Thursday, 26 June 2014

Archbishop Leo Cushley and the Pallium Mass 2014

On Sunday, June 29, 2014, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will celebrate the Pallium Mass in St Peter’s Square. As is now traditional, there will be present a delegation representing His All Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The delegation will be in Rome over the whole of the weekend and consists of His Eminence Metropolitan Ioannis (Zizioulas) of Pergamo, co-President of the International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, accompanied by Archbishop Job de Telmissos and Patriarchal Archdeacon John Chryssavgis. On Saturday, the delegation will be received by Pope Francis and will then meet with Cardinal Kirk Koch and the members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.


Cardinal Koch on the right and Metropolitan Ioannis centre (screen grab from Vatican TV)

In 2012 a change was introduced to the rite for imposing the pallium the most important point of which is that it now takes place BEFORE the Eucharistic celebration. Thus, there can be no confusing this rite with a Sacramental rite. Normally the rites which take place during a Eucharistic celebration following the homily are all Sacramental rites: Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick.

Now, the list of new metropolitan archbishops is read out immediately before the entry of the opening procession and the singing of “Tu es Petrus”. Thus it will not be part of the celebration proper. The rite of the imposition of the pallium takes place as soon as the Holy Father reaches the altar. As yet the Vatican Press Office has not issued the list of all those to receive the pallium. However, I am fairly confident that the following list will be fairly complete, if not totally so. I have compiled it bearing in mind the provisions laid down by Pope Paul VI who decreed “…for the whole of the Latin Church…from now on the sacred Pallium be given only to metropolitans and to the Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latin rite. We abrogate all privileges and customs which certain particular Churches and some prelates enjoy as a special favour at present.” (Apostolic Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI given “Motu Proprio” on  the Conferring of  the Sacred Pallium in the Church, May 11, 1978.)

(Now, ONLY Metropolitan Archbishops may receive the pallium. In former times the Pope could impose the pallium on a non-Metropolitan Archbishop or on a Bishop as a mark of especial favour. Thus were Peter Amigo, Archbishop.Bishop of Southwark and Archbishop Charles Peter Eyre of Glasgow honoured.)

Metropolitan Archbishops appointed since last June:

(1)  Victor Henry Thakur (60, on July 1), Raipur, India
(2)  Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye (65), Lilongwe, Malawi
(3)  José Rafael Quirós Quirós (59), San José de Costa Rica
(4)  Giuseppe Fiorini Morosini, O.M. (68), Reggio Calabria-Bova, Italy
(5)  Leo William Cushley (53), Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland
(6)  Jaime Spengler, O.F.M. (63), Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
(7)  Jean-Luc Marie Maurice Louis Bouilleret (60), Besançon, France
(8)  Richard Joseph Gagnon, Winnipeg, Canada
(9) Gabriel ’Leke Abegunrin(67) Ibadan, Nigeria
(10) Leonard Paul Blair (65), Hartford, Connecticut, USA
(11) Sebastian Francis Shaw, O.F.M. (56), Lahore Pakistan
(12) Franz Lackner, O.F.M. (58, on July 14), Salzburg, Austria
(13) Thomas Luke Msusa, S.M.M. (52), Blantyre, Malawi
(14) Benjamin Marc Balthason Ramaroson, C.M. (59), Antsiranana, Madagascar
(15) René Osvaldo Rebolledo Salinas (55), La Serena, Chile
(16) Marlo Mendoza Peralta (64, on July 13), Nueva Segovia, Philippines
(17) Emmanuel Obbo (61), Tororo, Uganda
(18) Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet, S.D.B. (55, on July 4), Montevideo, Uruguay
(19) Marco Arnolfo (61), Vercelli, Italy
(20) Damian Denis Dallu (59), Songea, Tanzania
(21) Romulo Tolentino de la Cruz (67), Zamboanga, Philippines
(22) Malcolm Patrick McMahon, O.P. (65), Liverpool, England
(23) Paul Bùi Văn Ðoc (69) (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) SUCCEEDED
(24) Nicholas Mang Thang (71), Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) SUCCEEDED (25) Wojciech Polak (49), Gniezno, Poland
(26) José Luiz Majella Delgado, C.SS.R. (60) Pouso Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil
(27) Agustinus Agus (64), Pontianak, Indonesia

[UPDATE: There are two mistakes in the above list, one of omission. I should not have included Archbishop Gagnon of Winnipeg as this is not a Metropolitan See but is, rather, directly subject to the Holy See. I failed to include Msgr Stephan Burger (52) who was confirmed as Metropolitan Archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany on May 29, 2014.

