Pope Francis has named Mgr Leo Cushley as the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
The appointment was announced at noon today in Rome. The archbishop-elect succeeds Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who led the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh from 1985 until his resignation in February.
Mgr Cushley is currently head of the English-language section of the Vatican Secretariat of State and has been a close collaborator of both Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. In his capacity as Prelate of the Anticamera, Mgr Cushley has been involved in the visits of heads of state and other important guests to the Holy See. Recently he has assisted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, and many other high-profile visitors to the Vatican.
As head of the English section of the Secretariat of State it was his task to accompany the Holy Father to English-speaking countries. In 2010 he accompanied Benedict XVI to Malta, Cyprus and Britain.
Cushley will be ordained a bishop in September, at which point he will formally succeed Cardinal Keith O’Brien, whose resignation in February was followed by an admission of sexual misconduct and “inappropriate acts.” O’Brien, who at the time was Britain’s most senior clergyman, had been accused by three priests and a former priest of inappropriate sexual behavior going back several decades.
From Msgr. Cushley’s statement, released after his appointment was announced:
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.
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