New Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh Appointed Today…

Monsignor Leo Cushley, has been appointed the new Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh.

Let’s hear your thoughts – or, more accurately,  your expectations of the new Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh.

58 responses

  1. Vatican-based Scot Monsignor Leo Cushley is appointed Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh after Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s sex scandal resignation.

  2. I’ve just posted the name – held up by a telephone call from another blogger who’d hoped to attend the press conference but couldn’t get in since press passes are required now. Seems that one contribution from a Catholic Truth representative is quite enough! Our last representative asked the then new Archbishop of Glasgow (Philip Tartaglia) if he planned to extend the provision of Traditional Latin Masses, so they weren’t going to risk a question like that again, I guess!

    So, while it’s all good and well telling us the name of the new archbishop, what, Petrus and Crossraguel, do you think will be the result? Same old, same old, or a clean sweep?

    • I don’t know anything about him. My feeling is that if he had been a candidate we would approve of, he wouldn’t have been a candidate in the first place!

    • editor,

      Mgr. Cushley is the one of the three tips I know least about. Which allows me to have high expectations from a position of blissful ignorance, hopefully not to be dashed this time. As a starting point, having been in Rome and not Scotland all these decades will surely have done him more good than harm. Also given the fall of his predecessor I’d expect his personal morality to be beyond reproach.

      Any other insights – he is a priest of your diocese after all editor.

    • Our last representative asked the then new Archbishop of Glasgow (Philip Tartaglia) if he planned to extend the provision of Traditional Latin Masses, so they weren’t going to risk a question like that again, I guess!

      How did ++Tartaglia respond to this query Editor?

      I presume he conveniently backheeled / ignored it?

      Still, good on Catholic Truth for putting him on the spot!

      • Gabriel Syme,

        I can’t remember exactly how he responded – by waffle, no doubt – but I’ll check it out by looking up the relevant edition of CT – we reported it at the time.

  3. SCO article:

    Pope names Vatican diplomat as new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh

    Appointment will be homecoming for Motherwell priest Mgr Leo Cushley, head of the English-language section of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State

    Pope Francis has appointed Mgr Leo Cushley, 52, a senior Vatican diplomat from Motherwell Diocese, as the new Archbishop of St Andrew and Edinburgh.

    Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, who has been serving as St Andrew and Edinburgh archdiocese’s apostolic administrator since Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s retirement in March, introduced the Archbishop-elect this morning at the Gillis Centre in Edinburgh.

    Mgr Cushley, a very experienced Vatican diplomat and priest of Motherwell Diocese, has been serving as head of the English-language section of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. He has worked very closely with both Pope Benedict XVI (above) and Pope Francis.

    Mgr Cushley said he was ‘humbled that our Holy Father Pope Francis has nominated me for such an important task here in our ancient capital.’

    Ordained in 1985, Mgr Cushley was asked to work in Rome the Holy See in 1993 and has served the Holy See’s Diplomatic Service since 1997.

    The Archbishop-elect will now surrender his distinctive Vatican number plate as well as his diplomatic passport. His Episcopal ordination as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 21.

    “I have no jurisdiction in the diocese until after I have been ordained in late September,” he said this morning. “Only then will I be able to take stock of what has happened and see what can be done.”

    Mgr Cushley was born in Aidrie, Lanarkshire, ordained to the priesthood in 1985. He served at St Aidan’s Parish, Wishaw, St Serf’s Parish, Airdrie and Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell, before beginning work to in Rome.

    —ian@sconews.co.uk

    Pic: Paul McSherry. Mgr Cushley(above right) presented his nephew to Pope Benedict XVI during the Holy Father during visit to Scotland in 2010 during which the the monsignor travelled with the Pope.

    http://www.sconews.co.uk/news/30000/pope-names-vatican-diplomat-as-new-archbishop-of-st-andrews-and-edinburgh/

  4. I dont know anything about Leo Cushely, but good luck to him in the new role.

    He seems to have a good range of organisation experience, hopefully that will help him run the diocese. He is quite young (early 50s) and so should be more dynamic than the doddering old Cardinal O’Brien was.

    I found an article from about 3 years ago, (just prior to the Papal visit), which mentions him. It says:

    those who know him testify to his quick wit, high level of intelligence and appreciation for a fine wine and an exquisitely cooked meal.

    I wonder what he thinks of Latin?

    Perhaps concerningly, given the recent claims of homosexual scandal in Mothwrwell Diocese, Bishop Devine refers to Cushles “good looks” in this gushing appraisal:

    Leo was just good at everything, it came so naturally to him and he is such a nice personality. A good looking big fellow, nothing was a bother to Leo Cushley, and he has a zest for life.

