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This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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Pope Francis today appointed Bishop Stephen Robson as the new Bishop of Dunkeld, near Perth, three years after his predecessor Bishop Vincent Logan submitted his resignation on grounds of ill health.
Bishop Robson, 62, who is currently auxiliary bishop in the scandal-hit Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said that his priority would be encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
His installation will take place in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Dundee early in January on a date to be announced shortly.
The President of the Scottish bishops’ conference, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, and Archbishop Leo Cushley, the new Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, sent congratulations to Bishop Robson.
Robson, a priest in the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh for more then 30 years, was made bishop in the wake of the resignation of its archbishop, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who stood down following revelations of sexual misconduct last year.
Archbishop Cushley said: “In my brief time in Edinburgh, I have learned of a widespread affection and respect for [Bishop Robson] as a person and as a priest, and I will miss his wise counsel, energy and hard work at the service of the archdiocese. I am sure that the people and priests of Dunkeld will benefit greatly from his goodness, openness and willingness to cooperate with everyone for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. May God bless Bishop Stephen and the flock entrusted to his care.“
Bishop Robson, who was ordained in 1979, studied science at the University of Edinburgh before moving to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is a member of the Institute of Biology.
The Diocese of Dunkeld has been vacant since December 2010, when Bishop Logan stood down on health grounds. Mgr Basil O’Sullivan has served as the Administrator of the Diocese for the last three years.
Bishop Logan welcomed the news and offered prayers and support for Bishop Robson’s new ministry.
Above: Bishop Robson visits a parish social club. Photo: Moreno Berti