The episcopal ordination of Bishop Philip Moger has created a situation that is unique in the history of the Diocese of Leeds.
For the first time since the diocese was established in 1878 we have a Leeds priest who is a bishop, one who is an archbishop and one who is a cardinal.
Cardinal Arthur Roche was ordained for the Diocese of Leeds by Bishop William Gordon Wheeler in 1975, as was Bishop Moger, seven years later in 1982. Archbishop John Wilson was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop David Konstant in 1995.
The Cardinal first became a bishop when he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster by Pope St John Paul II in 2001. In 2002 he became Coadjutor Bishop of Leeds and in 2004 he succeeded Bishop Konstant and became the ninth Bishop of Leeds. He became an archbishop on his appointment as Secretary to the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Pope Francis created him a cardinal at a consistory in August 2022.
Archbishop Wilson followed in the Cardinal’s footsteps when he became an auxiliary bishop in Westminster in 2016. He became Archbishop of Southwark in 2019 and both appointments were made by Pope Francis.
It was in November 2022 that Bishop Moger’s appointment as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Southwark was announced by Pope Francis and his episcopal ordination at St George’s Cathedral, Southwark on 21 February 2023 was performed by Archbishop Wilson in the presence of Cardinal Roche.
As Archbishop Wilson pointed out in his homily at the Mass of Ordination, he and Bishop Moger have something else in common. They both began their priestly ministry as curates assisting the late Fr Lawrie Lister. In Bishop Moger’s case this was at St Urban’s parish in Leeds from 1982 to 1985, and for Archbishop John it was at St Joseph’s, Pontefract from 1995 to 1998.
At the same time both Cardinal Roche and Bishop Philip have served as Secretary to the Bishop pf Leeds. The then Fr Roche served with Bishop Wheeler from 1978 to 1982, and Bishop Philip was secretary to Bishop Konstant from 2001 until his retirement in 2004.