DUBLIN, Ireland, MAY 4, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II appointed Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the Holy See’s permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva, as coadjutor in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
As coadjutor archbishop he has the right of succession. Cardinal Desmond Connell, 77, now leads the archdiocese.
In a press statement after the Vatican’s announcement on Saturday, Cardinal Connell said: “With great joy I have received news of the appointment of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin as coadjutor for the Archdiocese of Dublin.”
The cardinal added: “I am deeply grateful to the Holy Father for the gracious response of His Holiness to the request I submitted to the Holy See (on 3rd May 2002) for the assistance of a coadjutor following the appointment of Bishop Moriarty as bishop of Kildare and Leighlin and of Bishop Walsh as apostolic administrator of Ferns.
“The appointment of a highly regarded member of the Roman Curia and a distinguished envoy of the Holy See to the United Nations conveys the Holy Father’s benevolence and particular favor towards the archdiocese as well as the importance the Pope attaches to the Church’s mission to the contemporary secular world as represented in the evolving circumstances of a changing Ireland.”
For his part, Archbishop Martin also issued a statement.
“I would like to thank Cardinal Connell for his warm words of welcome,” he said. “This is my first day and I have a great deal to learn. I am happy therefore to have in Cardinal Connell a novice master who is wise, kind and patient.
“I was born and grew up in Dublin, but I have lived most of my life away from Ireland. I left Geneva yesterday morning somewhat nervous. But I have to say, that it only takes a couple of hours being back here before you realize that Dublin is a great place to be.”
Archbishop Martin added: “There are also many who are estranged from the Church. I am aware that there are those for whom meaning and hope were lost in their lives through the actions of church personnel. Their hurt is all the greater if they feel betrayed by someone they had turned to in trust.
“I am prepared to work with them and with all so that the Church in Dublin diocese can be more and more Church at its best, bringing the comfort and strength, that hope and meaning of the message of Jesus, which has inspired so many in this city and diocese over the years.”
The archdiocese has an estimated Catholic population of 1.03 million in 200 parishes. It includes the city and county of Dublin, nearly all of County Wicklow and portions of counties Kildare, Carlow, Wexford and Laois.