Dublin's Cardinal Connell, 78, Retires

Coadjutor Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to Take Over

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DUBLIN, Ireland, APRIL 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II has accepted Cardinal Desmond Connell’s resignation from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Dublin, clearing the way for Coadjutor Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to succeed him.

The cardinal first presented his resignation in March 2001, on his 75th birthday, in accordance with canon law.

Archbishop Martin, 59, was appointed coadjutor last May. Previously, he was apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva. Under canon law, a coadjutor has the right of succession.

In a statement today, 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 1 million Catholics in the archdiocese.»

Archbishop Martin said: «It is a day for all of us to recognize 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.»

Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, the primate of All Ireland, in a statement said: «I wish Cardinal Connell many years of happiness in retirement, after 16 strenuous but fruitful years as archbishop of Dublin. His clear vision, courageous honesty and outstanding integrity were of immense assistance to the Irish bishops’ conference over these years and will be greatly missed.»

«My best wishes go to Archbishop Martin as he takes on the heavy responsibilities of the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Dublin,» Archbishop Brady added. «I am confident that under his leadership, the great resources of faith and spiritual energy of the people of God in Dublin, will continue to flourish and bear fruit.»

The Dublin Archdiocese has 1.08 million Catholics in 200 parishes. It takes in the city and county of Dublin, nearly all of County Wicklow, and portions of counties Kildare, Carlow, Wexford and Laois.

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