A Vicar General is the highest official of a diocese after the bishop. He is a cleric legitimately deputed to exercise generally the episcopal jurisdiction in the name of the bishop, so that his acts are reputed the acts of the bishop himself. He should be an experienced priest of excellent moral character. The Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh currently has two Vicars General: Monsignor Patrick Canon Burke VG and Monsignor Allan Canon Chambers VG.
Monsignor Burke is the Administrator of St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral in Edinburgh. A graduate of St Andrews University, he studied for the priesthood at the Pontifical Scots College in Rome and was ordained in 1991.
He has since served in parishes in West Lothian, Fife, Stirlingshire, and Edinburgh. Monsignor Burke worked in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2005 to 2013. He has a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology.
Meanwhile Monsignor Chambers is the parish priest of St Mary’s & St Columba’s in Bathgate. Educated at St Andrew’s College, Drygrange, Roxburghshire, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1980.
He has since served in parishes in Edinburgh, Midlothian, and West Lothian and was a prison chaplain for 16 years. During his time in West Lothian, Monsignor Chambers has chaired the local Children’s Panel and served as a Justice of the Peace. He is also a qualified Scottish Football Association referee.