Thursday, December 31, 2009

Funeral Arrangements for Cardinal Cahal Daly

Cardinal Daly's remains will be brought to St Peter's Cathedral in Belfast at noon on Saturday (2nd January). After lying in state there the late Cardinal's remains will be brought on the following day to St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh (arriving at 5.30 p.m.).

Requiem Mass for the repose of Cardinal Daly's soul will be celebrated, beginning at noon on Tuesday 5th January. Thereafter he will be interred in the shadow of St Patrick's Cathedral, beside the graves of his three immediate predecessors: Tomas O'Fiaich (1977-90), William Conway (1963-77) and John D'Alton (1946-63).

Cardinal Daly Dead

Within the last few minutes the BBC has reported the death of Cardinal Cahal B Daly.

First Vespers of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cardinal Cahal B Daly 'Seriously Ill'

Both RTE and the BBC are reporting that Cardinal Cahal B Daly has been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Belfast City Hospital. Cardinal Daly is 92.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Urbi et Orbi, Christmas 2009

Cathedral Gutted in Early Morning Fire

St Mel's Cathedral in the Irish town of Longford has been gutted in an early morning fire. The Catherdal, which is the seat of the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, was built in the mid 19th century in the classical style.

Photo credit :

Dublin's Two Auxiliary Bishops Tender their Resignations

Bishop Eamonn Walsh

Bishop Raymond Field

As the fallout from the Murphy Report continues, the only two Auxiliary Bishops active in the Archdiocese of Dublin announced late last night that they were offering their resignations to Pope Benedict XVI.

Midnight Mass from St Peter's

Some images from the celebration of Midnight Mass in St Peter's Basilica last night. During the entrance procession it would appear that a female member of the congregation was able to gain access to the Holy Father and, in the resulting confusion, Pope Benedict fell to the ground. The Holy Father was then able to continue with the celebration seemingly unaffected.

Christus natus est

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Submits Resignation

Following on from last week's resignation of the Bishop of Limerick following the publication of the Murphy Report into how the Archdiocese of Dublin dealt with allegations of clerical sexual abuse, another former Dublin Auxiliary has offered to fall upon his sword. The Bishop has released the following statement:

On the Sunday after the ‘Murphy Report’ into the Archdiocese of Dublin was published (29th November 2009), I stated the following in Carlow Cathedral:

As you are aware, I served as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Dublin from 1991 until my appointment here in 2002. While the Murphy Report does not criticise me directly, I feel it is important to state that I fully accept the overall conclusion of the Commission – that the attempts by Church authorities to ‘protect the Church’ and to ‘avoid scandal’ had the most dreadful consequences for children and were deeply wrong.”

I do not want to dwell here on individual criticism as I have already responded to that. As I acknowledged in radio interviews last week, the Murphy report covers far more than what individual Bishops did or did not do. Fundamentally it is about how the leadership of the Archdiocese failed over many decades to respond properly to criminal acts against children.

Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on what should be my response to the overall conclusion of the Murphy report – particularly because I was part of the governance of the Archdiocese prior to when correct child protection policies and procedures were implemented.

It does not serve the truth to overstate my responsibility and authority within the Archdiocese. Nor does it serve the truth to overlook the fact that the system of management and communications was seriously flawed. However, with the benefit of hindsight, I accept that, from the time I became an Auxiliary Bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture.

I know that any action now on my part does not take away the suffering that people have endured. I again apologise to all the survivors and their families. I have today offered my resignation as Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin to the Holy Father. I hope it honours the truth that the survivors have so bravely uncovered and opens the way to a better future for all concerned.

I will endeavour to continue to do my best, as I have throughout my 48 years of ministry, to share Christ’s light and hope for the world. We are about to celebrate Christmas, a time when we welcome Christ as the ‘light that darkness could not overpower’. It is this truth that leads us forward. Christ is our Light.

May the blessing, the grace and the peace of Christmas be with us all.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas...Everyone

This morning His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received the members of the Roman Curia in the Clementine Hall for the exchange of traditional Christmas greetings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Venerable Pontiffs

Earlier today His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI approved decrees recognising the 'heroic virtues' of both Pope Pius XII (1939-1958) and Pope John Paul II (1978-2005). This means that they will now have the title 'venerable'.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vespers in the Vatican

Earlier this evening Pope Benedict XVI led a Vespers service in Saint Peter's Basilica with students from the University of Rome.

Bishop of Limerick Resigns

This morning the Holy See announced that the Holy Father had accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray. Bishop Murray was strongly criticised in the recently-published Murphy Report into the handling by the Archdiocese of Dublin of allegations of child abuse by members of the clergy. Dr Murray served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin between 1982 and 1996.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Irish Primates Visit Rome

The Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin (Primate of Ireland) and His Eminence Sean Cardinal Brady (Primate of All Ireland) addressing the media following their meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on Friday 11th December. His Holiness requested the meeting following the recent publication of the Murphy Report into how the Archdiocese of Dublin handled allegations of child sexual abuse.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

First Vespers of Advent

Earlier this evening the Holy Father presided over the First Vespers of Advent, marking the beginning of the Church's new liturgical year. The Vespers also marked the first use of the Holy Father's new pastoral staff (below).

Monday, November 09, 2009

Remembering Pope Paul VI

On Sunday 8th November Pope Benedict XVI made a pastoral visit to the northern Italian town of Brescia. The visit marked the 30th Anniversary of the death of Pope Paul VI (1897-1978), a native of the area.