The chief pastor of the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh is Archbishop Leo Cushley whose authority derives from being a direct successor of Christ’s Apostles in communion with the Holy See. Prudently, Archbishop Cushley seeks to fulfil his role as chief pastor with the help and assistance of both the lay faithful and clergy.
He has therefore delegated some of his responsibly as chief pastor to proven local pastors, by appointing five of them as Vicars Episcopal for five areas of pastoral concern: Catechetics; Marriage and Families; Caritas, Justice and Peace; Ecumenism and Interfaith; and an Office for Clergy and Religious.
Each Vicar Episcopal chairs a commission composed of a number of qualified Catholic laywomen, laymen, religious and clergy in the particular field entrusted to them. This is done on a voluntary basis.
The five Vicars Episcopal, together with two of the volunteer lay members of their respective commissions, also form the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. The role of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council is consultative and aims to help and advise the Archbishop in his governance of the diocese.