselves even more with their struggling Priests.

        August 17, 2017 at 9:40 am
      • RCAVictor


        I honestly find it difficult to argue with your post. Indeed, what good will it do to better train Novus Ordo priests, when that trains them not to be priests at all, but presiders? And if Francis has his way, concelebrating presiders to boot?

        Yet, there are a few NO priests who’ve managed to slip through the cracks and become traditional – though I seriously doubt it was because of the efforts of their bishops. Rather more likely in spite of their bishops!

        August 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm
  • Elizabeth


    That letter to the Archbishop is absolutely superb. I hope you are intending to send it because if he is even remotely serious about being a father to his priests then your words should hit him hard. If he has no response to make to you, then things are really at crisis point in Scotland.

    August 16, 2017 at 10:03 pm
  • Heloisa

    Your Grace……

    Please buy all of your Priests a Traditional Catechism and 1) ask them to study it in detail along with a number of Traditional books on the Catholic Faith, giving particular attention to those written by Holy Clergy for the benefit of Traditional Priests; 2) ask them to discern whether this was really what they thought they were signing up for and; 3) pay (out of diocesan ‘ecumenical funds’) for all those still discerning a vocation to be reformed in Traditional Seminaries.

    It is unlikely that you will need to spend much on the last step, so you could divert these funds to founding your own Traditional Seminary. Please pass on this advice to the rest of the UK and Eire Bishops because I am tired of paying the postage.

    I remain your ever irritating flea…..
    that b****y woman.

    August 16, 2017 at 10:30 pm
  • RCAVictor

    That is a marvelously thorough, well-reasoned and charitable letter, Prognosticum, and especially genteel…and Catholic!

    I came across a very revealing passage this afternoon in a book called Phoenix from the Ashes, by HJA Sire, in a chapter exposing the fatal flaws of Dignitatis Humanae. I think this passage goes a long way toward explaining why Peter Pewsitter, not to mention Dilbert Diocrat, Father Feckless and Bishop Blind, either fail to see the crisis in the Church, and/or deny it vehemently when it is brought to their attention:

    “[Most Catholics] are content if religion touches their lives with a little spiritual meaning once a week, and do not look to it for a world-view. They see no harm, therefore, if Catholicism falls in with the ordinary currents of thought, and they find philosophical challenges superfluous, especially in a matter such as the absolute claims of a Catholic society which is outside the field of practical modern policy. To such minds contemporary liberalism is a congenial system, even a moral requirement….[this] attitude sits easily with the complacency of modern religious practice, emptied of adoration and stuffed with comforting assurances of divine favour. The modern Catholic is at home in Western ideology and sees it as a sound guarantee of the Church’s freedom – indeed an influence that will sooner or later purge the Church of some deplorable prejudices.

    …[That Western ideology] is humanism…a religion devised to combat the religion that subordinates man to God….When we search for its most typical votary, we find…the woolly Christian, who has snuggled down comfortably in the bed that the humanist has made for him. This breed had its origin in Liberal Protestantism, as it adapted itself to the tastes of Western society, but since the Second Vatican Council he has become the official variety of Catholic…This believer is unfamiliar, needless to say, with the philosophical framework of Catholic doctrine, or, if he knows of it, he regards it as a strait jacket from which Christian thought needs to be liberated.” (Emphasis mine)

    August 16, 2017 at 10:42 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      That’s the key word, you are right about Prognosticum’s letter, it is Catholic

      Why didn’t I think of that? It’s maddening when I don’t see the obvious…

      August 16, 2017 at 11:53 pm
      • Athanasius


        You did exceptionally well with your phone-in comments given the time allotted and the number of issues being raised by the panel. You did your bit for the Faith. I only wish I had know about the programme beforehand.

        The problem with the likes of Ronnie Convery is that he does not possess the fullness of the Catholic Faith. I don’t know if he ever had it given the woeful “Catholic” education system he would have grown up with, so there may be some excuse for him actually believing that Traditional Catholics are an undesireable lot on the fringe of the Church. Still, a man with his intellect will have no excuse before God for remaining in such ignorance. He has chosen his path, which is to court the favour of a Modernist hierarchy that he has a duty in charity to challenge. In that case, it’s easy to see why Traditional Catholics who do defend the Faith in public make him very uneasy in conscience.

