Diocese of Aberdeen
The Diocese of Aberdeen is the Roman Catholic diocese which includes Shetland. It is not to be confused with the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney, which is the Episcopalian diocese.
After the Reformation, Roman Catholics were extremely few in number in Shetland, and the hierarchy had been completely dismantled.
Vicars-apostolic filled the space until March 4, 1878, when Pope Leo XIII, in the first year of his pontificate, created the new Roman Catholic hierarchy of Scotland by the Bull "Ex supremo Apostolatus apice", and Vicar-Apostolic John MacDonald was translated to the new See of Aberdeen as its first bishop.
The Bull made Aberdeen one of the four suffragan sees of the Archbishopric of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, and defined as its territory
- "the counties of Aberdeen, Kincardine, Banff, Elgin or Moray, Nairn, Ross (except Lewis in the Hebrides), Cromarty, Sutherland, Caithness, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and that portion of Inverness which lies to the north of a straight line drawn from the most northerly point of Loch Luing to the eastern boundary of the said county of Inverness, where the counties of Aberdeen and Banff join".
In 1906, out of a population of over 800,000 there were nearly 4,000 Catholics; 48 secular priests; 24 regulars; 57 churches, chapels, and stations; 1 college; 1 industrial school for girls; 1 orphanage for boys; 1 orphanage for girls. There were also Benedictine nuns, Poor Sisters of Nazareth, Franciscan Sisters, Religious of the Sacred Heart, and Sisters of Mercy.
This article contains text from the article Diocese of Aberdeen in the out of copyright version of the Catholic Encyclopedia <references/>