Pope Francis today appointed Monsignor Leo Cushley as the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
He will take over the governance of the Archdiocese from Archbishop Philip Tartaglia who has been Apostolic Administrator following the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who was the most senior Catholic cleric in Britain.
Mgr Cushley, 52, is presently Head of the English-language section of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of
both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. In his capacity as Prelate of the Anticamera Mgr Cushley has been regularly involved in the visits of
Heads of State and other important guests to the Holy See.
Recently he has assisted as Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, the Archbishop of Canterbury and many other high profile visitors called upon the Pope.
Cardinal O’Brien, 75, left Scotland earlier this year for a period of “spiritual renewal, prayer and penance” after admitting that his sexual conduct ‘’had fallen beneath the standards’’ expected of him during his almost 50-year career.
Speaking of his appointment Mgr Cushley said: “I am humbled that our Holy Father Pope Francis has nominated me for such an important task here in our ancient capital. I know it’s a delicate moment and that there is a lot to be done, but with God’s grace and the kind support of
the clergy and people of Edinburgh, I will work cheerfully and willingly with all the energy I can muster.
“There are certain important questions that I will also have to familiarize myself with. I have no jurisdiction in the diocese until after I have been ordained in late September. Only then will I be able to take stock of what has happened and see what can be done.
“It is my sincere hope to do this always in truth and in charity, with a view to reconciliation and healing among the Catholics of Edinburgh.
The Archbishop-elect’s episcopal ordination will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 21.