CATHOLIC COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
(INCORPORATING THE CATHOLIC PRESS & INFORMATION OFFICE)
NEWS 26 April 2004
STATEMENT FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBLIN PRESS OFFICE
ON RETIREMENT OF CARDINAL DESMOND CONNELL
At 11.00am today (12.00 noon Rome time) the Holy See announced that Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Desmond Connell (78) as Archbishop of Dublin. In accordance with Canon Law, Cardinal Connell had tendered his resignation to the Holy Father on his 75th birthday (24 March 2001).
Cardinal Connell is automatically succeeded by the Coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin (59) whose appointment as Coadjutor was announced on 3 May 2003.
Welcoming the announcement this morning, Cardinal Connell said: “This day really belongs to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. It is a special day for him, his family and his friends. It is also a happy day for me and for the priests and people of the diocese as the Holy Father, in his wisdom, has chosen one so highly gifted and experienced to assume pastoral responsibility for well over one million Catholics in the archdiocese. Archbishop Diarmuid is now back among his own, and he will experience many challenges and joys in the years ahead. I wish him every fulfilment and blessing, and I assure him of my personal support and prayers at all times”.
In response, Archbishop Martin said: "It is a day for all of us to recognise the years of service of Cardinal Connell to the Church in Dublin and beyond. The priests and people of Dublin thank him and will accompany him in the coming years with their prayers and affection. I know also that I can count on the faith and support of the Catholic people of the diocese of Dublin."
The Archdiocese of Dublin has an estimated Catholic population of 1,087,285 in 200 parishes, and includes the City and County of Dublin, nearly all of County Wicklow, and portions of Counties Kildare, Carlow, Wexford and Laois.
PLEASE FIND HEREWITH:-
Complete texts of this morning’s statements by Cardinal Connell and Archbishop Martin
Brief biographies of Cardinal Connell and Archbishop Martin
TEXT OF CARDINAL CONNELL’S ADDRESS MONDAY 26 APRIL 2004
I thank you for coming to Archbishop’s House on this, the day of my retirement as Archbishop of Dublin.
This day really belongs to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. It is a special day for him, his family and his friends. It is also a happy day for me and for the priests and people of the diocese as the Holy Father, in his wisdom, has chosen one so highly gifted and experienced to assume pastoral responsibility for well over one million Catholics in the archdiocese. Archbishop Diarmuid is now back among his own, and he will experience many challenges and joys in the years ahead. I wish him every fulfilment and blessing, and I assure him of my personal support and prayers at all times.
I am grateful to God for calling me to serve the people of Dublin and the universal Church for the past sixteen years. It has been a wonderful experience which has put me in touch with so many people in Ireland, in Rome and elsewhere. It has been a particular privilege to come into close contact with the Holy Father himself who has given the Church such magnificent leadership over the past 25 years.
I would like to take this opportunity to briefly renew the thanks I expressed to the priests and people of the diocese in my Chrism Mass homily on Holy Thursday. I am most grateful to all who have assisted and supported me in my ministry as Archbishop of Dublin. In particular, I thank my assistant bishops, my brother priests and my close collaborators for their loyalty and kindness at all times.
On this day, I would also like to offer fraternal greetings to the clergy and members of other Christian churches in Dublin. By coincidence, Canon Desmond Harman is this evening being installed as Dean of Christ Church cathedral, and I wish him every blessing in his ministry. I also extend my best wishes to members of other faiths who now form such a significant and welcome part of the population.
I am greatly looking forward to retirement, and I am delighted that I will be living close to where I was born and reared. At a personal level, there will be a period of adjustment, but it will be good to have time to spend with family and friends and to catch up on my reading! As a Cardinal and as a Member of several Vatican Congregations I will, of course, be travelling to Rome from time to time.
In the meantime, the words of Simeon in the Nunc Dimittis come to mind: “At last, all-powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise” (Luke 2:29). Having experienced the great love
of our Blessed Lady throughout the years of my episcopate, I confidently entrust Archbishop Diarmuid, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the diocese to her powerful protection.
