Roderick Wright

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the politician, see Roderick Wright (politician).
Roderick Wright
Bishop of Argyll and the Isles
Province St Andrews and Edinburgh
Diocese Argyll and the Isles
Appointed 11 December 1990
Term ended 19 September 1996
Predecessor Colin MacPherson
Successor Ian Murray
Ordination 29 June 1964 (Priest)
Consecration 15 January 1991 (Bishop)
by Luigi Barbarito
Personal details
Born 28 June 1940
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 23 May 2005 (aged 64)
New Zealand
Nationality Scottish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Spouse Kathleen (m. June 1998)
Children One son

Roderick Wright (1940–2005) was a Scottish Roman Catholic bishop who served as the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles from 1990 to 1996.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in the Kingston district of Glasgow on 28 June 1940,[1][2] he was one of four children of a working-class merchant seaman. His father, Andrew, came from Eriskay, and his mother from South Uist, both islands in the Outer Hebrides. Roddy Wright, as he was known to family and friends, was educated at St Gerard's Secondary School at Govan. He began training for the priesthood, aged 14, at Blairs College in Kincardineshire, and then from 1958 at St Peter's Seminary, Cardross.[3][4]



After he was ordained a priest on 29 June 1964, his first pastoral appointment was at St Laurence's Church, Drumchapel, Glasgow (1964–1966), followed by St Jude's Church, Barlanark, Glasgow (1966–1969). He returned to Blairs College as spiritual director (1969–1974). His next appointment was as an assistant priest at Our Lady and St Mun's Dunoon, Argyll (1974–1976). For a short while, he acted as a chaplain to the United States Navy base at Holy Loch. His last three appointments before his episcopal ordination were as priest at St Mary's Church, Fort William (1976–1980); St Michael's Church, Ardkenneth, South Uist (1980–1986); and St Anne's Church, Corpach, near Fort William (1986–1991).[3][4]


He was appointed the bishop of the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles by the Holy See on 11 December 1990 and consecrated at St. Columba's Cathedral in Oban on 15 January 1991. The principal consecrator was Luigi Barbarito, Titular Archbishop of Fiorentino, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Great Britain. The principal co-consecrators were Cardinal Thomas Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow, and Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.[1][3]

Resignation and marriage[edit]

Wright disappeared from his home next door to St. Columba's Cathedral, Oban, on 4 September 1996. Kathleen MacPhee, a divorced mother of three who worked as a nurse in Fort William, vanished at the same time leaving her youngest child with relatives. There was concern among local people, including Frances Shand Kydd, the mother of Diana, Princess of Wales. Wright had advised Shand-Kydd before her reception into the Roman Catholic Church in 1994.[5][6] The following weekend, a former parishioner of Wright's came forward to say that she had become pregnant by him and given birth to a son in 1981.[7]

Wright resigned as Bishop of Argyll and the Isles on 19 September 1996 and renounced the office of bishop.[1]

Wright registered as unemployed and was spotted looking for work in the Jobcentre in Kendal, Cumbria, England.[8] He alluded in his autobiography that Jobcentre staff had leaked information about him. Wright married MacPhee in a civil ceremony in Antigua in June 1998.[9]


In 2002, Wright and his wife emigrated to New Zealand. He suffered in his last months from liver cancer[3] and died on 23 May 2005, aged 64.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Bishop Roderick Wright". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  2. ^ Lorn MacIntyre (25 May 2005). "Roderick Wright Former Bishop of Argyll and the Isles". The Herald. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The Rt Rev Roderick Wright". The Daily Telegraph. 26 May 2005. 
  4. ^ a b "Obituary - Roderick Wright". Advent Group (UK). Dated 3 June 2003. Retrieved 7 October 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ "Bishop and divorcee go missing; He helped Di's mum be Catholic". News of the World. 15 September 1996. 
  6. ^ "Church hopes to avert crisis over missing bishop" The Times (London). Monday, 16 September 1996.
  7. ^ "Runaway RC bishop has son aged 15" The Times (London). Friday, 20 September 1996.
  8. ^ "It's His Doliness". Sunday Mirror. 1 December 1996. 
  9. ^ "Former Catholic bishop's secret wedding". BBC Online Network. 7 February 1999. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Colin MacPherson
Bishop of Argyll and the Isles
Succeeded by
Ian Murray