    Quotations from:
    http://www.kirkintilloch-herald.co.uk/news/local-headlines/pope-benedict-xvi-visit-the-motherwell-monsignor-who-is-most-influential-scot-in-the-holy-see-1-808799

    • gabriel syme,

      That article certainly gives some insight into his personality – intelligent, cultured, likeable. These are characteristics to be found in varying measure in certainly two of the other three diocesean bishops and ought to go some way to raising the intellectual tone of the bishops conference.

      I am confident the other bishops would respond respectfully and probably positively to a traditional/conservative lead at this time, something which would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago when the constitution was Cardinal O’Brien/Archbishop Conti/Bishops Devine, Logan, Moran et al. One thing I’d recommend to their Lordships is to allow the bishops emeritus a social gathering at a golf course, caravan park or other pilgrim location of their choice – anywhere that is not within a few hundred miles of their collegial meetings.

  5. My wife and I attended Pope Benedict’s Wednesday Audience in September 2009 and the cleric translating into English for the Holy Father was clearly Scottish. It seems that this was Msgr Cushley.

  6. Here’s an old newspaper article, announcing Mgr Cushley’s appointment to his Vatican role:-
    http://www.pressteam.co.uk/index.php/news/top-job-for-leo

    It’s encouraging that he’s worked closely with Pope Benedict for years, and is obviously a known quantity to the Vatican. His success or failure in cleaning up his new diocese will reflect directly on the most senior levels of the hierarchy.

    Also encouraging is his extensive diplomatic experience, gained in places like Burundi. If he can perform his duties well in such an environment, then Edinburgh & St. Andrews ought to be well within his abilities to sort out.

    Monsignor Leo Cushley, 48, a former curate at Motherwell Cathedral, is now a papal diplomat.

    He has taken up a new assignment within the Vatican which will see him work in close collaboration with Pope Benedict XVI after being promoted to head of the English Language Section in the Vatican.

    In his new role, Mgr Cushley will act as the official English language interpreter for the Pope.

    In his new job Mgr Cushley can expect to be included in the Pope’s most important meetings and audiences with world leaders including President Obama.

    Mgr Cushley entered the priesthood 21 years ago and his career has taken him from Lanarkshire via Rome and Africa to the heart of the United Nations headquarters in New York.

    He held posts in Egypt, war-torn Burundi and Portugal before joining the church’s diplomatic team at the UN.

    As a Vatican diplomat, his job was to promote the policy of the Holy See.

    • It will be interesting to see if Mgr Cushley promotes the policy of the Holy See on Extraordinary Ministers etc.

      I must say I’m glad it’s someone from Rome and not from here. We need an outsider (in a way – I know he’s from Motherwell) to sort out the mess left by Cardinal O’Brien.

  7. One of our English bloggers who is having problems logging in, sent me this article from the Telegraph today.

    It’s amazing how many otherwise intelligent people still think that “secularism” is the problem for the Church, not dissent and apostasy. One feels like saying “gerragrip” but one doesn’t always bother.

    For the record, I will be writing a letter of welcome to the new Archbishop in due course. Inviting him to address the issues that matter and leave the secularists to their own devices, so his response to my carefully chosen words will give us a clue about where us poor “traditionalists” stand in relation to the “dialogue to death” policy.

  8. Sorry to be the harbinger of bad tidings, but it will be same-old, same_-old, because the new archbishop will have the same, ever-dwindling bunch of presbyters to work with.
    I agree with correspondents that he may have been the best if a truly ropey bunch, but … watch this space.
    The Scottish Church is finished: you heard it here!

    • Sarto2010 et al,

      I’ve just had a phone call from a reader dismayed at the coverage on the Scottish Television News this evening.

      Apparently, Mgr Cushley – following in + Conti’s footsteps – refused to use the word “perversion” when asked about homosexuality. Presumably, our reader opined, he would also refuse to confirm the CCC definition of homosexuality as a “grave depravity”. This is very VERY revealing – he is now, officially, a cause for Catholic Truth concern. No question. Since any dictionary definition of “perversion” simply turns up the obvious – that if something is “perverted” it is not being used for its correct purpose, is being used abnormally – then why will he not use the term? I’ve said it before and I’m saying it again now: any Catholic (especially a priest) who is not wholly opposed to homosexual activity, has to have a very serious personal problem.

      Mgr Cushley is, as our reader suggested, a career diplomat and we can forget about any meaningful change in our situation under the new Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh.

      Yes, truly – to echo Sarto2010 – you heard it here first… sadly.

