Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh

Metropolitan Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh
Archidioecesis Sancti Andreae et Edimburgensis

Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & 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 & Edinburgh
Metropolitan Archbishop of St Andrews & 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 111
Churches 111 Parishes
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]

Allan Chambers
Emeritus Bishops Keith O'Brien, Archbishop-emeritus of St Andrews & Edinburgh

The Archdiocese of Saint Andrews & 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.[2]


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.[3]

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.[3]

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).[3]

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.[3]

In Lent 2015, Archbishop Cushley outlined his vision for the future of the Archdiocese in a Pastoral Letter entitled "We Have Found the Messiah". The document stated aim was to "respond to the mission entrusted to him [Archbishop Cushley] by Pope Francis: to bring the joy of the Gospel to contemporary society."

Following the publication of the letter, Archbishop Cushley embarked upon 32 public meetings across the Archdiocese to discuss his vision which includes the possibility of creating larger parish units through either mergers or closures. The process of review is likely to continue until 2017.

Office holders

Prefecture Apostolic of Scotland.[3]
Vicariate Apostolic of Scotland.[3]
Vicariate Apostolic of the Lowland District.[3]
Vicariate Apostolic of the Eastern District.[3]
Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh.[3]


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