        As for Archbishop Tartaglia, the other Scottish Bishops and the priest who abandoned his priesthood, they are men who clearly have not stayed close to the tabernacle. In fact Archbishop Tartaglia went out of his way to have the tabernacle removed from its central place in the Cathedral to a side altar. His Bishop’s chair was placed front and centre in the Sanctuary where once Our Lord’s Real Presence was honoured. Tells us all we need to know about the conciliar reform and its placing of man before God.

        And this is the crux of the crisis, man has taken the place of God and human respect has replaced divine charity. When that happened it was only a matter of time until the priesthood was robbed of its reason for existence. As soon as they started watering down the faith to please men, it was only a matter of time until they themselves drowned in the deluge of religious indifference. “Wishy-Washy” is absolutely the right term for a majority of today’s mainstream Catholics (and clergy). They replaced the ancient liturgy of the Church with a wishy-washy vernacular construction, they replaced the Church Militant with the Church mealey mouthed and they replaced sound Catholic education with philanthropy. The dignity of God naturally gave place to the dignity of man and truth for them was henceforth relative to the fashions of the world. They can’t see it because they are wilfully blind to the disaster before their eyes, a disaster of their making that they call “conciliar renewal”.

        August 17, 2017 at 12:48 am
      • Prognosticum


        I hate to sound pedantic, and I apologise to our esteemed Editor if I move off theme, but I see the need to offer the following considerations in the light of your remarks concerning the tabernacle and the bishop’s chair.

        I presume that you are referring in your post to the re-ordering of the sanctuary of St. Mirin’s Cathedral in Paisley which took place when the now Archbishop Tartaglia was bishop of that diocese. Now, let me say at once that I find this re-ordering in very poor taste, not least because of the quality of marble used which produces a very cold effect, in too stark a contrast to the warm colours of the altar. Also, the structure of the Cathedral is such that the side altar on which the Blessed Sacrament has been placed is architecturally such and in too close proximity to the main altar as to give the impression, as you rightly imply, of it having been relegated to a secondary position.

        In the light of the liturgical reforms introduced after Vatican II, the re-ordering of the cathedral sanctuary in Paisley, presumably under Bishop Stephen McGill, P.S.S., was limited to detaching the fine marble altar from the reredos, containing the tabernacle, to allow the celebration of Mass versus populum. This had the unfortunate effect of positioning the celebrant with his back to the tabernacle, something which, in my opinion, is reprehensible, to say the least, far more so than having the Blessed Sacrament on a side altar. In the successive re-ordering of the sanctuary under the then Bishop Tartaglia, the altar seems to me to have been brought further forward and its size significantly reduced on the horizontal plane, the tabernacle transferred to a side altar, and the bishop’s chair located to the position formerly occupied by the tabernacle. Concerning the bishop’s chair, in my day it was a wooden chair of the Renaissance scissor design, ebony in colour if not in substance, and was located directly in front of the altar. On my visits to the cathedral in my youth, I used to fume (yes, I had a short fuse even then) at seeing the bishop’s chair routinely used by any celebrating priest which ran contrary to the fact that it was, well, the bishop’s chair and as such the identifying feature of the cathedral.

        It is my contention that the ordering of the sanctuary is no guide to orthodoxy. Why? Because there has been such variance in this matter throughout Catholic history. I will attempt to explain myself.

        First, the tabernacle. In early Christianity, there was the practice of priests, or lay people under their direction, taking the Blessed Sacrament to their homes after the Eucharist in order to make it available to the sick and those unable to attend the celebration. When the Church emerged from persecution under Constantine, there was no longer the need to reserve the Sacrament in private homes and the practice began of reserving it near, but not physically on, the altar. The preferred container for the Eucharist was in the form of a dove, usually gold, set within a tower, usually silver, which was either kept in the sacrarium or pastophorium, away from the main body of the church, or hung by small chains from the canopy covering the main altar. There are records of a particularly fine such object, adorned with 250 white pearls, donated by Constantine himself to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

        Let us fast forward to the thirteenth century when, in response to the requirement of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) that the Blessed Sacrament be reserved in a locked container, we begin to see cabinets (often highly ornate) inserted into the wall either to the right or to the left of the altar. A century later we begin to see the construction, especially in northern Europe, of stone structures for housing the Blessed Sacrament which were usually located to the north of the altar and often reached up to the ceiling. I remember being particularly struck by such a sakramenthaus when, in my youth, I was taken to visit the Ulmer Dom near Augsburg in Bavaria (now a Protestant church).