      • Now folks, let’s wait and see. Don’t judge the man on one episode. Perhaps he was put on the spot and, being a diplomat, hedged his bets. He will have plenty of time to reflect. We should pray for him because he has been dealt a heavy burden. I certainly would not like to be in his shoes!

  9. CrofterLady,

    Hardly just “one episode”. Are you playing Devil’s Advocate? If he begins by refusing to call homosexual activity by its proper name – “perversion” – when asked about it by a journalist on day one, the signal that sends out is not good. As for being “put on the spot” at a press conference to introduce himself when he was only appointed because of the homosexual scandal involving Cardinal O’Brien – well, he may be a “diplomat” (like Pontius Pilate) but he’s never going to win a mint in any game or competition that requires (to be blunt) brains is he? After all, being a diplomat only requires saying what people want to hear, from what I can gather, and really, from Pontius Pilate on, it’s not been an edifying spectacle, has it, watching “diplomats” at work?

    Newsnight Scotland (11pm BBC 2) is featuring a piece on the new appointment which includes an(other) interview with Her Holier-than-Thou, Mzzzzz Catherine Deveny of “I know the names of the Cardinal’s accusers and you don’t, dah-de-dah-de-dahhhhhhh!” fame.

    (Meeeeeow!)

  10. I watched Newsnight Scotland and was disappointed to hear Stephen McGinty say at the end that Catholic teaching on homosexuality won’t change “yet”. There is such amazing ignorance around even among Catholic journalists who should know better.

    I agree about the new archbishop – there won’t be any sweeping changes with him, I shouldn’t think. Diplomats are careful people, not risk takers, so I think we’ll see nothing much in the way of a clean sweep, just more sweeping under the carpet. I hope I’m wrong.

    • Yes, McGinty was a disappointment – after holding out for quite a bit, saying nothing would change in terms of faith etc, at the last minute he blew it with that “yet” – plonker!

      Apart from that bloomer, there was nothing of note in Newsnight Scotland, just the usual demands from Catherine Deveny for transparency – hilarious when you think that she refuses to divulge the names of Cardinal O’Brien’s accusers. Seems she’s got another clergyman crying on her shoulder, with his story of “abuse” – no doubt all will be revealed in Mzzzzz Deveny’s own good time.

    • I didnt see Newsnight Margaret Mary, but I agree its disappointing to see supposed defenders of the faith use caveats such as “yet”.

      They are trying to soften their stance with such phrases, to seem more reasonable. However, all they are achieving is to undermine what they have been trying to defend, and boosting the malign forces who pressure for change on these topics.

      Anytime I articulate Catholic teaching on homosexuality, I usually finish by saying that Catholic teaching could only credibly change if human biology somehow changed.

      This usually provokes a frustrated silence from those who know they are wrong, but dont have the integrity to openly accept they are wrong. It is amazing to me that, for all the fierce advocates of homosexuality, few of them seem to have considered how human bodies work at any point.

      The wisdom of Church teaching is already becoming clear, with the US Govts Centre for Disease Control recently announcing that in 2-3 decades, the majority of homosexual men in the USA will have HIV, if current proliferation rates continue.

      All of these misguided ‘gay marriage’ laws are not so much emancipation for people as they are giving people rope to hang themselves with.

  11. Why in the name of God should Mgr. Cushley’s ministry in Edinburgh begin with a press conference?

    This sums up all that is wrong about the Church in Scotland. It is far too intent on courting the world.

  12. Why in the name of God should Mgr. Cushley’s ministry in Edinburgh begin with a press conference?

    Silly Firmiter! It’s all about dialogue with the modern world, these days, don’t you know? (Actually your next sentences indicates that you know only too well!)

    • Hi Josephine

      I agree with the blog author (laurence) that the Tablet report is strange. I think he is right that they are trying to reassure themselves and their readers (mostly Anglican Protestants, not Catholics) regarding their own position. Certainly what they printed is just clutching at straws, not a development or news.

      I like where he says:

      I sometimes wonder who is more obsessed by the Latin Mass – those who love it, or those who hate it. My blogging in defence of the Mass of Ages is born out of love for the Mass and the Pope who liberated it. The Tablet’s obsession with it is born out of fear, loathing and perhaps more than a bit of trembling. The Tablet’s team are like soldiers at Christ’s tomb. They thought it was dead but it rose again. What to do but panic?

  13. For one who is supposed to be a senior Vatican diplomat, I don’t think telling the press that he likes a glass of whiskey a day, the most expensive food on the menu, a round of golf, etc., was the right image to portray for the new Archbishop of Edinburgh. All this kind of talk does is enhance the belief of the enemies of Catholicism that prelates live the high life at the expense of their flocks.

