Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Braveheart Alex Salmond ‘looks forward to regular meetings’ with man accused of being a homophobe, times changed in Scottish National Party?

Dear All

No sooner is he in the door than Bishop Tartaglia, the current Bishop of Paisley has run into controversy.

Awhile ago I did a post on the death of David Cairns who was formerly the MP for Inverclyde, Cairns by all accounts was a good MP, popular and well respected in the House of Commons and his community.

Unfortunately he died very young at 44 years of age of acute pancreatitis in hospital last May in London; it was a sad loss to Scotland and politics as a whole.

Bishop Tartaglia reminds me of the insensitive remarks of former SNP member Alan Clayton who I also blogged for his inappropriate remarks when a young guy died outside the Glasgow City Chambers, not in possession of the facts.

In put his foot firmly in his mouth the archbishop-elect apparently said on the Cairns issue at a conference at Oxford University;

"If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men, if it is true then society is being very quiet about it”.


"Recently in Scotland there was a gay Catholic MP who died at the age of 44 or so and nobody said anything. And why his body should just shut down at that age? Obviously he could have had a disease that would have killed anybody. But you seem to hear so many stories about this kind of thing, but society won't address it."

Mr Cairns's partner, Dermot Kehoe, said the "deeply painful" remarks added to the grief and pain felt by him and Mr Cairns's family.

Mr Kehoe added;

"David died of pancreatitis; a gallstone blocked his pancreatic tract. So that's what happened to David, which could have happened to anybody. To take a personal tragedy like this and seek to use it to make a political point, it's more than upsetting, it's deeply painful.

“David and his family were parishioners and are parishioners of the bishop and he may have things he wants to say, based on scripture or based on theology about the issue of equal marriage. But to speak in this way in complete ignorance, not knowing any of the facts either about David's life or about his medical condition, is just an unacceptable way for someone to behave who seeks to show moral leadership.

"It's added to our grief and our pain."

Mr Kehoe called on the archbishop-elect to "understand what he has done and why is it wrong, why to take David's life and to tell people that David died because of his lifestyle when that is simply not true and there are no facts to support that".

He said:

"I want him to show contrition for that and to apologise."

Anyone can die from acute pancreatitis so the Bishop was wrong, because the Bishop didn’t have the facts, he just spouted off.

He should apologise.

In the political sphere Braveheart Alex Salmond was quick to offer his congratulations on the appointment of Bishop Tartaglia as the new Archbishop of Glasgow.

He said:

"Our country's newest Archbishop has already played a distinguished role across Scotland and Scottish society as a whole. His pride at being appointed in his native city will be matched by the pride he felt in the Diocese of Paisley, which he dutifully served as Bishop for nearly seven years.

"It is in that role that I have met Bishop Tartaglia and discussed with him the importance of celebrating the contribution that the Catholic Church, along with other churches and faiths, has made to Scottish life.

"I congratulate him on this richly deserved appointment and I look forward to meeting him regularly in the months ahead."

It seems that Alex Salmond is keen to lavish praise and buddy up with someone branded a homophobe.

How times have changed in the SNP of late, presumably Alex Salmond is keen to try and repair the damage that the equal marriage row is causing the SNP and their attempts to win back the Catholic vote for the independence referendum and beyond.

A SNP First Minister looking forward to regularly meeting someone accused of being a homophobe?

And the praise, it is so high too!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


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