Pope appoints new Bishop for Argyll and the Isles

 Pope appoints new Bishop for Argyll and the Isles

At 12 noon in Rome today, 16 October (11am GMT) Pope Benedict XVI announced that he has appointed Monsignor Joseph Anthony Toal as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and The Isles.

Mgr Toal will succeed Bishop Ian Murray who has been Bishop since 1999. Reacting to his appointment, Mgr Toal who is currently Rector of the Royal Scots College in Salamanca said: "I am honoured that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen me to be the new Bishop of Argyll and The Isles. I am acutely aware of my unworthiness and the words of Simon Peter, in St Luke's Gospel, "leave me alone Lord, I am a sinful man" have been much in my thoughts over the last few days. The Lord's reply though ­ "do not be afraid" ­ encourages me to entrust my life to him, and to seek his grace and strength for the task that is ahead."

The Bishop-elect added: "Before my time in Spain I spent 17 happy years as a Priest in the diocese and I now look forward very much to coming home and serving the Priests and people of the Diocese as their Bishop. I ask for their prayers in these weeks before my ordination, and throughout my ministry among them. I also wish to thank Bishop Ian Murray for his nine years among us as our Bishop, and my very best wishes and prayers go with him for his retirement."

Bishop Ian Murray, said: "I welcome Mgr Toal very much as a diocesan Priest, the Rector of my old Spanish College and as the new Bishop. As a well-travelled son of this diocese he combines the internal know-how with external experience.

Bishop Murray continued: "Mgr Joseph's sense of locality, with years at Blairs, Aberdeen and Scots College, Salamanca, lends itself to producing a very well balanced Bishop."

Cardinal Keith O'Brien, the President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland also welcomed the appointment saying: "I am delighted to learn that the Pope has appointed Monsignor Joe Toal as Bishop of Argyll and the Isles to replace Bishop Ian Murray whose resignation in accordance with Canon 401 was recently accepted. I have known Mgr Toal for over twenty years, initially when I was rector of Blairs College in Aberdeen where Mgr Toal was a valued member of staff. His strength of character and his inate goodness and sense of humour endeared him to the priest members of staff and pupils alike. He is from a well known family in the Diocese of Argyll & the Isles, born and brought up in Roybridge where his mother is still alive and active.

The new bishop is also well known to all the members of the Scottish hierarchy as he has been the rector of the Royal Scots College in Salamanca since 2005. In that role he hosts the annual in-service course for members of the Bishops' Conference as well as co-ordinating retreats and courses for priests and pilgrimage visits of the lay faithful to Spain. I very much look forward to the Episcopal ordination of the new bishop at St. Columba's Cathedral in Oban."

Source: SCMO

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