Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Bishop of Ferns appointed

A new Bishop of Ferns has been appointed, Monsignor Denis Brennan. The official press releases are here.

What seems to me to be the most interesting part is this paragraph from the state ment of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin:

"Archbishop Martin takes the occasion also to restate his appreciation of the
extraordinary contribution Bishop Walsh has made during his time as Apostolic
Administrator of Ferns, while not in any way neglecting his intense ministry
as Auxiliary Bishop in Dublin. The Archbishop feels certain the Archdiocese
of Dublin will benefit enormously from the experience and expertise which
Bishop Walsh acquired during his ministry in Ferns."

Two thoughts: firstly, this marks a significant step in moving on after the publication of the Ferns Report; the impression I got was that everybody in Wexford likes Bishop Walsh, yes, but everybody also felt that he was there temporarily to clean up the mess left by the two previous bishops. The RTE news item today emphasised that Monsignor Brennan is the first "local man" in a generation to become Bishop of Ferns.

Secondly, this means we can all resume a favourite sport of many, which is speculating about reshuffling bishops. There was a front-page story in last week's Irish Independent with rumours that Diarmuid Martin will shortly be off to a job in Rome, which may be the reason why he didn't get a red hat last week; and also that Bishop Eamonn Walsh will (or might) be the next Archbishop of Dublin.

I have met Bishop Walsh a few times and he is, honestly, a very nice and holy man. Suffice to say that if Diarmuid Martin does go back to the Vatican, then Eamonn Walsh will be the bookies' favourite to move into the big house in Drumcondra.

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