New archbishop says Scotland’s re-evangelization rooted in Christ

Glasgow, Scotland, Sep 10, 2012 / 05:28 pm (CNA).- The new Archbishop of Glasgow proposed his vision for the re-evangelization of Scotland, which he said is based not on a policy, but an encounter with the living Christ.   

“I think it is very important to stress that the proposal the Church makes to the world today is not an idea, or a plan or a policy, but a person,” said Archbishop Philip Tartaglia during his inaugural Mass at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow Sept. 8.  

“That person is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of Mary.”

The new archbishop says he believes “that this proposal remains exciting and endlessly relevant for the world in which we live.”

When that proposal “is made persuasively and well to people of good will,” he added, “they often find that their minds are drawn to the truth of God and their hearts are touched by the love of God.”

A native of Glasgow, 61-year-old Archbishop Philip Tartaglia is the 40th successor of St. Mungo, the first bishop and founder of city in the 6th century.  

“To be the Successor of Mungo brings me to my knees in humble prayer and calls me anew to faith and to holiness,” he told the packed congregation which included representatives from the Archdiocese of Glasgow’s near 100 parishes.

Approximately 16 percent of the Scotland’s 5 million population is Catholic. The country has eight dioceses the most populous of which in terms of number of Catholics is Glasgow.

Archbishop Tartaglia said he wanted the Catholic population of his new Archdiocese to “be filled with that commitment and that enthusiasm for Jesus and for his Gospel and to radiate the joy which comes with the inestimable treasure of knowing Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Prior to being appointed to his new post in Glasgow, Archbishop Tartaglia had been the bishop of the neighboring Diocese of Paisley since 2005. Before that he served as Rector of the Scots College in Rome.

He said the he wanted young people in particular “to sense and grasp the beauty and the wonder of Jesus Christ” and to “discover with eagerness and joy the true faith, the sanctifying and transforming potential of the sacraments, the teaching and maternal care of the Church, mater et magistra.”

Overall, he desired that his Archdiocese “embrace the new evangelization as the special challenge of our lifetime” and to witness “the saving message of the love and mercy of God in Jesus Christ in all its fullness” to each other and to “the wider community” the majority of whom are not presently Catholic.

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