Pope appoints new Scottish Bishop

 Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Fr Philip Tartaglia as the new Bishop of Paisley. The announcement was made at noon today in Rome (11am BST). The new Bishop-elect succeeds Bishop John Mone who retired in October 2004 after 16 years as Bishop. The appointment was warmly welcomed by Archbishop Mario Conti who has been Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese since Bishop Mone retired. He said: "I am delighted that our new Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has provided the Diocese Paisley with a new bishop, a priest with many talents, and experience of serving in the Strathclyde area, albeit on the north bank of the river which unites the Diocese of Paisley with the Archdiocese of Glasgow." Archbishop Conti added: "As his name implies, Fr Philip's ancestry, like my own, is to be found in Italy. All of us, however, whatever our ancestry, are part of the Catholic Church in Scotland today, and proud to be both its members and citizens of Scotland. Fr Philip comes to Paisley from Rome, where he has been Rector of the Pontifical Scots College, he is a theologian whose special interest is the Eucharist and is also an associate member of the Joint Commission on Doctrine which the Catholic Church has with the Church of Scotland." Archbishop Conti asked the people of Paisley Diocese to remember in a special way their two retired bishops, Bishop Stephen McGill (1968 -1988) and Bishop John Mone (1988-2004), adding: "I hope you will continue to remember me thereafter, as well as your Bishops Emeriti, Bishop John and Bishop Stephen, whose long and devoted pastoral care of you will no doubt be an inspiration to your new bishop." Reacting to the announcement, Fr. Tartaglia said: "I am deeply honoured to have been nominated Bishop of Paisley by Pope Benedict XVI. I ask the priests and people of the diocese to pray for me as I prepare to begin my ministry as a bishop. I look forward to working with them to continue to build up the life of the Church in our diocese. For the past 16 months, I have been Rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome, a post I have really enjoyed. The death and funeral of Pope John Paul II, the subsequent conclave and election of Pope Benedict XVI were momentous and unforgettable events, and made my time in Rome especially memorable." Fr. Tartaglia added: "I will return to Rome later today to honour my remaining commitments there, and to make preparations to return to Scotland for my ordination as Bishop of Paisley. Finally, I am grateful to Archbishop Mario Conti for presenting me here today, and for his support at this unique time in my life." Commenting on the appointment, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, said: "On my own behalf and as President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, I most warmly welcome the appointment of Father Philip Tartaglia as the next Bishop of the Diocese of Paisley. I have known Father Tartaglia well, especially since my own appointment as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. He is a very pastoral priest; he has spent many years in the training of priests, both in Scotland and in Rome and is a skilled theologian; he will be a hard working member of our Bishops' Conference of Scotland." Cardinal O'Brien concluded: "Most importantly, he will be a good pastoral Bishop of Paisley, following in the footsteps of his immediate predecessors, Bishop John Mone and Bishop Stephen McGill. I know that he will have the support and the prayers of the priests, religious and people of the Diocese of Paisley, as well as that of all peoples of goodwill throughout Scotland." For more details see the Scottish Catholic: Media Office website at: www.scmo.org

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