Pope Francis on July 24, 2013, appointed Monsignor Leo Cushley
as Archbishop of St. Andrews & Edinburgh.
The new Archbishop 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 Archbishop
from August 1985 until March 2013.
Mgr Cushley 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.
As Head of the English section of the Secretariat of State it was his
task to accompany the Holy Father to English-speaking countries. During
2010 he accompanied Pope Benedict to Malta and Cyprus as well as the
United Kingdom. During that visit, at Bellahouston, Mgr Cushley had the
pleasure of presenting his family to Pope Benedict.
Commenting on 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. 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.”
Mgr Cushley counts among his pastimes hillwalking in the Scottish
mountains and in the Abruzzi region of central Italy. He is looking
forward to getting acquainted with the Scottish hills again. He has
driven between Rome and Scotland seven times and has enjoyed every
minute of it. His new role will mean that he will now surrender his
distinctive Vatican number plate as well as his diplomatic passport.
Mgr Cushley is also a regular jogger and listens to audiobooks while
running/walking 10km three times a week in Rome. He describes himself
as “completely rubbish” on the golf course, but enjoys watching the
sport (he was at the Open Championship at Muirfield last Saturday).
Musically his tastes range from U2 to opera by Puccini, Verdi or
The Archbishop-elect's episcopal ordination will take place in St.
Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh on 21st September 2013, when he will
assume the governance of the Archdiocese. Further details of that
ceremony will be issued when finalised. Until that ceremony the
Archbishop-elect continues to be addressed as “Monsignor Cushley”.
Born, 18 June 1961 in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, to Bill and Eileen Cushley,
who married in 1960. Both were natives of Lanarkshire; Bill a baker and
Eileen a secretary. Bill Cushley died in 2007. Mgr Cushley has a
brother and sister, Carey (b. 1963), and Kenneth (b. 1966). Carey, a
primary school teacher, and Kenneth, an electrician, are both married,
Carey having two children and Kenneth one, and all live in the west of
Scotland. He was ordained to the priesthood on 7th July 1985 at St John
the Baptist’s, Uddingston, by Bishop Joseph Devine.
Presently Mgr Cushley works in the Vatican as Prelate of the Anticamera
and Head of the English-language section of the Vatican Secretariat of
State. He has been a priest of Motherwell Diocese for 28 years, and was
active in the diocese 1987-1993. He was asked to work for the Holy See
in 1993, and has served in its Diplomatic Service since 1997.
Doctorate in Canon Law at the Gregorian University, Rome (1997)
Licence in Sacred Liturgy at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Rome(1987)
Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology, Gregorian University, Rome (1984)
Baccalaureate in Philosophy, Gregorian University, Rome (1981)
Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, Rome (1994-1997)
Pontifical Scots College, Rome (1979-1987)
St Mary’s College, Blairs, Aberdeen (1975-1979)
Holy Cross High School, Hamilton (1973-1975)
St John the Baptist’s Primary School, Uddingston (1967-1973)
All Saints Primary School, Coatdyke (1966-1967)
SERVICE AT THE VATICAN
Prelate of the Anticamera, Apostolic Palace (since 2012)
(This is a ceremonial post, one which is close to the person of the
Pope, and involves assisting the Holy Father as he receives visitors.)
Head of the English-language section, Secretariat of State, Vatican
(As the head of the English-language section, Mgr Cushley was the head
of a team of writers and translators who have a series of tasks related
to whatever the Pope requires in the English language. The work also
includes interpreting from English when the Holy Father or the Cardinal
Secretary of State request assistance. Mgr Cushley speaks Italian,
French, Spanish and Portuguese.
SERVICE IN THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS OF THE HOLY SEE
Counsellor, Apostolic Nunciature in Botswana (2008)
Counsellor, Apostolic Nunciature in South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and
First Secretary, Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United
Nations, New York (2004)
First Secretary, Apostolic Nunciature in Portugal (2001)
Second Secretary, Apostolic Nunciature in Burundi (1997)
[Service in the Nunciatures consists in assisting the Apostolic Nuncio
- the Holy See’s Ambassador to a country - in all tasks, and
occasionally taking his place as chargé d’affaires. A Nunciature is
identical to any normal embassy, but is also the point of reference for
the local Catholic Church with the Church’s central administration in
Rome. The Holy See has full diplomatic relations with 178 of the
world’s countries, and over 100 nunciatures on the ground in those
WORK FOR THE HOLY SEE
Attaché, English-language section, Secretariat of State, Vatican
SERVICE AS A PRIEST IN DIOCESE OF MOTHERWELL
Assistant Priest, St Aidan’s Parish, Wishaw (1992)
Chaplain to St Aidan’s High School, Wishaw (1992)
Chaplain to Our Lady’s High School, Motherwell (1992)
Assistant Priest, St Serf’s Parish, Airdrie (1988)
Chaplain to St Margaret’s High School, Airdrie (1988)
Assistant Priest, Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell (1987)