Vatican News
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow 

Archbishop of Glasgow dies age 70

The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, dies suddenly at his home in Glasgow at the age of 70.

By Vatican News staff reporter

The Archdiocese of Glasgow has announced the death of its Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Archdiocese said, “It is with the greatest sorrow that we announce the death of our Archbishop.”

Archbishop Tartaglia had tested positive for COVID-19 shortly after Christmas and was self-isolating at home. The cause of death is not yet clear.

The Archbishop, who was 70, had served as leader of Scotland’s largest Catholic community since 2012.

The statement added that the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, has been informed.


Leading the tributes to the late Archbishop was Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster who expressed his sorrow and offered prayers.

"I have learned with great sadness of the sudden death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia. All of Scotland will be saddened and shocked by his death, sentiments shared throughout England and Wales, too. He, and his family, are much in our prayers.

"I have often enjoyed the warm hospitality of Archbishop Tartaglia and admired his pastoral sense and sharp mind. His leadership will be greatly missed.

"May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace and rise in glory."

Meanwhile, the Bishops of Scotland described the Archbishop as  a "gentle, caring and warm-hearted pastor".

Life and ministry

Philip Tartaglia was born at Glasgow on 11 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 30 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 13 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 24 July 2012, Bishop Tartaglia was appointed Archbishop of Glasgow and was installed at St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, on Saturday 8 September 2012, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

He died on 13 January 2021, the Feast of St Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow.

14 January 2021, 11:41