On Tuesday, 6 July, the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Divinity will be conferred upon Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien, Roman Catholic Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh and President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, by the University of Edinburgh
The gown which will be worn by Cardinal O Brien to receive his Honorary Degree, was originally used by Oliver Tomkins, former Anglican Bishop of Bristol and a notable ecumenical pioneer. Dr Tomkins pioneered relationships between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church and ardently supported Methodist-Anglican reunion.
The gown was then entrusted to the care of Professor Duncan Forrester, previously Professor of Christian Ethics in Practical Theology and then Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at New College, Edinburgh.
Professor Forrester thought that it would be a fine ecumenical gesture if this gown was used by Cardinal O Brien when receiving his Honorary Doctorate in Divinity at the University of Edinburgh.
Notes to Editors:
1. Oliver Tomkins was the leading British ecumenical figure in the post-World War II period. Assistant General Secretary of the World Council of Churches in the years of its formation and, later, Bishop of Bristol, he pioneered relationships with the Roman Catholic Church and ardently supported Methodist-Anglican reunion.
2. Cardinal O'Brien was an Undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh from 1955 - 1959.
3. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1959, and renewed his relationship with the University after Ordination in 1965 when he was sent to Moray House to undertake TeacherTraining and complete a Diploma in Education awarded by the University of Edinburgh in 1966.
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