    Our Lord didn’t live the high life, so why should Mgr. Cushley? What a far cry he is from St. John Vianney, St. Pius X and the other great saints who were consumed only with zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. This appointment, I’m afraid, just looks like another careerist mistake. Modernist/Liberal business as usual!

    • I agree wholeheartedly. Cardinal O’Brien, it seems, doesn’t get it when it comes to the harm he has inflicted upon the Church in Scotland, but neither does Monsignor Cushley seem to understand that it cannot–must not–be business as usual.

      Monsignor Cushley has already fallen into what is, in my book, one of the most serious errors of the Church of our times, i.e. the clergy speaking about their boring selves when they should be speaking about Our Lord.

      I, and I suspect many others here, am not in the least interested in Monsignor Cushely. I am interested in the Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh from whom I expect to be an eminent source of spiritual and doctrinal guidance.

      We’ve had all the ‘just one of the boys’ stuff already, and look where we have ended up.

      Monsignor Cushley, get serious and quickly.

      • Spot on, Firmiter. I endorse every word. Let’s hope Mgr Cushley does “get serious and quickly” – as quickly as possible.

        I plan to write to him in my onerous and lofty capacity as editor of CT. But I hope all of YOU will also write, offering best wishes and support, and expressing expectations that things will improve, and soon, in all the key areas; provision of Traditional Masses, quelling of dissent all over the place and tea and cakes on Wednesdays for the Catholic Truth team and bloggers.

        That sort of thing…

    • The fantasist / lunatic Weldon seems to welcome the appointment based solely on the questions/concern which have been raised here.

      In a way I pity him, as while his shameless antics get the backs of Catholics up, the irritation he provokes amongs Catholics is nothing compared to the absolute hatred homosexuals have for him (for engaging with the Church in any capacity).

  14. Mgr. Cushley words about his new job in Edinburgh being ‘comparatively easy’ compared to the situations he has worked in in the past are going to come back to haunt him.

    In my opinion, the Vatican made as mistake in rushing to this appointment. It would have been far more intelligent to have had a thorough Apostolic Visitation of Edinburgh. As it is, no-one knows what is lying under the carpet after nigh-on thirty years of O’Brien.

    • Ah now, we hit the nail on the head: I too was dismayed to hear the Apostolic Visitation would be carried out by the new incumbent … stinks of the police investigating the police.
      I hark back to a comment I made here at the time, after, as you say, 30 years of Mr O’Brien’s “reign”, “Who else knew?”!!

  15. … And while we are on the subject, I would not let myself to over-impressed by the fact that Mgr. Cushley is a Church diplomat. It is precisely to that breed that we owe the state of the Church in the British Isles today. Or how else did we end up with all those ineffectual bishops appointed from the seventies down to the present? Does anyone remember a chap called Luigi Barbarito?

  16. Firmiter,

    Far from being impressed by the fact that Mgr Cushley is a Church diplomat, I was dismayed when that nugget was announced on his appointment. As Mother Angelica once said: “diplomacy stinks!”

    And yes, I certainly remember “a chap called Luigi Barbarito” whom – I think I’m correct in saying – has been described as one of the worst nuncios ever …

    • I don’t know about Luigi Barbarito being the worse. His two immediate successors were probably worse than he was because they were more ideological.

      And don’t forget what a certain Jean Jadot did for the Church in the United States.

  17. I don’t know about his being the worst ever. Puente Buces and Sainz Munos (his successors) were probably even worse because more ideological.

    And don’t forget what a certain Jean Jadot did to the United States.

  18. Vatican diplomacy is a corporation whose members–rivals to the bitter death amongst each other, but fiercely loyal to the corporation when attacked from outside, but with great individual rivalry–are renowned for having no principals, or better, for their capacity to subordinate any principals they might have to those of their superiors of the moment on whom they depend for promotion. Therein lies the danger. If the superior of the moment is orthodox, all well and good. If he is irregular in doctrine, that’s fine too. What counts is one’s promotion and, as we all know, God is merciful and he can hardly expect us to get it right all the time.

    These will be interesting times for Saint Andrews and Edinburgh.

    • That is, to put it mildly, the understatement of the year, Firmiter – “interesting times (ahead) for St Andrew’s & Edinburgh. To say the least!