Three prelates were not present in Rome for the Mass: Tarcisius Gervazio Ziyaye (No 2 above), Nicholas Mang Thang (No 24 aove) and the aforementioned Archbishop Burger who was being ordained bishop and installed on the same day as it had already been chosen as the date of the "diocesan day". All volunteers active in the churches had already been invited to gather in the square in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady and so it made perfect sense that Msgr Burger should be at home rather than in Rome. update ends]  

The following Eastern Rite Metropolitan Archbishop have also been appointed but as far as I can make out they are not presented with the pallium by the Pope:

Nicolas Antiba, B.A. (68), Bosra e Haūrān (Melkite Greek), Syria (B.A. Ordre Basilien Alépin (Melkite Greek)
Hormuz Al-Naufali (54), Archbishop of Basra of the Chaldeans
Yousif Thomas Mirkis (65) O.P., Archbishop of Kirkuk of the Chaldeans
Valdomiro Koubetch, O.S.B.M. (Order of St. Basil the Great) (61), São João Batista em Curitiba (Ukrainian), Brazil

The following is an article written by my good self and published, slightly edited if I recall, in The Scottish Catholic Observer in 2006. Obviously it is somewhat out of date. Since then Msgr Leo has served in South Africa, and neighbouring countries, and has spent four years in the Vatican as Head of the English Language Section of the Secretariat of State. In addition he served for a year as a Prelate of the Antecamera, glad-handing guests of the Pope before they could be received and putting them at their ease. Famously, at least here in the Diocese of Motherwell, it was Msgr Leo who accompanied the newly elected Pope Francis when he received the College of Cardinals in audience a couple of days fter his election.

Msgr Leo Cushley 2006

Leo Cushley is the older son of the late Bill and Eileen Cushley, parishioners of St John’s, Uddingston. Although Leo was brought up in Uddingston from the age of five, he was born in June of 1961 at Wester Moffat as his parents spent the early years of their marriage living in Coatdyke. Bill Cushley owned and ran a baker’s business in Coatbridge.

Msgr Leo has a brother Kenneth and a sister Carey. Carey has a young son and daughter over whom Leo, according to his mother, “absolutely dotes”; and in turn they adore him and take up much of his time whenever he manages to get a break at home.

His first six months of primary schooling were spent at All Saints before his parents’ move to Uddingston. Leo then transferred to St John’s, Uddingston, before going up to the big school, Holy Cross High, Hamilton.

Mrs Cushley recalled that it was when Leo went on a school trip with Holy Cross to Rome that he became certain that he wanted to try for the priesthood. She remarked: “It wasn’t just that he was enchanted with Rome, with the Scots College, the Vatican, the beautiful churches, the whole thing. He was, but he was also quite certain that the priesthood was what he wanted to do.”

And so he left Holy Cross, and home, after S2 and headed north to Blairs. After four years there, he spent the next six completing the normal course of studies at the Pontifical Scots College, Rome, and the Gregorian University. He was ordained priest in St John’s, Uddingston, in 1985 by Bishop Joseph Devine and then returned to Rome to complete, or so he thought at the time, his education.

By 1987, the Rev Fr Leo W Cushley was equipped with both a Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology and a Licentiate in Sacred Liturgy. He then returned home to work happily in the Diocese of Motherwell, but for only the next six years. He served first in Motherwell Cathedral and then transferred to St Serf’s, Airdrie. To parish duties was added school chaplaincy work.

Speaking of this period, Msgr Leo recalled: “It was good to be home among family and friends after twelve years away. The parish work and the chaplaincy work were new and challenging and, when I wasn’t doing that, I spent many a free day with priest friends bagging the odd Monroe in order to reacquaint myself with Scotland.”

In December 1992, he was serving as chaplain at St Aidan’s High School, Wishaw ― your esteemed but humble correspondent was a member of the Science staff at the time ― when out of the blue he was summoned to an interview with Bishop Joe Devine. He had no idea what Bishop Joe wanted with him, but it transpired that the Vatican authorities had written to His Lordship to ask if he would release Fr Leo for work in the Holy See’s diplomatic service.

Msgr Leo recalled: “The summons to Rome is always a bit mysterious: a letter arrives from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, and it’s not addressed to you but to your bishop. If he is agreeable to letting you go, he then asks you if you would like to take up the new call.  So, after some thought about it, I agreed.  But what exactly was I letting myself in for?”

Monsignor’s mother said: “Leo had told us that the bishop wanted to see him, but he didn’t know what about. When he arrived home after the interview he was in a state of shock.”

Although the Vatican wanted him from the outset for the diplomatic service, he was to start for the time being in the Secretariat of State offices in the Apostolic Palace, having first negotiated the small matter of an interview in Rome. That done, August of 1993 saw him depart once more from Scotland bound for life in the Eternal City, but not this time as a student; at least not at first. At first, he was put to work as agreed in the English Language section of the Secretariat of State.

What is the Secretariat of State? Msgr Leo put it this way: “The Secretariat of State is the Vatican body which helps the Holy Father exercise his ministry in all the Church’s and the Holy See’s affairs. It is a little like the British government’s Home Office and Foreign Office rolled into one.

