ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: April 14, 2003
Oh Help!: The Making of an Archbishop
By (author) Mario Conti
‘Oh, I’m awfy disappointed – I thought it was Tom Conti!’ So lamented one Glasgow wifie when, with a twinkle in her eye, she introduced herself to her new spiritual leader. Two weeks earlier the fateful call had come through. Mario Conti, for almost twenty-five years the Bishop of Aberdeen, had been preparing to receive guests at a New Year reception in his home when he was informed that Pope John Paul wanted him to become the new Archbishop of Glasgow. His predecessor, Cardinal Tom Winning, had been one of the big hitters in Scottish public life, catapulting the Catholic Church out of the shadows and into the headlines, and winning for it a position of respect in the newly devolved Scotland. Mario would have a hard act to follow. Little wonder that his first words on being told of his appointment to arguably the biggest job in Scottish religious life were, ‘Oh help!’ Monday, 24 June 2002: Today I told a friend I was off to Rome for the Pallium. She replied, ‘How awful! It’s cruel. They die like flies!’ Well, I know it’s hot in rome, unseasonably hot, but I didn’t think it was lethal!It turned out that she thought I was going out for the Siena Palio, the famous horse race in the piazza of that city! The Pallium is a rather narrow woollen scarf worn round the shoulders. Since the sixth century it has been conferred by the Pope on bishops of the Latin Church, but is now normally conferred only on metropolitan archbishops as a symbol of their larger jurisdiction. Here Archbishop Conti reveals the encounters and travels, reflections and memories of his first year in office. Intertwining humour with anecdote and history in an absorbing and readable series of diary entries, this is an intriguing and at time hilarious insight into a new Archbishop finding his feet.