GLASGOW, Scotland, August 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office has defended statements made by Archbishop-elect of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia. In which he argued that society has been silent when it comes to the health risks and dangers of the homosexual lifestyle.

“There is a link between same-sex sexual practice and early death,” said Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office, to STV’s Rona Dougall on Scotland Tonight last Sunday. “And that’s not something that the Catholic Church simply ‘believes’, there is an overwhelming body of medical evidence to suggest that.”

Archbishop-elect Tartaglia was internationally scrutinized last week after The Scotsman accused him of having made “hurtful” and “ill-informed” remarks about the death of an openly homosexual Labor MP and former Catholic priest during at Oxford. Tartaglia was delivering a speech on the topic of threats to religious freedom caused by the Scottish government’s latest push for same-sex ‘marriage’.

At that time, Tartaglia, responding to a question from the audience, said: “If what I have heard is true about the relationship between the physical and mental health of gay men… then society is being very quiet about it.”

“Recently in Scotland,” he continued, “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.”

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The Scotsman reported that family and friends of the openly homosexual Scottish Labor party MP David Cairns, who did in fact die last year at age 44, were upset by the comments. Cairns, whom the newspaper described as a “devout Catholic,” was a laicized Catholic priest who reportedly died of complications of acute pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis, which is primarily observed in patients with AIDS, results from complications pertaining to AIDS treatment, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

While Tartaglia said that his comments were not intended to “cause offense” and that he “regret[ed] that anyone may have been upset,” he nevertheless defended his original claim that the “health risks of same sex behavior were largely unreported.”

Kearney said that Tartaglia was “asking a question” during his response to the question from the audience, “rather than passing judgment”. “And in fairness it was a question I think that was on a lot of people’s lips. The point was made that no offense was intended and an apology was given if any was caused.”

Kearney pointed out that the substance of Tartaglia’s statement was that there is “something of a conspiracy of silence around the vast array of medical evidence that exists to suggest that same-sex behavior is hazardous, is harmful, and is dangerous.”

“And the wider question really is as a society why don’t we debate that? Why don’t we have that discussion in the same way, for example, that we’ve been happy to look at how smoking, how alcohol, how over-eating, how drug addiction can cause harms to people’s health?”

Numerous scientific studies over the years suggest that homosexual practices result in a disease-ridden lifestyle and early death.

One 2002 report by Dr. John R. Diggs titled The Health Risks of Gay Sex found that sexual relationships between members of the same sex “expose gays, lesbians and bisexuals to extreme risks of sexually transmitted dis- eases (STDs), physical injuries, mental disorders and even a shortened life span.” The report found that “common sexual practices among gay men lead to numerous STDs and physical injuries, some of which are virtually unknown in the heterosexual population.” The report also found that “gay and bisexual men lose up to 20 years of life expectancy”. Diggs concluded that it is “clear that there are serious medical consequences to same-sex behavior.”

Kearney pointed out that people “only need to imagine the complex infections, diseases, and illnesses that are caused [by these practices].”

“I think that we’re all aware of it, but we tend to indulge ourselves in a sort of willful fantasy that there are no dangers [and that] it’s not harmful. That’s not a particularly compassionate response for a society to take.”