Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti



Mario Conti is Archbishop Emeritus of Glasgow. He was born a Scot and studied for the priesthood at The Pontifical Scots College in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Aberdeen in 1958, serving as an assistant priest at St Mary’s Cathedral in the city before being sent to Caithness in 1962 as parish priest in Wick and Thurso. Fifteen years later he was appointed Bishop of Aberdeen. He holds many honours, including that of Commendatore dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

Archbishop Conti became archbishop in 2002, when he was transferred to the archdiocese of Glasgow. Bishops tend their resignation at 75, which Archbishop Conti did in 2009. He was asked to stay on until 2012, making him the second longest serving bishop of the Latin Rite in Europe upon retirement. He is succeeded by Philip Tartaglia. He was a founder member of the Catholic Bishops’ Joint Committee for Bio-Ethics (Britain and Ireland). He is noted for his work within the ecumenical

movement, having been appointed a member of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity by Pope John Paul II. During his time as a member, he led the Roman Catholic Delegation at the eighth General Assembly of the World Council of Churches at Harare, Zimbabwe, when he had the privilege of reading the Pope’s letter to the Assembly. He was the first Convenor of ACTS (Action of Churches Together in Scotland) and a President of CTBI (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland). He was formerly also a member of the Pontifical Council for the Cultural Heritage of the Church, and in the Archdiocese founded its Arts Project (AGAP). 

Archbishop Conti oversaw the fundraising and building work of a major renovation of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow between 2009 and 2011. The £5m programme has been described as the most significant renovation of a Catholic church in Scotland since the Reformation. Within the Cloister Garden, he erected a monument to victims of the sinking of the Arandora Star. He was President-Treasurer of SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund) during his period in Aberdeen and, in coming to Glasgow, established on the foundations laid by his predecessor Cardinal Winning, the Mungo Foundation serving in excess of 40 social welfare projects. 

In 2013, he was named Grand Prior of the Scottish Lieutenancy of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, which seeks to support the charitable work of the Church in the Holy Land, which at the present time offers educational and medical help to the inhabitants of the occupied territories. While serving as Vice-President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Archbishop Conti brought the GCU’s Magnusson Awards to the attention of his colleagues, which has resulted in pledged financial support from the Conference.

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