In a telegram, the Pope sent upon learning of the death of Cardinal Desmond Connell to current Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, Francis lamented the passing away of the 90-year-old cardinal who has been battling illness.
In Jan. 1988, he was appointed Archbishop of Dublin, a position he held until April 2004. In the consistory of Feb. 21, 2001, St. Pope John Paul II created him a cardinal.
Born in March 1926 in Phibsboro, Ireland, Desmond Connell would later be ordained for the Archdiocese of Dublin on May 19, 1951 and would hold a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Catholic University of Louvain.
In 1953, he started teaching in the Department of Metaphysics at University College Dublin where he was appointed professor of general metaphysics in 1972 and elected dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology in 1983.
The Irish cardinal served as chaplain to the Poor Clares in Donnybrook, and the Carmelites in Drumcondra and in Blackrock, and had written on philosophical and theological subjects.
To the Most Reverend Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Desmond Connell, and I extend my heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Archdiocese. Recalling with gratitude Cardinal Connell’s years of generous priestly and episcopal ministry to the Archdiocese of Dublin, and his many contributions to the Church in Ireland, especially in the area of philosophical studies, I join you in commending his soul to the merciful love of Almighty God.
In the sure hope of the Resurrection, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing upon all who mourn the late Cardinal, as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Lord Jesus.