“The Secretariat of State also assists the Holy Father in the day to day running of the Roman Curia and by extension helps him to function as the focal point of communion throughout the Catholic world.”

The offices of the Secretariat of State are situated on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace, an address it shares with the Pope’s private apartments. Indeed, should you ever get the chance, when you emerge from the lift turn right and you get to the bit where Msgr Leo worked; turn left and a couple of rather large Swiss Guards will stop you going any further! Unless, of course, you have a rather special invite.

The Section of the Secretariat where Msgr Leo worked helps the Holy Father with all his work in the English language. As he put it: “You can well imagine the amount of things the Pope must be ready to communicate in English both to Church and to world leaders, and, to both Bishops’ conferences and to governments around the world.

“Moreover, there is all the correspondence that he receives in English, from all sorts of people; from the child who asks simply for the Pope’s blessing to the Head of State who wants to enlist the Holy See’s support on some international question. Then, once this correspondence has been presented to the Holy Father, the English Section deals with it according to his instructions.”
Serving in this Section are about eight English-speaking priests from all over the world. So important is their work that they have to take it in turns to man the office, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They have to deal with any and all matters as and when they arise.

Msgr Leo recalls this as “a busy and happy time in my life, extremely rewarding but very hard work.” But like his busy and happy time back home in the Diocese of Motherwell, it wasn’t to last.

As indicated above, the Secretariat authorities had from the outset wanted Msgr Leo for the Diplomatic Service. And that meant becoming a student again, but this time at one of the most select, if not in fact THE most select, academies in the world: the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (PEA). Msgr Leo enrolled in the academia in October 1994.

The PEA was established in 1701 by Pope Clement XI and was originally called Pontificia Accademia dei Nobili Ecclesiastici (the Pontifical Academy for Noble Ecclesiastics). To gain admission, post-graduate clerical students not only had to be smart ― a doctorate in canon law was a given, you either had to have one or you had to get one while you were there, but students also had to have other formal qualifications of a very high standard as well as an aptitude for languages ― they had also to be of noble birth.

Obviously, since Leo got in, this is no longer the case!

Of his time at the PEA, Msgr Leo said: “The normal course of studies in the accademia includes in-house courses on the diplomacy of the Holy See, our manner of writing reports and dispatches, a detailed study of the history of the papacy (taught to us by a distinguished Scot, Msgr Charles Burns!), and the study of languages, with an emphasis on Italian, English, French and Spanish.

“We also study political science and international and diplomatic law. Everyone must complete a doctorate and, with a view to future duties, most students naturally choose canon law or international law.  Finally, there is an exam after which the young priest attachés receive Vatican citizenship, a diplomatic passport and a good medical before being appointed to their first embassy, or Nunciature, as they are known.”

That diplomatic passport not only allows Msgr Leo to travel rather more freely than you or I around the world, it also marks him out as a very rare bird indeed: a citizen of Vatican City State! He is in good company, for the citizenry are restricted to: the Pope, his Cardinals, the members of the diplomatic service, and a few lay people, perhaps totalling only a thousand persons in all. Moreover, the electoral franchise is restricted to those cardinals who have not celebrated their 80th birthday on the day the Head of State, the Pope, dies.

As a Vatican diplomat, Msgr Leo is expected to promote the policy of the Holy See. So what is that policy? He summed it up thus: “The Holy See employs its unique international position to promote peace, development and human rights, with a particular care for the freedom to practise one’s faith, no matter the religion in question.

“At the international level, the Holy See promotes policies that will allow the world’s peoples to live in peace and dignity, with adequate food, water, shelter and decent work. The Holy See’s independence and freedom to act on the world’s political stage is, of course, utilised for the good of the Church, but it also means that it is free to speak and act on behalf of others, especially those who, through poverty or oppression, have no voice.”

Msgr Leo’s “own adventure in this unusual world” began with a brief spell in the Nunciature in Cairo in 1996. Thereafter, his first real posting was to the Nunciature in Burundi, a landlocked country about the size of Belgium in the very heart of Africa, were he was able to perfect his French.

Msgr Leo recalled: “When I went there in 1997, Burundi was in the midst of a civil war, from which it is only now emerging. It is a country of some 6 million people, of whom about 67% is Catholic and for me it was a wonderful experience. I was especially impressed by the White Fathers, who have been there since the country first heard the gospel in the late nineteenth century, and whose presence has made the lives of the people so much better in every sphere.”

It was in Burundi, on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, that Stanley famously said: “Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”

Msgr Leo pointed out that the spot where Stanley met Livingstone is not far from where Archbishop Michael Courtney, the Nuncio to Burundi, was assassinated while carrying out his duties at Christmas time in December 2003. He added: “This tragedy was only one of many in a forgotten conflict which claimed perhaps 300,000 lives.  Burundi is now on the way to peace, but its situation remains very fragile.”

