Archbishop of Glasgow: Scots Catholics are '˜too wishy-washy'

One of Scotland's leading Catholics has warned that believers have become 'too wishy-washy' in standing up for their faith.

Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia issued a warning that believers were not standing up for their faith. Picture: John Devlin

In a major new essay, the Archbishop of Glasgow Phillip Tartaglia shared his fear that “too many believers” have adapted to the secular world around them.

He believes that modern Catholics are no longer stressing their faith but rather its ethical values.

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The Archbishop complained that the congregation were too quick to compromise in an essay for American online publication Crux -- which is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the Vatican.

Challenged by a robust secularism, he said Scottish Catholics avoid saying they “really believe in anything supernatural; in anything they can’t see or touch or experience; or in anything beyond modelling and encouraging decent behaviour.

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He wrote: “Too many believers no longer talk about Jesus winning salvation for the sinful but instead point to him as a moral ideal of what humans should strive for.

“We accommodate. We compromise. We avoid conflict - even when conflict is the only proper course. We are too wishy-washy, as we would say in Scotland.”

He was rehearsing arguments developed by John Haldane, the moral philosopher and Catholic thinker who splits his time between St Andrews and Baylor University in Texas.

Archbishop Tartaglia’s essay reflected views he had given at a meeting with US colleagues in Philadelphia earlier this summer.

He was warning the Americans that they may soon face threats similar to Scottish Catholics.

Old school sectarian bigotry - while not quite wiped out, was on the wane, he said.

But Catholics, he added, were reacting to a new reality where only the faith stood against what he sees as an intolerant consensus.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “While that kind of old-style discrimination has largely faded, there is still a vague suspicion that Catholics don’t really belong, and if they are there, they should not make too much noise about their faith.

“Once upon a time, Catholics longed for and worked for the conversion of others, including a nation’s cultural elites.

“Now many of our Catholic leaders, intellectuals and academic institutions bend over backwards to assure the gatekeepers of culture and prestige that they’re just as right-thinking as they are.

“The new “religious” consensus in the UK is a combination of scepticism, consumer appetite, and political intolerance.

“It masks itself with progressive vocabulary, but its targets tend to be practicing Christians.

“Old-fashioned Protestant “No Popery here” slogans may have faded, but today’s discrimination is much more sophisticated.

“Atheists and secularists in the 1960s and 1970s were content to ignore or mock the Catholic Church, but today many see her as the single most formidable threat to their notions of justice and equality, particularly when it comes to matters of human sexuality.”