|H.E. Bishop Peter Moran|
|Abbot Hugh Gilbert O.S.B.|
At 12 noon today in Rome (11am GMT) it was announced, that Pope Benedict XVI had nominated Abbot Hugh Gilbert as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen.
He will succeed Bishop Peter Moran who has been Bishop since 2003. Reacting to his appointment, Abbot Hugh who is currently Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin said;
“The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has nominated me to succeed Bishop Peter Moran as Bishop of Aberdeen. As a Catholic Christian and Benedictine monk, I accept this as the call of Christ, and, trusting in the help of God and the saints, intend to give myself wholeheartedly, like my predecessors, to the lay people, religious, priests and deacons of this beautiful diocese.”
The Bishop-elect added;
“I have much to learn, and it will not be easy to leave my monastery after 37 years. But I do so knowing that I am not going among strangers. I commend myself to the kind hearts and prayers of all whom I am called to serve. Together in Christ may we shine with the light of his Resurrection!”
Responding to the news Bishop Peter Moran said:
“After my nine years at the helm of Aberdeen Diocese, seven of them as Bishop, I am happy that the Holy Father has named Abbot Hugh Gilbert to take over as my successor. He is, of course, well known in the diocese to clergy and laity alike. I welcome him most warmly.
During his nineteen years as Abbot, Pluscarden Abbey has continued to be the serene spiritual heart of this diocese. I am confident that his spiritual leadership as bishop will bring many graces to the members of the diocese, and to the wider community, in the years to come.”
Reacting to the announcement, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said;
“I am delighted to welcome Abbot Hugh Gilbert, Abbot of Pluscarden Abbey, as the new Bishop of Aberdeen - and, consequently, as a member of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland. The name and the reputation of Abbot Hugh are well known outside the confines of his monastery. His spirituality and his writings, have inspired many throughout Scotland and indeed in other parts of the world. May God indeed bless him at this present time, as we say a very sincere thanks to his immediate predecessor, Bishop Peter Moran, who has fulfilled his apostolate as Bishop of Aberdeen and a member of our Bishops' Conference, in an exemplary manner.”
Commenting on the nomination Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow said;
"As native of Aberdeen diocese, where I spent 25 happy years as Bishop, I am delighted at the appointment of my second successor. The Abbot is well known to me. I had the joy of ordaining him priest almost 30 years ago and later of blessing him as Abbot of Pluscarden. If it can be said that Abbot Hugh's appointment is a loss to the Abbey, there is great gain for the diocese of Aberdeen and the wider Catholic community of Scotland in his being named Bishop. The news will be particularly welcomed in Aberdeen diocese, where Pluscarden has warm links with every part of the territory and is recognised as a thriving centre of spirituality, monastic practice and culture in the north of Scotland. Abbot Hugh has played a key role in the success story that is Pluscarden over the last few decades, a period which has seen it expand its influence far and wide.
I also wish to pay warm tribute to my friend and colleague Bishop Peter Moran whose resignation on age and health grounds has now been accepted. Bishop Peter's wise and warm leadership mean that Abbot Hugh will inherit a diocese in fine heart.
Catholic Media Office
This is joyous news indeed in two respects.
First for Bishop Moran who has soldiered on through continuing ill health for some months and who deserves to have his remaining time without the burden of responsibility that the Episcopate brings.
Second for Abbot Hugh, whom I have known for many years, and, as an oblate, he is my "boss" as Abbot of Pluscarden.
Please pray for both men and the communities of Pluscarden, the diocesan clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Aberdeen.
Te Deum Laudamus ................