Historic day as Archbishop Leo Cushley celebrates first ever Mass in Scottish Parliament
Archbishop Leo Cushley of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh has celebrated the first ever Mass in the Scottish Parliament. The Deputy First Minister John Swinney was in attendance along with Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.
The Archbishop was invited to celebrate Mass by Elaine Smith, Labour MSP for Central Region. Monica Lennon, Mark Griffin, Alex Rowley and Neil Findlay of Labour were also there as was Donald Cameron and Annie Wells of the Scottish Conservatives, and Mike Rumbles of the Liberal Democrats.
Commenting on the occasion, Anthony Horan, Director of the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary Office said:
‘The celebration of Holy Mass, the summit of Catholic life, is an opportunity to express prayers for the work of our elected representatives and for the common good of society. Of course, Holyrood means Holy Cross, so in that sense, parliament is a most fitting place for this historic celebration.’
Archbishop Leo Cushley said that “It is a great privilege to be officially invited to offer Holy Mass within the Scottish Parliament, the first such invitation since the parliament’s re-establishment 19 years ago.” He expressed gratitude for the “generous gesture which seems to recognise that Catholics are valued participants in the civic life of contemporary Scotland, where we seek to work with others in advancing the common good.”
Elaine Smith, who organised the Mass, conveyed her sincere gratitude to Archbishop Cushley for accepting her invitation. Ms Smith said: “It was an honour and a privilege to organise the first ever Mass in the Scottish Parliament and to have the Archbishop present to lead the celebration”. Ms Smith also expressed delight at the cross-party support for the Mass and hoped that it would “become an annual event in the Parliamentary calendar.”