        It is not until the sixteenth century that we begin to see the tabernacle being placed on the altar itself. Bishop Matteo Giberti of Verona seems to have started the practice which spread quickly throughout northern Italy, although not, apparently, to Milan where in 1560 no less than St. Charles Borromeo had the Blessed Sacrament moved from the sacristy, where it had been kept hitherto, to an altar (but not the main altar) of his cathedral. Perhaps surprisingly to most of us here, even the revered Roman Missal promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in 1570 did not mandate placing the tabernacle on the altar. (We know this because the rubrics state specifically that the altar card containing the main prayers of the Mass was to be placed against a cross located at the centre of the altar.)

        It is not until 1614 that we find Pope Paul V mandating that in his diocese the tabernacle should be placed on an altar, but not, apparently, the high altar. It was in reaction to Protestantism’s denial of the Real Presence and its permanent nature which led to the subsequent practice of locating the tabernacle on the high altar (probably to give it greater visibility), but the practice never became universal. St. Peter’s Basilica, St. John Lateran, Saint Mary Major’s, and St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls all continued to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in a side chapel, as did ancient Roman churches like Santa Maria in Trastevere, San Clemente, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, etc.

        Second, the Bishop’s Chair or Cathedra. This is the symbol of the bishop’s teaching authority and, as I said above, is the one distinctive feature of a cathedral. Its traditional placement, in both East and West, is in the apse, behind the high altar. This practice follows the ordering of the basilicas of ancient Rome in which the magistrate was seated in the apse. These basilicas not only provided the model for the construction of Christian basilicas, but some were even adapted to Christian worship. It was not until the Middle Ages, when altars came to be placed against the wall of the apse, that the cathedra came to be placed to one side, usually on the Gospel side of the altar. The epitome of the cathedra in the Catholic Church is, of course, the one designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and placed in the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1666. (This magnificent structure encloses an ancient wooden chair formerly believed to have been used by St. Peter, but which is now generally accepted as being a gift from Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald to Pope John VIII in 875.)

        So, where the Bishop of Paisley sits in his Cathedral, in relation to the altar and the tabernacle, is exactly the same, in principle, as where the Pope sits when he celebrates in his Cathedral (St. John Lateran), or in St. Mary Major’s or in St. Paul’s Outside-the Walls. I would therefore not exalt to the level of a litmus test of orthodoxy a practice which has a quite recent pedigree in the Catholic Church and which has never been universal.

        August 17, 2017 at 6:19 pm
      • Heloisa

        Excellent post, Athanasius!

        August 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm
  • gabriel syme

    The Herald reports the worlds first joint Catholic and Jewish school has opened in the Glasgow area.

    Now, on the subject of wishy-washy Catholicism, will the Catholic children at this school be taught that the life of Christ fulfilled the Old Covenant and brought in the New?

    Or, with a school of Jewish children next door learning about the defunct Old Covenant, will the Catholic children simply be given the vague impression that all religions are equally valid?

    August 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm
    • Lily

      Gabriel Syme,

      In that Herald report it says “A significant proportion of pupils at the Jewish primary school are Muslim.”

      How can that be? It doesn’t make sense at all.

      August 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm
      • gabriel syme


        I confess I missed that comment in the report – but it doesn’t surprise me. Technically the faith schools are open to anyone, and often families of other faiths choose them over non-denominational schools.

        There are 1 or 2 Catholic schools in Glasgow, where the pupils are overwhelmingly muslim. (As much as 90% or more).

        And so you can see that, when a significant part of the roll at a Catholic school is not Catholic, then it necessitates the kind of “wishy washy” Catholicism which Archbishop Tartaglia – strangely, given he directly oversees it – made a big show of attacking recently.

        I mean, who among the diocesan clergy or current teaching cadre is going to tell a Class including (say) 20% non-Catholics that there is no salvation outside the Church?

        You can bet that, when the first islamic state schools inevitably arrive, they will not be “wishy washy” in teaching their own faith.

        This depressing story highlights the common muslim response to having authority over persons of a different faith:

        (Note the media presents the story chiefly as a local authority blunder, the reports don’t tend to dwell on the obvious islamic prejudice and intolerance shown).

