Priest and former rector of the Scots College in Rome

Born: March 3, 1943;

Died: November 6, 2017

MONSIGNOR James Clancy, who has died aged 74, was a priest and prelate of honour who was chosen to take short-term charge of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, the largest Roman Catholic diocese in Scotland, following the sudden death of Cardinal Thomas Winning in 2001.

A priest for more than 50 years, Monsignor Clancy began his priesthood in 1967 as a lecturer at St Mary's College, the seminary for training Scottish priests, at Blairs in Aberdeenshire. He became rector of the Scots College in Rome from 1981 until 1986, having been an assistant priest in St Andrew’s, Bearsden. He also took on the role of confessor to the nuns at the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Ghost in Kirktonhill, Dumbarton.

A major event of his tenure in Rome was the pastoral visit of Pope St John Paul II to Scotland in the summer of 1982. The first trip of its kind, it was followed two years later when the Bishop of

Rome visited the college on the Via Cassia to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of the new college building.

Monsignor Clancy's time at the college began at the start of the new academic year in 1981. One of the new intake of students that year was the current spiritual director of the college, Father Mark Cassidy.

Father Cassidy remembers his first rector as “a good priest with a fruitful ministry, which included the five years he guided us in our formation in this college.”

Following his service in Rome, Mgr Clancy returned to Glasgow in 1986. He was appointed assistant priest in St Ninian’s in Knightswood and Vicar General of the archdiocese. He was also chaplain to Gartnavel Hospital and served at St Kessog’s in Balloch and St Joseph’s in Faifley, Clydebank.

In 1999, he was elevated to become a prelate of honour (an honorary bishop) and two years later took charge as parish priest of St Andrew’s Cathedral in Clyde Street.

In 2004, he moved from the cathedral parish to St Paul’s, Whiteinch, and then finally was parish priest to St Michael’s, Dumbarton, the home parish of his parents, where he retired in


Latterly, Monsignor Clancy had been resident with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Robroyston, Glasgow. He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease exacerbated by a stroke.

Mgr Clancy was born in Belfast during the Second World War to Thomas Michael Clancy and his wife, Bridget, who was known as Delia. The family moved to London where he was first

educated at Westminster Cathedral Primary then St Colman's and St Teresa's, Belfast.

He attended St Aloysius' College, Glasgow, for two years until 1956 when he went to Blairs. He completed his priestly formation at the Scots College in Rome where he was ordained in March, 1967, by Bishop Giovanni Canestri.

Mgr Clancy is survived by his brothers Kevin and Thomas, both retired school teachers, sisters-in-law Clare and Patricia, his nephews, Kevin John, David and Martin and niece, Frances.