18 Jan 2013

Hail Glorious St Patrick! A new successor to Ireland's patronal see

Ireland's recently arrived papal nuncio is certainly getting through the work load on his desk with the announcement this morning of the appointment of a new coadjutor for the See of Armagh.

St Patrick's Cathedral (RCC) Armagh
Msgr Eamonn Martin has been selected to succeed Cardinal Sean Brady as the holder of the See of St Patrick which brings with it the role of metropolitan of the Armagh province, primate of All Ireland, president of the Irish Episcopal Conference and generally a red hat as well although given Cardinal Brady is only 73, he can retain his voting rights in any papal Conclave until 2019 when he turns 80.

A coadjutor bishop is a man appointed as assistant-bishop who generally will automatically become bishop of a diocese upon the retirement or death of the incumbant.
  • As Rocco notes over at Whispers in the Loggia, it means that our top two archbishops will both be Archbishop Martin!!
  • The Irish Catholic has the story here including a short biography of the Derry native.
  • Vatican Radio here
  • Statements from the various bishops on the website of the Irish bishops conference
  • The Irish Times

"......We live in a time of great change, challenge and opportunity. It is a time, as the psalms say, to ‘sing a new song to the Lord’. There is need for renewal in the church, so that the message of Christ, in all its richness, is presented in ways which engage a new generation. There is a need for a mature relationship between church and society, in both parts of this island, and people of faith have a vital role to play. It would hugely impoverish our faith if we were expected to ‘leave it at home’ or ‘keep it for Sundays’, excluding it from our conversations and actions in daily life. I believe it would equally impoverish society if the fundamental convictions of faith were unable to be heard in public debate; it would diminish our understanding of the human person and dilute the concept of the common good. In these days of recession and financial crisis, many people are struggling to find work, pay the bills and keep food on the table. And there are other kinds of poverty around us – a poverty of meaning in life, a poverty of purpose, a poverty of hope. Today, more than ever, people of faith are called to present to the world ‘a coherent ethic of life’ – one which knits together a conviction about the sacredness of human life and the dignity of the person, with a commitment to solidarity and the family, to the fair distribution of goods and environmentally sustainable development, to justice and peace.

As Christians, we are not there to impose, but to invite; we are not there simply to oppose, but to convince others of the truth of Christ’s teaching and to offer them the gift and message of salvation. We say to everyone in our society, as Blessed Pope John Paul II did: ‘Do not be afraid, the Gospel is not against you, but for you’, or as Pope Benedict XVI put it: ‘if we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great’......"

Read the full statement by Msgr Martin here

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