        August 28, 2017 at 10:57 pm
  • fullerton54

    YES & UK

    August 17, 2017 at 8:43 pm
  • Athanasius


    Thank you for that rather excellent history lesson, which I enjoyed reading.

    Pope Pius XII wrote that they err who seek to return to the practices of the early Christians under the pretext of returning to a purer expression of the faith. This was the Protestant pretext for undermining central truths of the Catholic religion such as the Mass as a Sacrifice, the doctrine on Purgatory (eradication of black and purple vestments), the Real Presence, etc. It was the claim of the Protestant Reformers that these things had been added by men over the centuries and were not part of the Faith practiced by the Apostles and the early Christians. They were wrong of course since all these things were held true by the early Christians, albeit in a more simplistic, let’s say less developed, way. But then, the Protestants knew that already, as do the destructive Modernists of our own time. That’s why we can say with confidence that the argument of returning to earlier sources for a purer faith is a specious one.

    The Church is like the mustard seed that grows into the great tree, that is, her doctrine and practices are made ever clearer throughout the centuries through the teaching authority of the Petrine See and the Traditions handed down. They are not new additions by men but rather perfections on what has always been believed and practiced.

    For the Protestants, the pretext of replacing the high altar with the early Christian table form was their method of rejecting the Real Presence and the Mass as a Sacrifice. It was their contention that the table used by the early Christians was representative of the true Christian belief that the Mass was no more than a commemoration meal, and that the body and blood of Christ were merely symbolic.

    These Protestants, actually apostate Catholics, also largely eliminated liturgical vestments, particularly the black and violet vestments that represented penance, death and the doctrine of Purgatory. For them, everyone who professed belief in Christ was saved regardless of how he lived.

    In response to this attack on the sacred truths of our holy religion by the Protestants the Church emphasised more clearly the sacrificial nature of the Mass as well as the doctrines on Purgatory and the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. As part of this the tabernacle became a central feature in the Sanctuaries of all Catholic churches. Where this did not happen, for example, in the Roman Basilicas and major Roman churches you cite, special Blessed Sacrament chapels were created of significantly greater beauty where Mass was/is regularly celebrated. We have to remember here also that Rome was not under the same threat from the spread of Protestantism in the 16th century as other countries. This may explain why tabernacles did not appear in the Sanctuaries of the major Roman churches as they did everywhere else.

    At any rate, we can see that the Modernist revolutionaries of Vatican II have followed precisely the path of the XVI century Protestants. They have changed the high altar to table form and turned the priest around to face the people, they have eliminated the colours black and violet from the liturgical vestments (now celebrating in white vestments the lives of deceased persons instead of offering a requiem Mass in black for the repose of their souls), and they have in many cases removed the tabernacle from its central place in the Sanctuary because, frankly, they either no longer believe in the Real Presence or they don’t want to offend non-Catholics who attend their ecumenical services. Whatever the reason, it is not remotely motivated by Catholic belief in, and zeal for, the truths of the Faith.

    First the priests turned their backs on Our Lord during Mass and then some bishops decided to go further and have Him removed from sight altogether. They know exactly what they are doing and they are not motivated by piety.

    Pius XII prophetically warned of what was coming when he said: “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in her Liturgy, Her theology and Her soul. … I hear all around me innovators who wish to demolish the Holy Sanctuary, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject Her adornments and make Her feel remorse for Her historical past. A day will come when the civilised world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. … In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken him?” (Words of Pope Pius XII: quoted in the book by Mgr. Georges Roche’s & Philippe Saint Germain, ‘Pie XII Devant L’Histoire’)

    Note that Pius mentions the demolition of the Holy Sanctuary and the disappearance of the red light of the tabernacle in the same paragraph.

    I could go on to speak of the illicit introduction into the Church of Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, demonstrating, as Bishop Schneider has done in his book, how these modern innovations are more Protestant Reformation in practice than early Christian, but I’m sure the point has been made that underlying all of this is an active desire on the part of many bishops to undermine the Catholic Faith and bring it into alignment with Reformation Protestantism. In fine, it is a very thinly disguised apostasy from the top down.

    By the way, it was actually St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow I was referring to, not St, Mirren’s in Paisley. Sorry for the confusion.

    August 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm
    • Prognosticum


      I think that we both have a very profound respect for truth. I certainly have a very profound respect for the learning which you display on this blog, even if we have had our spats from time to time.

