FORMER Paisley Bishop Philip Tartaglia has died suddenly at the age of 70.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Church said the cause of death is "not yet clear," although he had tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after Christmas and was self-isolating at home.

Having been ordained as Bishop of Paisley in November 2005, he continued in that role for seven years before being appointed Archbishop of Glasgow.

The spokesperson added: "The Archbishop had served as leader of Scotland’s largest Catholic community since 2012.

"The Pope’s Ambassador to Great Britain, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, has been informed.

"It will be for Pope Francis to appoint a new Archbishop to succeed Archbishop Tartaglia but, until then, the Archdiocese will be overseen by an administrator."

Born in Glasgow on January 11, 1951, Philip Tartaglia was the eldest son of parents Guido and Annita.

He was educated 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 as a priest by Archbishop Thomas Winning in the Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun, in 1975 and then returned to Rome, where he completed his ordinary course of studies before beginning his research for his Doctorate in Sacred Theology.

In 1978, he was appointed as Dean of Studies at the College in Rome and was also acting Vice-Rector at that time.

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.

He later became Director of Studies at St Peter's College before being made Vice-Rector at Chesters College, Bearsden, when it opened in 1985.

Two years later, he was appointed Rector.

He served in that role until 1993, when he was sent 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 asked him to return to seminary as Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, Rome.

In September 2005, it was announced that Father Tartaglia had been nominated by Pope Benedict XVI as Bishop of Paisley, serving an area that includes Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

He was ordained bishop during a ceremony at St Mirin's Cathedral, Paisley, by Archbishop Mario Conti on November 20, 2005.

His appointed as Archbishop of Glasgow was confirmed in July 2012 and he took possession of the See of St Mungo in St Andrew's Cathedral two months later.

Archbishop Tartaglia's death took place on January 13, which is the Feast of St Mungo – the patron saint of Glasgow.