Dubliner´s Honor Breaks Recent Precedent
For 116 Years, Cardinals Have Been in Armagh
DUBLIN, Ireland, JAN. 23, 2001 (ZENIT.org).- Dublin Archbishop Desmond Connell´s appointment as cardinal marks a significant break with recent Church precedent, the Irish Independent noted.
For the last 116 years, Ireland´s cardinals have been archbishops of Armagh and primates of all-Ireland.
Since 1866, Ireland has had nine residential cardinals (not including Irishmen serving abroad or in the Roman Curia who were made cardinals) and four of these have been Dubliners.
Archbishop Connell, 74, was among 37 new cardinals named by John Paul II. They will received their red hats at a consistory Feb. 21.
He is a member of the influential Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and co-authored last year´s “Dominus Iesus” document.
Two years ago, Archbishop Connell was given another senior Vatican appointment when he was made a member of the Congregation for Bishops, the body that advises the Holy Father on episcopal appointments. Archbishop Connell has also served as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. Last year, the Dubliner was also a keynote speaker at the World Youth Day in Rome.
Archbishop Connell´s latest appointment means that for the first time ever, Ireland will have two cardinals. Cardinal Cahal Daly is the retired archbishop of Armagh. At age 83, he is too old to have a vote in a conclave to elect a new pope.
As a result, for the last three years Irish Catholics have been increasingly hoping that the Pope would elect a new Irish cardinal.
Archbishop Connell said: “The Holy Father has often spoken of his affection for Ireland. Indeed he traces the origins of the faith in his own native country to the influence of Irish missionaries and retains vivid memories of his visit here in 1979.”