      I, too, am very alive to the danger of liturgical ‘archaeologism’. Indeed, I would contend that the most un-catholic and thus most dangerous aspect of the liturgical ‘reform’ (not mandated by Vatican II and not, at least initially by Paul VI) was the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice ‘versus populum’. This has been the fount of much mischief.

      August 19, 2017 at 9:10 pm
  • Fidelis

    I had to laugh at the idea of the Archbishop of Glasgow saying the laity are “wishy-washy” Catholics when that’s what they’re taught to be all the time, between the schools and the homilies, you don’t learn anything except to “dialogue” with everyone and “respect other religions” etc. They’ve even agreed to provide “safe spaces” for LGBT pupils in Scottish Catholic schools! How wishy-washy is that?

    August 18, 2017 at 9:05 pm
    • Helen

      Haha Fidelis, how hilarious is that? I agree absolutely. We’re expected to dialogue with the devil and all and then to defend the Catholic Faith. Hilarious!

      August 18, 2017 at 10:47 pm
  • Athanasius


    Very good.

    August 18, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    • editor


      Not to mention “sad-through-to-tragic”, but hey, let’s not be party-poopers in this wonderful new Vatican II springtime… 😀

      August 19, 2017 at 12:11 am
  • Paisley Parishoner

    Athanasius, not to be pedantic, but the restoration of St Andrew’s Cathedral took place under the direction of Archbishop Conti, by the time Archbishop Tartaglia was translated to Glasgow the restoration work was completed.

    Prognosticum – The tabernacle in St Mirin’s Cathedral has not been moved, it is still in the centre of the sanctuary. When the Bishop celebrates Mass the Blessed Sacrament is temporarily moved for that Mass to the tabernacle on the side Altar as the Cathedra is located in front of the tabernacle. This is in accordance with the current liturgical norms.

    August 19, 2017 at 7:27 pm
    • Athanasius

      Paisley Parishioner

      Yes, I remembered that the tabernacle was in fact removed under Archishop Conti, but it’s clear that Archbishop Tartaglia didn’t restore it to its rightful place of honour and is therefore just as guilty.

      August 19, 2017 at 9:15 pm
    • Petrus

      To be very, very pedantic, the tabernacle was actually moved under Cardinal Winning. It used to be atthe side altar to the right of the sanctuary. It’s now to the left.

      Not that it really matters. As Athanasius has said, the successors are equally as guilty for not restoring it.

      August 20, 2017 at 7:12 am
  • Prognosticum

    I stand corrected, but up to a point.

    Your post implies that when a priest who is not the Bishop celebrates, he does so with the tabernacle behind him.

    What a mess!

    August 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm
  • John Kearney

    Well, he was writing for an American online magazine Crux, he was not addressing Scottish Catholics so he was free to use and abuse them. But you never know these days perhaps while not taking responsibility himself he may be being perceptive. I know that at the moment things in many areas are changing at breathtaking speed at parish and Church level. I recently read a headline about the Scottish bishops were going to consecrate Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Considering I could not about 12 years ago have a hymn to Our Lady sung at the funeral Mass of my sister because the ‘liturgy committee’ in the parish would object, is there any truth to this story?

    August 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm
  • Agnes mulrine

    Bring back reverance. Make God’s house what it was meant to be a place of worship where we go in with our hats in our hands. To pay reverance to God. Give us the teachings from the pulpit that we crave. Bring back devotions and benediction and the stations of the cross where we again can have a season for all worship. Put The Blessed Sacrament back in the middle of the altar with the red light burning there telling us Jesus lives here. You are our shepherds, we are lost and scattered because we have lost our zeal. And we are all, together, running towards perdition in the blink of an eye.

    August 28, 2017 at 9:04 pm
    • gabriel syme

      Excellent post Agnes! If the typical parish Church took your advise, I am sure it would soon be thriving, much like the SSPX Chapel on Renfrew Street!

      August 28, 2017 at 11:12 pm
    • editor


      I agree with Gabriel Syme – your post is excellent and reminds us of the spiritual deprivation of the majority of Catholics, like yourself, suffering in the parish churches.

      Maybe you will think seriously about returning to the ancient Mass, the Mass of the saints and martyrs. Worth pondering?

      August 29, 2017 at 1:02 am

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