BY Liz Leydon | September 22 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Cushley ordination (480x360)

Scotland’s new archbishop should be ‘merciful,’ says Pope Francis

The Holy Father has advised the new archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, who worked closely with him, to be merciful in his ministry in Scotland. (Full report and photographs in the SCO print edition on Sept 27.)

Vatican diplomat Mgr Leo Cushley of Motherwell Diocese was ordained and consecrated as archbishop yesterday, the feast of St Matthew, by his former boss at the Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal James Harvey, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow.

“One of the things [the Pope] communicated… was the idea that I should be ‘merciful’ in my ministry here,” Archbishop Cushley, 52, said.

“Merciful, this has already become a key word in [Francis’] pontificate,” Archbishop Cushley, who is the eighth Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh since the restoration of the hierarchy, added. “But he explained that being merciful doesn’t mean being soft.”

Archbishop Cushley addressed the congregation with the Pope’s message after his Episcopal ordination at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, in the presence of Cardinal Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, Cardinal Brady, many Scottish bishops and dignitaries including First Minister Alex Salmond and Nigel Baker, the British Ambassador to the Holy See.

Archbishop Cushley becomes pastoral leader of St Andrews and Edinburgh as the successor of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, whose future home has yet to be determined since he retired.

In his homily, Cardinal Harvey spoke of the ‘special grace’ of being a bishop, adding that ‘grace rose naturally upon’ the new archbishop. The cardinal, however, also addressed directly the challenges facing the Church and Scottish Catholics.

The cardinal said that the ordained were ‘not perfect beings without weakness.’

“God chooses real human beings, real men with real faults and weaknesses… and does great things,” he said.

The new archbishop, who also showed humility and humour when addressing the congregation on Saturday, concluded with a message to the young people of St Andrews and Edinburgh from the Pope.

Pic: Archbishop Cushley greets members of the congregation at his Episcopal ordination at St Mary Cathedral’s in Edinburgh yesterday after the Mass



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