Speaking notes of ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN Archbishop’s House, Dublin, 26th April 2004
With characteristic courteousness, Cardinal Connell has wished to stress that “this is my day”. It is however a day for all of us to recognise the years of service of Cardinal Connell to the Church in Dublin and beyond. Over these years, if I may use a phrase of Pope John Paul I speaking of his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, Cardinal Connell has shown us “how one loves, how one serves and how one suffers for the Church”.
The priests and people of Dublin thank him and will accompany him in the coming years with their prayers and affection.
I know that I can count on his wise counsel and prayerful support in the years to come. On my part I can guarantee him that his will not be an idle retirement. There will be many occasions when I am sure I will call on him and his services. I would like him above all to know that he remains a central figure in our diocesan family and that he will always be a welcome figure in all our diocesan celebrations.
I wish to thank him personally for the kindness and attention he has shown to me since he became Archbishop and especially for his unfailing thoughtfulness to me during this past year when we worked closely together.
It is well known that I did not actively seek the office of Archbishop of Dublin! I take on these responsibilities trusting above all in the Lord. I know my inadequacies and my sinfulness. The task of a Bishop is to preach the Gospel, to make the person and the message of Jesus known from each generation to the next. No one would assume for themselves such a responsibility, if he did not realise that he can count on the support of the Lord.
I know also that I can count on the faith and support of the Catholic people of the diocese of Dublin, who form a community of faith and worship, of service and of mission centred on the Eucharist.
Over the past year I have come to know the strengths of that community of faith as well as the challenges which the women and men who form the community now face. I have seen the dedication of parents and teachers in transmitting the faith but also the new challenges to family life. I have seen the emptiness which can accompany new wealth but also the great Dublin sense of solidarity which can be found in so many sectors of our society. I have seen youthful enthusiasm for the message of Jesus but also the hurt and anger of those who have experienced abuse from the messengers of Jesus. I have been shocked by the increase of violence in our communities but I have also been inspired by the energy with which so many work for peace and solidarity, at home and overseas. I have seen the dedicated work of the Catholic community in serving the marginalised and the hurt.
Dublin is a great diocese. I extend my greetings to every parish and every community of the diocese, in Dublin city and county, in counties Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford and Laois and especially the parishes where today I become Parish Priest (Pro-Cathedral, Westland Row, City Quay and Sean McDermott Street).
I greet the leaders of the other Christian Churches and of the various religious traditions present in the diocese. I am pleased that my first public engagement will be this evening in Christ Church Cathedral.
My prayer is that our community will become a more embracing and inclusive one. I have tried in the past year to get to know the diocese. I apologise to those whom I have not responded to as yet. I thank those who have helped me in so many ways so far. I would like to offer a special word of greeting to the “new Irish”,
those who have come to our shores in recent years. My hope is that they will always experience a sense of welcome and of belonging.
In particular, I thank the priests of the diocese, my first co-operators. They who were so warm to me in welcoming back to Dublin. I pledge to work with them and support them in the years to come.
In this week in which we witness the expansion of the European Union, my hope is that our nation will always play an important role in shaping the future of Europe. Ireland has gained much from its integration into a greater European project. I hope that Ireland will continue to bring its best to the on-going construction of a Europe of values, of integration and of solidarity.
And now I have to get straight down to business! In the light of the provisions of Canon Law, I reappoint the four Auxiliary Bishops as Vicars General and I reappoint Monsignor John Fitzpatrick as Episcopal Vicar for Religious. I reappoint for a period of three months all other individuals who hold positions or membership of commissions, where this is at the discretion of the Archbishop. The Twelfth Council of Priests has ceased its mandate with the end of the mandate of Cardinal Connell. I wish the members however to remain on as an informal advisory panel to me until the next council of priests is established. I look forward to meeting with them on Thursday.
BIOGRAPHY OF CARDINAL DESMOND CONNELL
Cardinal Desmond Connell was born in Dublin on 24th March 1926. Educated at St. Peter’s National School, Phibsboro and Belvedere College, he studied for the priesthood at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Dublin in 1946 and was awarded an MA the following year. From 1947 until 1951 he studied theology at Maynooth and was awarded a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1950.
