The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, the Most Rev Mario Conti, has received the Star of Italian Solidarity, a major Italian honour.
The award recognises Archbishop Conti’s services to promoting friendship and cultural exchange between Scotland and Italy.
He was presented the award at a ceremony in Hamilton on the eve of his 30th anniversary as a bishop.
Archbishop Conti, 73, one of Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic clergymen, was born in Scotland but his grandparents come from northern Tuscany and Liguria.
He said: “I am deeply honoured. I have always been proud of both my Scottish and Italian heritage, and I see this as a sign of the firm bonds of friendship and co-operation which distinguish relations between our countries.”
The Archbishop is hoping to oversee the building of a memorial to the Scots-Italian community beside Glasgow Cathedral next year.
In addition, he has arranged an annual gathering of the community on All Souls’ Day on 2 November, which has become a major date in the calendar for Scots-Italians.
The Solidarieta Italiana honour is the highest grade of the order that can be granted to an Italian or foreign citizen and was presented by Italy’s Consul General in Scotland, Dottore Andrea Macchioni.
Macchioni said: “Archbishop Conti has done with passion and generosity a very great deal for supporting aid and social activities and promoting solidarity and cohesion within the Italian community, for which his grace is a leading point of reference.”
Full story at Christian Today.