Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh

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Metropolitan Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Archidioecesis Sancti Andreae et Edimburgensis
Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edinburgh.svg
Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Country Scotland
Territory City of Edinburgh and the council areas of Clackmannanshire, part of Fife, Falkirk, West, Mid and East Lothian, and the Scottish Borders
Ecclesiastical province St Andrews and Edinburgh
Metropolitan Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Coordinates 56°11′20″N 3°37′52″W / 56.189°N 3.631°W / 56.189; -3.631Coordinates: 56°11′20″N 3°37′52″W / 56.189°N 3.631°W / 56.189; -3.631
Area 5,504 km2 (2,125 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
115,900 (7.6%)
Parishes 113
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established 4 March 1878
Cathedral St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh
Secular priests 76
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Archbishop Leo Cushley
Vicar General Patrick Burke [1]
Emeritus Bishops Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop-emeritus of St Andrews and Edinburgh

The Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh (Latin: Archidioecesis Sancti Andreae et Edimburgensis) is an archdiocese of the Latin Church of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. It is the Metropolitan see of the Province of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, consisting of the additional suffragan sees of Aberdeen, Argyll and the Isles, Dunkeld, and Galloway. The archdiocese is led by Archbishop Leo Cushley.


After the Scottish Reformation, the Roman Catholic Church abandoned the ancient dioceses and hierarchy. In 1653, the whole of Scotland became under the authority the Prefecture Apostolic of Scotland, which in 1694 was elevated to the Vicariate Apostolic of Scotland.[2]

On 23 July 1727, Scotland was divided into two Vicariates Apostolic, the Lowland District and Highland District. The Lowland District comprised roughly the Scottish Lowlands.[2]

On 13 February 1827, Scotland was divided again into three Vicariate Apostolics, the Eastern District (formerly the Lowland District), the Northern District (formerly the Highland District), and the Western District (created from terrority of the other two districts).[2]

The Eastern District comprised the sixteen eastern historic counties of Perthshire, Angus, Kincardineshire, Stirlingshire, Clackmannanshire, Kinross, Fife, West Lothian, Mid Lothian, East Lothian, Peebleshire, Selkirkshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Dumfrieshire, Roxburghshire, and Berwickshire.

Following the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy by Pope Leo XIII on 15 March 1878, part of the Eastern District was elevated to the status of an Archdiocese with the title St Andrews & Edinburgh.[2]

Office holders[edit]

Prefecture Apostolic of Scotland.[2]
Vicariate Apostolic of Scotland.[2]
  • Thomas Joseph Nicolson (appointed on 7 September 1694 – died on 12 October 1718)
  • James Gordon (succeeded on 12 October 1718 – appointed Vicar Apostolic of the Lowland District on 23 July 1727)
Vicariate Apostolic of the Lowland District.[2]
  • James Gordon (appointed on 23 July 1727 – died on 18 February 1746)
  • Alexander Smith (succeeded on 18 February 1746 – died on 21 August 1767)
  • James Grant (succeeded on 21 August 1767 – died on 3 December 1778)
  • George Hay (succeeded on 3 December 1778 – retired on 24 August 1805)
  • Alexander Cameron (succeeded on 24 August 1805 – retired on 20 August 1825)
  • Alexander Paterson (appointed on 20 August 1825 – appointed Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern District 13 February 1827)
Vicariate Apostolic of the Eastern District.[2]
  • Alexander Paterson (appointed on 13 February 1827 – died on 30 October 1831)
  • Andrew Carruthers (appointed on 28 September 1832 – died on 24 May 1852)
  • James Gillis (succeeded on 24 May 1852 – died on 24 February 1864)
  • John Menzies Strain (appointed on 2 September 1864 – appointed Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh on 15 March 1878)
Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.[2]


  1. ^ "Burke to be Edinburgh vicar general". The Tablet (UK). 9 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh at Catholic-Hierarchy Retrieved on 30 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Cardinal Keith O’Brien resigns, will not go to conclave". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 

External links[edit]