Mario Conti: Tributes to Archbishop of Glasgow following his death

Mario Conti, the Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, has died at the age of 88 following a short illness.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow said Archbishop Conti died peacefully on Tuesday evening at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

He had been a priest for 64 years and a bishop for 45 years, having trained at St Mary’s College in Blairs, Aberdeenshire. He later studied at the Scots College and Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he obtained degrees in philosophy and theology and was ordained a priest in Rome on October 26, 1958.

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After a series of roles, including his only parish priest appointment to Wick and Thurso, he was named bishop of Aberdeen in February 1977.

Archbishop Conti was one of the last surviving bishops in the world to have been appointed by Pope (now saint) Paul VI.

After 25 years in Aberdeen as bishop, he was named as successor to Cardinal Tom Winning as Archbishop of Glasgow in 2002, and served in that role for ten years.

Archbishop William Nolan, the current Archbishop of Glasgow, said: “The death of Archbishop Mario will be felt not just in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, but across Scotland and beyond. He was a much-loved figure, a man of great energy and pastoral zeal, who loved the church and loved the people in his care.

“When I was appointed Archbishop earlier this year, I found him both gracious and welcoming and full of ideas and suggestions for the future.”

Archbishop Mario Conti, the Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, has died aged 88 following a short illness.Archbishop Mario Conti, the Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, has died aged 88 following a short illness.
Archbishop Mario Conti, the Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, has died aged 88 following a short illness.

During his time as Archbishop of Glasgow, Archbishop Conti oversaw the renovation of St Andrew’s Cathedral and the construction of the adjacent Italian Cloister Garden to remember the victims of the wartime Arandora Star tragedy.

One of his proudest moments came when he welcomed Pope Benedict XVI to Britain at the first public Mass of the German Pope’s state visit in 2010 at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

Archbishop Conti held honorary doctorates from the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian.

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He was also a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a former lead chaplain to the Knights of Malta and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.

The President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Bishop of Aberdeen, said of Archbishop Conti:“His presence as a bishop has been a constant for so long, it is difficult to remember a time when he wasn’t an active or retired member of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland.

“As the current Bishop of Aberdeen I have many fond memories of him during his 25 years as Bishop of Aberdeen. Although he became Archbishop of Glasgow in 2002 his ties to the North East of Scotland remained strong.

“His interest in and knowledge of Scotland’s Catholic history was well known and his commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of the church was unwavering.”

Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “We are very saddened to learn about the death of Archbishop Mario Conti, Emeritus Archbishop of Glasgow, and extend our deepest sympathy, thoughts and prayers to his family, friends and members of the Catholic Church, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

“Archbishop Conti made an outstanding contribution to ecumenism within Scotland and internationally and we recall this with gratitude.”

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