The Catholic Church in Scotland announced on Wednesday the sudden death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow. The Archbishop died suddenly at home aged 70 and had served as Archbishop of Glasgow since 2012. He had been home self-isolating following a positive test for COVID-19 but the cause of death remains unclear.
A short biography on the Archdiocese of Glasgow website reads:
Philip Tartaglia was born at Glasgow on 11th January 1951. He is the eldest son of Guido and Annita Tartaglia and had three brothers and five sisters. After his primary schooling at St. Thomas’, Riddrie, he began his secondary education at St. Mungo’s Academy, Glasgow, before moving to the national junior seminary at St. Vincent’s College, Langbank and, later, St. Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen. His ecclesiastical studies were completed at the Pontifical Scots College, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
He was ordained Priest by then-Archbishop Thomas Winning in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun on 30th June 1975. He then returned to Rome to study for his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.
On completing his Doctorate in 1980, he was appointed assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Cardonald, while at the same time becoming visiting lecturer at St. Peter’s College, Newlands, Glasgow.
A year later, he was appointed Lecturer at St. Peter’s College, Newlands, becoming Director of Studies in 1983. When Chesters College, Bearsden, opened in 1985 he was made Vice-Rector. In 1987 he was appointed Rector.
He served as Rector until 1993 when he was appointed to St. Patrick’s, Dumbarton, as Assistant Priest before being appointed Parish Priest of St. Mary’s, Duntocher in 1995. In 2004, the Bishops’ Conference appointed him Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, Rome.
On 13th September 2005, Pope Benedict XVI nominated him Bishop of Paisley. On 20 November 2005, he was ordained Bishop in St Mirin’s Cathedral by Archbishop Mario Conti who he was to succeed as Archbishop of Glasgow
On 24th July 2012, Bishop Tartaglia was appointed Archbishop of Glasgow and was installed at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, on Saturday 8th September 2012, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He died on January 13 2021, the Feast of St Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow.
In speaking of the news of the Archbishop’s sudden death the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, said:
“It is with the deepest sadness that we have learned today on the Feast of St Kentigern (Mungo) of the death of our brother bishop and friend Philip Tartaglia.
His loss to his family, his clergy and the people of the Archdiocese of Glasgow will be immeasurable but for the entire Church in Scotland this is a day of immense loss and sadness.
He was a gentle, caring and warm-hearted pastor who combined compassion with a piercing intellect. His contribution to the work of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland over the past sixteen years was significant and we will miss his wisdom, wit and robust Catholic spirit very much.
On behalf of the Bishops of Scotland, we commend his soul into the hands of God and pray that he may enjoy eternal rest.”
Archbishop George Stack has sent a message of condolence and prayers for the repose of Archbishop Tartaglia to Bishop Hugh Gilbert on behalf of the Catholic Church in Wales.