Cardinal Connell was ordained priest by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid on 19th May, 1951. He studied at the University of Louvain, Belgium (from 1951 to 1953) where he was awarded a Doctorate in Philosophy.
From 1953, Cardinal Connell worked in the Department of Metaphysics in UCD. He was appointed Professor of General Metaphysics in 1972 and elected Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology in 1983. Having written extensively on philosophical and theological subjects, he was awarded the degree D.Litt. by the National University of Ireland in 1981 in recognition of his published works.
Prior to his appointment as Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Connell was a member of the Irish Hierarchy’s Theological Commission, and of the Diocesan Committee on Ecumenism. In 1984, he was made a Prelate of Honour, with the title of Monsignor, by Pope John Paul II.
He served as Chaplain to three communities of Contemplative Sisters, the Poor Clares in Donnybrook (1953 - 1955), the Carmelites in Drumcondra (1955 - 1966) and the Carmelites in Blackrock (1966 – 1988).
Dr Connell was appointed by the Holy See as Archbishop of Dublin on 21 January 1988 and was consecrated in the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin on 6 March 1988. As Archbishop of Dublin he held the title ‘Primate of Ireland’. He was created Cardinal by Pope John Paul II at the Consistory in Rome on 21 February 2001 with the Titular S. Silvestro in Capite.
Cardinal Connell is a Member of the following Vatican Congregations and Councils:
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Congregation for Bishops
Pontifical Council for the Laity
He is a former Member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. As a Member of the Irish Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Connell held a number of positions including that of Vice-President of the Conference.
His Episcopal Motto Secundum Verbum Tuum (‘According to Thy Word’) is taken from Mary’s response to God’s call at the Annunciation, ‘be it done unto me according to thy word’ (Luke 1:38).
BIOGRAPHY OF ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin was born in Dublin on 8th April 1945.
He attended schools in Dublin (Oblate School, Inchicore; De La Salle School, Ballyfermot; Marian College, Ballsbridge). He studied philosophy at University College Dublin and theology at the Dublin Diocesan Seminary (Holy Cross College, Clonliffe).
He was ordained priest by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in St Patrick’s Training College, Drumcondra, on 25th May 1969. He later pursued higher studies in moral theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas
(Angelicum) in Rome. In 1973-74 he was Curate at the Parish of St Brigid in Cabinteely. In 1975 he was responsible for the pastoral care of Dublin pilgrims during the Holy Year in Rome.
He entered the service of the Holy See in 1976 in the Pontifical Council for the Family. In 1986 he was appointed Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and in 1994 Secretary of the same Pontifical Council. On 5th December 1998 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Glendalough and received the episcopal ordination at the hands of Pope John Paul II in St Peter’s Basilica on 6th January 1999.
During his service at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop Martin represented the Holy See at the major United Nations International Conferences on social questions held in the 1990’s. He also took part in
activities of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, especially on the theme of international debt and poverty reduction.
He spoke of the Church’s Social Teaching at conferences organised by the Bishops Conferences of the United States, of Australia, of Peru, of Scotland, and by the Council of Latin American Episcopates (CELAM), the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC), and the Commission of the Episcopates of the European Union (COMECE).
He was a member of various Vatican Offices, including the Central Committee for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. In addition he was a member of the Joint Working Group for relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches and a founding trustee of the World Faiths Development Dialogue (established by the Archbishop of Canterbury).
In March 2001 he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop and undertook responsibilities as Permanent Observer of the Holy See in Geneva, at the United Nations Office and Specialised Agencies and at the World Trade Organisation. He led the delegations of the Holy See to the Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (Doha, 2001), the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
He was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Dublin on May 3rd 2003. The Liturgy of Welcome presenting him to the faithful of the diocese took place in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Dublin on 30th August 2003.
Dublin Diocesan Communications Office (01) 836 0723
Fr Martin Clarke (087) 220 8044
Fr Damian McNeice (086) 815 4544
26 April 2004