New Bishop for ScotlandWednesday, May 9th, 2012
On Tuesday (May 8), the Holy Father appointed Msgr Stephen Robson of the clergy of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese.
The new Auxiliary Bishop will assist Cardinal Keith O’Brien in the administration of the diocese. The diocese last had an Auxiliary Bishop in 1996, and the appointment reflects Cardinal O’Brien’s national responsibilities and his international role as a member of a number of Pontifical Councils in Rome.
“I have known the new Auxiliary Bishop, Mgr Stephen Robson for well over 35 years. He has been involved with me in pastoral work and schoolwork, seminary apostolate and during his further studies, literally everything a priest should be involved in. I am happy once again to have an Auxiliary Bishop to help in pastoral work and administration,” said Cardinal O’Brien.
“He is highly respected by his brother priests and also by the deacons, religious and people of this Archdiocese and beyond, because of his open, friendly and pastoral zeal. Also he combines his very personal manner with his own deep spirituality and academic learning, so that he can bring to bear on a variety of problems an incisive knowledge and an ability at decision making.”
Reacting to the appointment Mgr. Robson said, "Although I have experienced great peace and joy on receiving the appointment by the Holy Father as Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal O'Brien there has also been a great sense of unworthiness and at the same time, trust.”
Mgr Robson added, “My first duty as Auxiliary is to my Archbishop, Cardinal O'Brien and he is no stranger to me. I have known him over 35 years and served him as my bishop for twenty-seven years. As he reminds me, I am his Auxiliary, first and foremost! My second duty is to serve the priests and then the faithful and religious of our Archdiocese in the best way I can. And this is impossible without the help of the Good Shepherd who is the model, inspiration and more important the grace and strength working through all Bishops.”
The Episcopal ordination of the new bishop will take place in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on the Feast of St. Columba Saturday June 9 in the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini.
Saint Columba the Abbot, Evangeliser of Scotland and Northern England is Secondary Patron of Scotland. As a Celtic monk, Columba, or Columcille set off on pilgrimage for Christ, placing himself in exile from his own family to preach the Gospel. It is for this reason that Mgr Robson has chosen as his episcopal motto Peregrinatio pro Christo - on pilgrimage for Christ.
The bishop-elect was born in Carliste, England in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1979. He studied in Scotland and in Rome, then worked in pastoral care in the archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. From 1998 to 2006, he was spiritual director of the Pontifical Scottish Seminary in Rome.
He was awarded The Bellarmine Medal in 2004. The gold doctoral medal is awarded annually by the Gregorian University in Rome to the two best doctoral theses submitted each year, one in philosophy and one in theology. He was awarded the theology award in 2004 for his thesis on St Bernard's spiritual theology.
The Vatican statement describes the archdiocese as having a population 1,521,000, in which there are 115,000Catholics, 151priests, 3 permanent deacons, and 165 religious.
by Ann Marie Foley