Pope Francis appoints new Catholic archbishop of Glasgow

Bishop William Nolan, who was named Archbishop of Glasgow on Feb. 4, 2022 Bishop William Nolan, who was named Archbishop of Glasgow on Feb. 4, 2022. | Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

Pope Francis appointed a new Catholic archbishop of Glasgow on Friday.

The Vatican announced on Feb. 4 that Bishop William Nolan will lead the prominent Scottish archdiocese, based in the country’s biggest city by population.

Nolan, 68, has served as the bishop of Galloway, in southwest Scotland, since 2015 and chairs the Scottish bishops’ conference commission for justice and peace.

“As I overcome my initial shock at being appointed archbishop my thoughts now turn to the challenges that lies ahead,” Nolan said in a statement published by the archdiocese.

“I look forward to working with everyone in the archdiocese, laity and clergy, to carry out the mission that we share of proclaiming God’s good news and of bringing the joy of the Gospel into the lives of the people of today.”

Nolan, who was born in Motherwell on Jan. 26, 1954, was raised in a large family with five brothers and five sisters. After entering seminary, he spent seven years studying at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome.

He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Motherwell in 1977 at the age of 23. He later went on to serve as vice-rector of the Pontifical Scots College from 1983 to 1990 and chairman of Motherwell diocese’s council of priests from 1992 to 1998.

Father William McFadden, vicar general of the Diocese of Galloway, said: “As Bishop of Galloway, Bishop Nolan presented a pastoral vision with a genuinely collaborative approach. He led with humility and determination, inspired by the initiatives of Pope Francis, and focussing on the needs of the Church for the 21st century,”

“This appointment will allow him to serve both the people of Glasgow and the wider Church with the same abilities with which he served us in Galloway for seven valuable years. We will miss him, but appreciate greatly the contribution which he made, and the legacy which he leaves.”

Nolan succeeds the late Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, who died suddenly two days after his 70th birthday in January 2021.

Previous archbishops of Glasgow include the outspoken Cardinal Thomas Winning (1974-2001) and Archbishop Mario Conti (2002-2012).

Nolan’s installation Mass will take place on Feb. 26 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

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