The appointment of a new archbishop for Edinburgh and St Andrews will bring new direction for Catholics in the Borders.
That is the view of the priest in charge of Our Lady and St Joseph’s Church in Selkirk, Father Robert Afayori, after Monsignor Leo Cushley was announced as the new man for the role, six months after Cardinal Keith O’Brien stood down following allegations of sexual impropriety.
Mgr Cushley had already admitted it is a “delicate” time for Catholics in Scotland, before allegations of physical and sexual abuse by monks at a former Highlands boarding school were revealed on Monday.
Admitting the 52-year-old has a lot of work ahead of him, Father Afayori said: “Everything was on hold while an archbishop was not in place – no major decisions could be made. That will change now.
“I think Leo Cushley will bring a new sense of direction and purpose.
“He will have a vision that he is going to lead us on. Every bishop has a vision and if his is to move priests on, then he will do that. Without a bishop there, this cannot happen.
“There are events that have to be put in order as well and I am sure he will get this done.”
Father Afayori expects the four other vacant Scottish bishop posts to now be filled.
He said: “Mgr Cushley has been living and working in the Vatican for 20 years and will have learned a lot. He will bring something new.”