Are we really going to have to suffer years of nonsensical comments from Archbishop Philip Tartaglia? After his offensive outbursts regarding gay marriage, he now adds illogical comment on the subject of sectarianism (your report, 24 November), when he says: “It seems incontrovertible now that our problem is not so much sectarianism but anti- Catholicism.”
This is based on the recent official figures showing that 58 per cent of offences last year were targeted at Catholics – not 85 per cent, not 90 per cent. While it clearly means that they are the most targeted group, you simply cannot disregard the other 42 per cent as if they didn’t matter.
Further, as approximately 40 per cent of offences targeted Protestants, then it’s likely that the majority of those will have been perpetrated by Catholics. How does this make the problem “not so much sectarianism but anti-Catholicism”? His comments don’t make sense and are simply a desire to make capital out of the figures rather than look at them, sensibly, for what they are.
There are many more Protestants than Catholics in Scotland, so it’s perhaps not surprising that this is reflected by more incidents going one way rather than the other. As someone of neither persuasion, I just want to see an end to sectarianism – and bigotry of all kinds – in Scotland and Bishop Tartaglia’s comments are not helpful in this regard. Sectarianism is an embarrassing blight on Scottish society and needs to be tackled, not by ignoring 42 per cent of the problem, but by education and legislation aimed at all of the potential perpetrators.