      At least, Firmiter, I note that you make the key distinction between “the corporation” (Church) and its members, including those in Headquarters. A distinction which seems to elude the(does she ever smile?) journalist Ms Catherine Deveney (can never remember how to spell her surname and can’t be bothered checking – ye’ all know who I mean)

      Reflecting on her interviews on TV throughout this scandal, she constantly speaks about “the Catholic Church” needing to do this or that to improve itself – such arrogance. Nobody seems to think of challenging her about that OR about her persistent “reminders” to us all of the “victims” of Cardinal O’Brien. Sorry, can’t see it. The psychology of any adult who allows him or herself to be sexually abused, even by a superior, is beyond my comprehension. One is, as one has explained before, a simple gal…

  19. Jings, Crivvens, neri, welcome back!

    Now that you’ve announced YOUR arrival, what do you think about the announcement of the name of the new Archbishop of St Andrew’s & Edinburgh?

    Hopeful or not? Hopeful or what?

  20. I’m always hopeful Editor – God is always with us.

    Yes well, the Monsignor seems to think dealing with the Morningsiderati will be much easier than dealing with an African Warlord.

    You know what you’re getting with an African Warlord – as a visiting priest said, evil spirits in more affluent societies are marked by a kind of quiet coldness – which went down like a lead balloon in the Edinburgh church he spoke in.

    One cannot worship God and Jenners at the same time folks.

    By their fruits shall ye know them, lets see what happens to Nunraw, the Yoga/Tai Chi classes at the back of the Cathedral, let’s see if we start having a greater aspiration than to turn into a branch of the CofE.

    • Well, Neri, I’m sure glad somebody’s hopeful. Cos, me, I’m fresh out of hope with this latest appointment. Don’t get me wrong – if he turns out to be the best thing since Archbishop Lefebvre, I’ll be the first to say “three cheers” but somehow, with a warm welcome on the mat from the Tablet and Queering the Church, I have my reservations – for a one way trip to Outer Siberia! Will you switch off the lights?

      By the way – don’t you dare say a word about Jenner’s – I almost bought a coat there once (till I saw the price tag!)

      Oh and let us know about the notices at the back of the cathedral once the new Archbishop has had time to settle in. The fate (or not) of that particular scandal will tell its own story.

    • Jenners isn’t what it used to be, since House of Fraser took it over. God might just have the edge, although perhaps not quite yet in Morningside. 🙂

  21. Well it’s one of those small things that point to a deeper malaise elsewhere, a failure in discernment is a failure in discernment. Me ? I tend not to put too much of my faith in princes….but Lord how good it would be if a few saints appeared !

    • CrofterLady,

      Real, authentic despair is a grave sin – because it means giving up all hope of salvation.

      We use the term loosely (usually when we’re discussing CrofterLady) when what we really mean is a kind of “I’m thoroughly fed up with this – is it ever going to be put right” more than “I’ll never get to Heaven”.

      If you despair, CrofterLady – and I don’t recommend it – you really WON’T get to Heaven. Better to cling on to the faint hope that perhaps your hours spent slogging over a hot computer to enlighten the Catholic world in one way or another, will see you through them pearly gates. Then you could put in a wee word for me…

  22. Apparently, despair is one of the four signs of the devil at work. Along with despondency, discouragement and another “D” that I can never remember.

  23. Spiritustempore,

    That puts me in mind of the wise adage: Life is like an ash tray, full of little doubts!

  24. Praesentia,

    Since you ask so nicely, and although I know virtually nothing about the Archdiocese of Liverpool, allow me to offer my thoughts on the subject, summarised as follows:

    I’d be amazed if yours (I presume you live in the Archdiocese of Liverpool) is the exception to the rule. Only this morning, an elderly gentleman expressed the view to me after Mass that we have NO good bishops in the Church at all. Even those currently touted as the best, are not good enough because they’re all compromising to a greater or lesser extent with the revolution, is his considered view. A considered view that is not without merit, I have to say.

    I’ve already posted this excellent article by Gerald Warner on the Pope Francis/Summorum Pontificum thread but it bears repeating, so here it is again. This top Scots journalist speaks his mind as he does from time to time, but not often enough – every word a (factual) jewel.

    In short – the answer to your question, all things considered, is “no”: not in the truest sense of what it means to be a Catholic bishop. If I turn out to be wrong (and it’s bound to happen one day) I’ll be moving south to…er…Liverpool! Stand by!

  25. Regarding Liverpool Archdiocese: several Old Rite Masses are available and at one stage the Archbishop agreed to the creation of a ‘Traditional Parish’ but was blocked by the clergy trade union in the diocese. The same priest when he turned-up for the Chrism Mass (?) or some other gathering dressed in cassock, et all, he was scoffed at! Who runs the Diocese these days.Leeds is another example

    By the way, in the days of Fr. Black, Liverpool diocesan clergy fraternised with SSPX clergy on a regular basis – happy days..

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