17th October 2007
STATEMENT OF BISHOP LEO O’REILLY ON THE NEWS THAT ARCHBISHOP SEAN BRADY IS TO BE CREATED A CARDINAL
I warmly welcome the news that Archbishop Seán Brady is to be created a Cardinal, and, on behalf of the people of Kilmore I heartily congratulate him and wish him every blessing and success in his new role as a member of the College of Cardinals. This is a signal honour conferred on him by the Holy Father and it is a great honour too for his family, for his native parish of Laragh, and for the diocese of Kilmore where he was born and for which he was ordained a priest in 1964. It is an honour that he richly deserves and which, as we know from experience, he will wear lightly. He is the first Kilmore man and the first Cavan man to have been so honoured by the Holy Father and we can be justifiably proud that one of our own has become a member of the highest Council of the Church.
The most notable responsibility of the members of the College of Cardinals is to elect a new Pope whenever a vacancy arises. Less well known is the fact that Cardinals serve as members and heads of the many Vatican Congregations which are responsible for the administration of the universal Church. This is an onerous task that will add to the already considerable burden of responsibilities carried by Archbishop Seán. However, he is a man of great natural abilities and talents. In his youth he was a formidable force on the sports fields of the GAA. He had a distinguished academic career as a student and a post-graduate in Canon Law in the Lateran University in Rome. He was a great teacher in St. Patrick’s College, Cavan, a distinguished rector of the Irish College in Rome, and a much loved pastor in the parish of Castletara.
Since he was made Archbishop of Armagh he has led the Irish Church and the Irish Bishops’ Conference with great wisdom and courage during what has arguably been the most difficult period that Church has experienced since the Penal Laws. But his greatest talents are in his dealings with people. His warmth, his personal interest, and his sincerity enable him to motivate and empower others. He leads by example and his humble and unassuming nature has broken down barriers of prejudice and has opened the way for new initiatives both in the Church and in wider society. His timely interventions on the national stage in recent years have shown him to be a moral leader of great stature and have earned him the respect of all right-thinking people.
As we rejoice in his nomination to the College of Cardinals, let us remember him in our prayers; that God will give him the grace, courage and strength to meet the demands of his new office and to continue to serve the people of God, now in the universal Church as well as in Ireland and the Archdiocese of Armagh, with the same generosity and distinction as he has in the past.
Bishop of Kilmore.
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)