The Rev Dr George Whyte has been honoured for his commitment to dialogue between the Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church.

He was invested as a Papal Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great by Archbishop Leo Cushley at St Bennet's in Edinburgh on Tuesday (24 January).

He said: “I was both extremely surprised and deeply touched when Archbishop Cushley presented with me my Knighthood at a dinner within his home which he had given to mark my time as Principal Clerk.

"It has been a privilege to work with Catholic colleagues throughout my ministry."


He added: "In recent times, I have greatly valued the cooperation and friendship of the Archbishop and his colleagues as we worked together on issues of common concern such as our response to the pandemic.

"This thoughtful gesture is a sign of how we have grown together as denominations – a closeness which was expressed more publicly in the St Margaret Declaration signed at last year’s General Assembly.”

The Pontifical Equestrian Order of St Gregory the Great is one of five categories of papal knighthood of the Holy See, in which recipients are made either knights or dames. It was established by Pope Gregory XVI in 1831.

The honour is bestowed in recognition of  personal service to the Holy See and to the Church, through good work and the good example they set in communities and countries.

Archbishop Cushley said: "I was delighted the Holy Father welcomed my request to have George honoured in this way.

"We hope that people in our communities will continue to grow in faith, respect and brotherly and sisterly respect for each other."

Group picture, above (l-r): Canon Jeremy Bath, Vicar Episcopal for Ecumenism for the Archdiocese, Sr Anna Marie McGuan RSM, catechetical advisor for the Archdiocese, Rev Dr John McPake, Ecumenical Officer of the Church of Scotland, Moira Whyte, her husband the Rev Dr George Whyte, Archbishop Leo Cushley, the Rev Fiona Smith, Principal Clerk of the General Assembly, her husband Andrew Smith, Ann Mulligan DCS, Elspeth Atkinson, chief operating officer for the Archdiocese.