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Glasgow Archbishop admits doubts on after-life

Archbishop Mario Conti has told a Scottish newspaper that he has "doubts" about some of the fundamentals of the Catholic faith, contrasting his questioning attitude with his mother's "utter confidence" that on death she would meet her friends and hear heavenly music.

Although a strong supporter of the papal encyclical which outlawed contraception, Archbishop Conti also conceded to the paper that the Church's stance on the use of condoms should be questioned.

He said: "I think it is legitimate to ask whether there are any circumstances in which, not for contraceptive but for hygienic purposes, condoms may be used in order to prevent the spread of AIDS."

In the wide-ranging interview, to mark the first anniversary of his appointment by the Pope to succeed the legendary Cardinal Thomas Winning, the archbishop confronts the Catholic Church's "culture of secrecy" in dealing with paedophilia among priests, and he acknowledges the need to restore trust within the community it serves.

Archbishop Conti is the great-grandson of Italian farmers and the grandson of economic migrants. Ordained in Rome in 1959, he was appointed assistant priest at St Mary's Cathedral in Aberdeen, then parish priest in Wick and Thurso before being ordained Bishop of Aberdeen in 1977.

The Scotsman

Archbishop Mario Joseph Conti (
Archdiocese of Glasgow | Archbishop Conti
Bishops Conference of Scotland | Scottish Catholic Media Office

16 Jan 2003