It was also in Burundi that Msgr Leo said rather less famously than Stanley: “Big Tag, I presume?”

The occasion was when he went to the airport to meet off the plane his great friend Fr Gerard Tartaglia, now PP of the joint charge of St Margaret’s and Our Holy Redeemer’s, Clydebank, but then on the staff of the Scottish National Tribunal. (Fr Gerry is the brother of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia.)

Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, would not be many people’s idea of a holiday destination, even if there wasn’t a civil war going on, but Fr Tartaglia explained: “I knew there was a civil war going on, but I wouldn’t have gone if I didn’t think it was relatively safe, that we wouldn’t be able to move about safely. Obviously, if I thought there was a fair chance that I was going to be killed I wouldn’t have gone. But given that the Holy See had sent Leo and the French, American and Russian and other governments all had their diplomats still in the country, it was reasonable to assume that it was going to be safe.”

And despite what later happened to Archbishop Courtney, he has no regrets about having gone. Far from it. “It was incredibly impressive, mind-bogglingly impressive, how the activity of the Church was having a beneficial effect in the country. The Church was and is doing an amazing amount in Burundi.”

Fr Tartaglia joined Msgr Leo on a visit with the Missionary Sisters of Charity to an orphanage run by the ICIM Sisters of Belgium. During Fr Tartaglia’s remaining time at the Tribunal, each Christmas his staff sold cards made by the children of the orphanage. Over a period of about three or four years they raised about £5,000 or £6,000.

He was tremendously impressed by the reception Msgr Leo received wherever they went: “As a member of the Nuncio’s staff he was seen by those such as the White Fathers as a bridge between the Church workers on the ground and the outside world. But the ordinary people of Burundi clearly understood that Leo was someone who cared about them, was someone who could and would act as an advocate for them. They were aware that he would report back to the authorities in Rome on what was being done and what else needed to be done. They knew that through him the outside world would be better informed about what was going on in Burundi. There was a real sense of solidarity.”

Fr Tartaglia recalled that it had proven much easier to enter Burundi than to leave. He was supposed to fly out on the First of November. However, his flight was cancelled as the airport was closed. But not because of the civil war, but because it was All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation!

Msgr Leo’s own leave-taking of Burundi was occasioned by his being next posted to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, where there has been a papal embassy since the sixteenth century. Indeed, Lisbon was one of the first permanent papal embassies established in modern times.

It will come as no surprise to learn that Msgr Leo (he received that title while based in Portugal) found that life in Lisbon was a lot quieter and much more peaceful than Bujumbura. Or, as he put it: “You could actually go for a walk in the street with a fair hope of coming home alive afterwards!” He added: “Portugal is a beautiful country with very kind people.  Lisbon is only an hour’s drive from Fátima, and it was an added blessing to be able to join the people in prayer there on a regular basis.”

But as had happened to him so often before, no matter that he was quite happy where he was, after three years he had to move on, this time to New York and the Holy See’s Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York. Msgr Leo said: “Every one of the 191 UN Member States has an embassy in New York, known technically as a ‘permanent mission’. The only other state to have enjoyed Permanent Observer status since the inception of the UN was Switzerland.”

However, Switzerland finally joined as a full member in 2002. Msgr Leo explained: “At that time there was discussion about whether or not the Holy See should also go down the road of full membership. But, having considered its options, it was decided instead to have its Observer status clarified. In this way, we remain active in every sphere of the UN’s activities, from the Security Council to the General Assembly, while staying above the fray, at least to an extent.”

The current Vatican team at the UN includes three diplomats, headed by the Nuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Celestino Migliore, a diplomat of over twenty years’ experience and who was the Holy See’s former Under-secretary for Relations with States, the equivalent of a deputy foreign minister. His Excellency is assisted by Msgr Ruben Dimaculangan, a diplomatic Counsellor from the Philippines, and Msgr Leo as First Secretary.

In the mission there are in total 18 permanent members of staff. In addition, there are nearly 30 other men and women of several nationalities whom His Excellency can call upon to attend meetings and to advise him on a whole range of issues. These are all experts in various fields, many of them lawyers or professors.

The Holy See helps along with the 191 member states and Palestine to elaborate the resolutions and decisions taken by all the UN’s main bodies, as appropriate.

Msgr Leo summarised the Holy See’s particular interests thus: “Our especial concerns naturally include the Catholic Church’s interest in fields such as human rights, the rights of women and children, life and health issues, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, the eradication of poverty and promotion of development, fair trade, the law of the sea, the peaceful use of outer space, and so on.”

He added: “There are very many meetings, subjects and bodies, and the personnel of the Holy See’s Mission does its best to attend them and to participate actively and constructively.”


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