Archbishop Eamon Martin pays tribute to the late Bishop James Moriarty RIP

28 Mar 2022

The following statement has been issued by Archbishop Eamon Martin as President of Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference following the death of Bishop James Moriarty RIP, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin.

Archbishop Martin said, “I was very sad to learn of the death of Bishop James Moriarty.  Before his retirement as Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin in 2009, my role as executive secretary to the Bishops’ Conference briefly overlapped with Bishop Moriarty’s tenure.  A pastor of deep faith, he encouraged everyone to make the most of their God-given gifts.  His honest, humble and courteous nature – along with his ready-smile and ability to engage comfortably with people of all backgrounds – were hallmarks of his warm personality. 

“In 1991, Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Moriarty Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Dublin and his Episcopal ministry coincided with a very challenging period in Church history in Ireland, and universally.  As a member of the Bishops’ Conference he served as an effective Chair of its Commission for Worship, Pastoral Renewal and Faith Development.  Bishop Moriarty placed great emphasis on evangelising young people, to bring them closer to the person of Jesus Christ.  He encouraged active Irish participation in the global World Youth Day gatherings and oversaw the launch of the Bishops’ framework document on youth ministry Called Together. Making the Difference.  Bishop Moriarty also had a prominent role during the national ‘Year of Vocation’ in 2008.

“Bishop Moriarty served as Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin from 2002 – 2009.  An innovative communicator, he established will be remembered for his pioneering ‘Reach-Out’ pastoral initiative which sought to reach out to share the light of Christ with the isolated and excluded in the diocese – very much the spirit of the Synodal Pathway currently being undertaken the Church.  The ‘Reach Out’ campaign continues each Christmas. 

“In his retirement Bishop Moriarty led a quiet ministry of support in the Archdiocese of Dublin and regularly returned to his beloved Kildare & Leighlin where he is remembered with love and gratitude.  Today I will remember in my prayers the faithful of both dioceses and, at this time of heartbreak for his family, friends, brother clergy and parishioners, I invite you to pray for the happy repose of Bishop Moriarty’s soul.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”


  • Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland and President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

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