THE Catholic cleric appointed in the wake of Cardinal Keith O'Brien's departure has signalled a shift away from the Church's moral campaigns towards social issues, such as help for the poor.

Archbishop of St Andrews and ­Edinburgh Leo Cushley said he wanted to move the emphasis of the Church and spoke of his wish to mirror the new approach of Pope Francis.

In a wide ranging interview, ­Archbishop Cushley said some of the Church's approaches to issues such as the same-sex marriage debate had alienated many people and were redundant. He said a priority would be a renewed focus on work with the poor and marginalised within his archdiocese.

"There is something else we can do more of, that we're very good at but that we've forgotten the importance of, and which Francis has drawn our attention to, and that is the poor and the weak in society," he said.

He added that an investigation into allegations of clerical abuse within various religious orders across ­Scotland would soon be under way.