Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien (born 17 March 1938) is the current Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland's only Cardinal.
Cardinal O'Brien is the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland and heads its Conference of Bishops. By virtue of these roles he is sometimes referred to by non-Scots as the 'Primate of Scotland'; however, no such title has ever been officially bestowed upon him and there is no precedent in Scotland for the position of primate.
Keith Patrick O’Brien was born at Ballycastle in County Antrim, Northern Ireland on 17 March 1938. After primary education in Ballycastle, he moved with his family to Scotland where his father was serving with the Royal Navy at Faslane, initially attending St Stephen’s Primary School, Dalmuir before continuing to secondary school at St Patrick’s High School, Dumbarton. His family then moved to Edinburgh, where he completed his secondary education at Holy Cross Academy, before studying at the University of Edinburgh where he gained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1959 (and later a Diploma of Education in 1966). His studies for the Priesthood were at St. Andrew’s College, Drygrange, Roxburghshire and he was ordained priest on 3 April 1965 by his predecessor, Cardinal Gordon Gray. Initially, serving as curate at Holy Cross, Edinburgh from 1965 until 1966, he completed his teacher training certificate at Moray House College of Education. For the next 5 years, from 1966 to 1971, he was employed by Fife County Council as a teacher of mathematics and science; he also served as chaplain to St Columba’s Secondary School, initially in Cowdenbeath and then in Dunfermline, while assisting at St Bride’s Parish, Cowdenbeath.