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Thursday, 21 February, 2002, 11:38 GMT
New Catholic church leader welcomed
Archbishop-elect graphic
The new leader of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland is to be formally installed at two ceremonies in Glasgow.

The Most Rev Mario Conti, 67, was named by the Pope as the successor to the late Cardinal Thomas Winning, who died in June 2001.

The first part of his officially becoming the archbishop of Glasgow takes place at St Andrew's Cathedral with a ceremony known as Vespers, or Evening Prayer of the Church.

This is followed on Friday by the second stage, which will see him celebrate Mass in the cathedral for the first time as archbishop.

Archibishop-elect Mario Conti
Bishop Conti: Meeting priests is "priority"
Thursday evening's proceedings will hear a reading of the Papal Bull (letter of appointment) by the Vatican ambassador to the UK, Archbishop Pablo Puente.

This came from Pope John Paul II on 15 January and talks of Mario Conti's "sincere heart" and "diligent proclaimation of the truth".

Senior politicians, including First Minister Jack McConnell and Scottish Secretary Helen Liddell will be present.

The Rt Rev John Miller, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, will also be in the congregation.

Representatives of other Christian traditions, the Jewish and Islamic faiths have been invited.

Paying homage

During the ceremony, representatives of the different aspects of the life of the Archdiocese of Glasgow will come to the bishop's chair to greet him and offer their homage.

Later, he will walk to the front of the sanctuary to meet and greet the representatives of public life and ecumenical guests.

Cardinal Winning
Cardinal Winning: Died after heart attacks
On Friday, the new archbishop will enter the cathedral behind a procession of 200 clerics, cardinals, archbishops, bishops and priests.

The Right Reverend Conti, who has been Bishop of Aberdeen since 1977, has spoken out on ethical matters such as abortion and cloning.

Speaking after his appointment, he said his new job would give him a platform to make those views more widely known.

He said his priority in his new job would be to meet the priests of the diocese to "find out their concerns".

The Rt Rev Conti was born in Elgin, Moray, on 20 March 1934 and educated at St Marie's Convent and Springfield School.

See also:

15 Jan 02 | Scotland
Pope chooses Winning successor
25 Jun 01 | Scotland
Cardinal's people say goodbye
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