Vatican appointment for Irish priest

22 Jan 2002

Vatican appointment for Irish priest

The Reverend Joseph Murphy, a Priest of the Diocese of Cloyne, has been appointed Secretary to His Eminence, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, Secretary of State to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.

Father Joseph Murphy, a native of the Parish of Donoughmore in the Diocese of Cloyne, was born on the 16th of August 1968. After his Primary schooling at the local Primary School, Joseph entered St. Colman’s College, Fermoy from where he graduated in 1986 with an excellent Leaving Certificate. He entered Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth in September 1986 as a candidate for Priesthood in the Diocese of Cloyne and began his university studies at N.U.I. Maynooth concluding in 1989 with a First Class Honours B.A. Degree.

In September 1989 the Bishop of Cloyne, the Most Rev. John Magee, sent Joseph Murphy to Rome to continue his studies for the Priesthood as a student in the Pontifical Irish College. He began his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University where, after transferring to the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome in September 1991, he graduated with a First Class Honours Licentiate in Theology in 1994.

Joseph Murphy was ordained to the Priesthood, for service in the Diocese of Cloyne, by the Bishop of Cloyne on the 11th of July 1993 in St. Lachteen’s Church, Stuake, Donoughmore and returned to Rome in September of that year to continue his studies at the Gregorian University. After having obtained a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Father Joseph then began his post-graduate studies for a Doctorate in Theology at the Gregorian University. His chosen topic for his Doctoral Thesis is: ” The Hierarchy of Being in the Questions on God in the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas”.

During his studies for his Doctorate the Bishop of Cloyne was asked by the Holy See for the services of Father Joseph Murphy in the English-language section of the Secretariat of State and, after due consultation with Father Joseph, it was agreed that he begin his work for the Holy See on the 1st of October 1997. While continuing his work on his Doctoral thesis, Father Joseph has given excellent service to the Universal Church through his service in the Secretariat of State and this has led to him being now appointed as Secretary to the Cardinal Secretary of State.

The appointment of Father Joseph Murphy to this very delicate and responsible position in the Holy See is indeed a great honour for him personally and for his family. This honour is shared by his Bishop and by his Diocese of Cloyne and indeed by the Church in Ireland. May he continue to serve at the heart of the Church with diligence and fidelity and may the prayers of the entire Church in Ireland support him.


22 January 2002

Issued by the Catholic Communications Office on behalf of Most Rev John Magee, Bishop of Cloyne

Further information:
Catholic Communications Office: (01) 601 6700
Fr Martin Clarke: 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm: 087 233 7797