City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh


By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 27 February 2013

The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI accepted on the 18 February 2013 the resignation of His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh.   This information was announced and published in the Osservatore Romano of Monday 25 February 2013.

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed the Most Rev. Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow, as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh. With immediate effect, Archbishop Tartaglia will govern the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh until a new Archbishop is appointed.

With the resignation of Cardinal O’Brien, the Archdiocese of Edinburgh is canonically a “Vacant See” and will remain so until the appointment of a new Archbishop. The Apostolic Administrator governs until that time.

The Apostolic Administrator governs with the authority, obligations and rights of a diocesan bishop.

Cardinal O’Brien is now the Archbishop Emeritus of St Andrews and Edinburgh. An Archbishop or Bishop Emeritus has no role in the governance of a diocese.

Bishop Stephen Robson will remain as Auxiliary Bishop and will assist Archbishop Tartaglia as his Delegate in the running of the diocese. The office of Vicar General and Vicar Episcopal lapse during the time of the vacant see, as do the Council of Priests and the Pastoral Council. The Offices of Chancellor and Treasurer remain, as does the College of Consultors as an Advisory Council.

When there is a vacant see, the diocese is governed by a diocesan administrator who is elected by a group of priests; or by An Apostolic Administrator who is appointed by the Pope. An Apostolic Administrator is often chosen for the governance of an archdiocese/diocese when the see becomes vacant before a new archbishop/ bishop can be appointed.

Contrary to some reports, the Apostolic Administrator will not be invited to be involved in any Vatican investigation into the allegations made against Cardinal O’Brien.

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