At 12noon in Rome today (11am GMT) Pope John Paul II announced that he has appointed Canon Peter Moran as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Aberdeen.
Canon Peter was ordained in 1959 and has served as a priest in the Diocese of Aberdeen since then, latterly as Diocesan Administrator for the past 18 months following the translation of the former Bishop of Aberdeen, Mario Conti to the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
Reacting to the news, the President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, Cardinal-designate Keith Patrick O'Brien said;
"I have know Canon Peter for almost 20 years since my time as Rector of Blairs College in Aberdeen, where he was a valued member of staff, who endeared himself to his brother priests on the staff as well as to many generations of students. Our friendship grew over the years and I was delighted when he was elected Diocesan Administrator for Aberdeen."
Cardinal-designate O'Brien continued:
"During the past 18 months the Bishops of Scotland have appreciated the wise counsel of Canon Peter during deliberations on a wide variety of subjects, he is considered by all who know him as both deeply spiritual and extremely hard working."
Further reaction came from Archbishop Mario Conti, the former Bishop of Aberdeen who said;
"I am delighted with the news that the Holy Father has appointed Canon Moran as the new Bishop of Aberdeen. I have known him for more than 50 years. We were students together in Rome and thereafter he worked in the diocese of Aberdeen for many years following his long service at St Mary's College Blairs. It will be a great joy to see him ordained to the episcopate as my successor and as the 10th Bishop of Aberdeen since the restoration of the Catholic hierarchy in 1878."
Archbishop Conti added;
"He will bring to the Church in Aberdeen a fine mind, great pastoral dedication and a wealth of experience. It is an immense satisfaction for me to know that my former diocese, which will always hold a special place in my heart, is in such good hands. I rejoice with the priests, deacons, religious and laity of the diocese at this splendid news."
The new Bishop-elect of Aberdeen, the Very Reverend Peter Antony Moran, has been a priest for forty-four years. Born in Glasgow sixty-eight years ago, he now considers himself an Aberdonian by adoption, having lived in the North-East of Scotland for thirty-nine years. He is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen [M.Ed.], as well as of the University of Glasgow [M.A. (Hons.) Classics] He attended primary schools in Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire, before spending nine years at St AloysiusÃ College, Glasgow (primary and secondary). His higher education began with seven years at the Pontifical Scots College, Rome
(1952 -1959), where he was ordained priest in 1959, in the chapel of the Spanish College by Bishop Fern ·ndez Conde of Cordoba, with degrees of Ph.L. and S.T.L. from the Pontifical Gregorian University. Back in Scotland, his bishop sent him to Glasgow University to prepare for a teaching post in Blairs College. After graduating in 1963 he trained at Jordanhill College of Education and joined the Blairs College staff in 1964, to teach there until 1986. During that time (from 1979) he became Priest in charge of St. MaryÃs Parish, Blairs, a post he held until 1993. For the past ten years he has been Parish Priest of Inverurie and its satellite towns and villages (fifty in all). He has worked as a school chaplain in Inverurie, Kemnay and Alford Academies and in many primary schools in Aberdeenshire. Ecumenical interests have seen him serve several years as R.C. Ã¬corresponding memberÃ® of Gordon Presbytery of the Church of Scotland. With the two representatives of other Christian Churches, he served from 1986 to 1992 on the Education Committees of Grampian Region and later of Aberdeenshire. He is a Life Member of the Educational Institute of Scotland [E.I.S.] and was a founder-member of the North Kincardine Rural Community Council.
As chaplain to the French-speaking R. C. community since the 1970's, he celebrates a monthly Mass in French for the (mainly oil-related) expatriates.
When Bishop Mario Conti was appointed as Archbishop of Glasgow in early 2002 Canon Peter Moran was elected Diocesan Administrator of Aberdeen a caretaker role which will continue until his ordination as Bishop in the Cathedral (Huntly Street) in early December 2003.
His leisure interests are many, including foreign languages (especially French) France and the French people
Music: he plays several instruments (Some he says, not very well.) singing (especially choral music) local history, and the speech and traditions of North-East Scotland drawing and painting (at beginner level) and small-boat sailing (he was Secretary of the Aberdeen and Stonehaven Yacht Club in the mid 1970 and still sails occasionally when invited.)
For his motto as bishop Canon Peter has chosen:
GAUDIUM ET SPES, Latin for "Joy and Hope".
"The Gospel message" says Canon Peter, "is a message of joy and happiness. Let's be such joyful Christians that other people are curious to know why."
To arrange an interview with Canon Peter Moran or for a JPEG photograph, please contact the Press Officer for the Diocese of Aberdeen, Mr Tom Cooney on - 01224 319154
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168