Pope Francis has named a former assistant to Cardinal Keith O’Brien as the new Bishop of Dunkeld, writes Christopher Lamb.
Bishop Stephen Robson, an auxiliary in St Andrews and Edinburgh, succeeds Bishop Vincent Logan who offered his resignation on the grounds of ill health at the end of 2010 after almost 30 years in office. Bishop Robson, 62, who was received into the Church as a teenager, is a former private secretary to Cardinal O’Brien and has known the cardinal for more than 30 years since they worked together at the junior seminary at St Mary’s College, Blairs. Bishop Robson was ordained as an auxiliary in 2012.
Bishop Robson is the latest of a number of new bishops named to lead Scottish dioceses. The others awaiting appointments include Paisley, Galloway and Motherwell. Bishop Robson, who holds degrees in biology and theology, said he looked forward to building up people’s “confidence of being Catholic in a challenging world” and helping the young and families. A big priority, he added, will be encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Bishop Robson, who spent a period as a novice at the Benedictine monastery Ampleforth Abbey, has held posts such as spiritual director to the Scots College in Rome and chancellor of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.
In 2004, he was awarded the Bellarmine Medal by the Gregorian University in Rome for a thesis on St Bernard of Clairvaux.
His installation will take place in early January 2014 at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee.