Uddingston priest is new Archbishop

Monsignor Leo Cushley, right, with Pope Francis earlier this year.
Monsignor Leo Cushley, right, with Pope Francis earlier this year.

A priest from Uddingston has been chosen to succeed the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien as Archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Monsignor Leo Cushley (52) had been head of the English language section at the Vatican, a post he held for four years.

He was the official English translator for Pope Benedict, who stepped down earlier this year.

And when the newly-elected Pope Francis addressed cardinals for the first time in March, Mgr Cushley acted as his personal secretary.

Mgr Cushley, a former pupil at St John’s School in Uddingston, was ordained a priest in 1985. He served as a curate at Motherwell Cathedral and chaplain at St Aidan’s High School in Wishaw before moving to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps.

His widowed mother, Eileen, still lives in Uddingston.

Cardinal O’Brien resigned the high profile position in February after admitting inappropriate sexual conduct.

A Vatican observer said Mgr Cushley’s appointment might surprise some and suggested Pope Francis would have had a say in the decision.

The source said: “Mgr Cushley might not even have been on the original short list, given he has been away from Scotland since 1993 and that would count against him.

“The Pope doesn’t pick bishops personally, but Mgr Cushley has worked closely with Pope Francis who will know exactly what he can do and might well have had an input.

“It’s a great honour for Mgr Cushley, his family, the parish of St John the Baptist in Uddingston and everyone associated with him.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mgr Cushley said: “I am humbled that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has nominated me for such an important task. 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.

“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.

“My first task is to preach the good news, Christ crucified and risen from the dead, to confirm my brother priests in their Catholic faith and ministry, and to be a loving, simple, wise shepherd to the flock that has been entrusted to me.”