DUBLIN, Ireland, FEB. 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Ireland’s new nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, celebrated Mass on Sunday at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral. It was his first public engagement after having presented his credentials to Irish President Michael Higgins last Thursday.
He was welcomed by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, who assured him of his support. “We desire to work together to build a different, more humble Church, but also a renewed Church, confident of the contribution of the teaching of Jesus Christ for the Ireland of tomorrow,” he said.
Archbishop Brown explained that he came before them as an American “descendent of men and women of Ireland, who emigrated from this island, possessing little more than the treasure of their Catholic faith, which they, through the generations, have passed on to me.”
Prior to being named as the nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Brown had worked in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1994. He was ordained a bishop Jan. 6 by Benedict XVI.
In his homily the new nuncio explained that he had worked with the Pope for a number of years and that “Pope Benedict was scandalized and dismayed as he learned about the tragedy of abuse perpetrated by some members of the clergy and of religious congregations.”
“From the beginning, Pope Benedict was resolute and determined to put into place changes which would give the Church the ability to deal more effectively with those who abuse trust, as well as to provide the necessary assistance to those who had been victimized,” Archbishop Brown said.
“Pope Benedict has been relentless and consistent on this front, and I assure you that he will continue to be,” he promised them.
“The Church herself is wounded by the sins of her members,” he continued, referring to Sunday’s Gospel reading of the curing of the paralytic man by Jesus.
And just as sin produces a kind of spiritual paralysis in the individual, a radical lack of the spiritual energy which is grace, so too there can be a kind of spiritual paralysis in sections of the Church, where that energy seems to have disappeared, enthusiasm is dissipated, liturgical life grows cold, he continued.
To remedy that paralysis, he went on, we need to come into the presence of Christ to be healed, above all in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Declaring his joy at being the Pope’s representative to the Eucharistic Congress to be held in Dublin in June he said that: “I am convinced that the Lord is preparing something beautiful for his Church.”
“It is his true presence in the Eucharist which can heal our own spiritual paralysis, which fills us with light and joy, which gives meaning to our lives, and which prepares us for the life of the world to come,” he declared.