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Vatican names new nuncio to Ireland

By on Monday, 28 November 2011

Archbishop-designate Charles Brown, pictured at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Photo: CNS)

Archbishop-designate Charles Brown, pictured at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Photo: CNS)

Pope Benedict XVI has named Mgr Charles Brown, a veteran official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as the new apostolic nuncio to Ireland. With the appointment, he was named archbishop of the titular see of Aquileia.

The appointment, announced by the Vatican on Saturday, comes at a delicate moment in Vatican-Irish relations. In July, the Vatican recalled its previous nuncio, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, after Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and others sharply criticised the Vatican’s handling of clerical abuse.

In early November, the Irish government announced it was closing its embassy to the Holy See for economic reasons, although keeping diplomatic relations open.

Archbishop-designate Brown, a 52-year-old priest of the Archdiocese of New York, has worked since 1994 in the doctrinal congregation, which was headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger until his election as pope in 2005. As nuncio, he will act as the Holy See’s ambassador to Ireland and will also serve as a liaison with the Catholic Church community there.

Vatican officials said it was unusual to appoint a non-diplomat to such a position. Some observers pointed to the fact that the doctrinal congregation has overall responsibility over cases of clerical sex abuse of minors. They said the Vatican appears to expect the nuncio to play a key role in the healing of the scandal.

Reaction to the appointment was generally favourable in the Irish media. The Irish Times said in an editorial that the new nuncio would arrive with two major advantages over his predecessors.

“As an Irish American he will have an intuitive understanding of the Catholic people of this state and of this island. As a man who has served at the [Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] for 17 years he will be deeply familiar with the issue that has plagued the Irish Catholic Church for almost two decades,” it said.

Born on October 13, 1959, in New York, Archbishop-designate Brown graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981, where he studied history. He holds graduate degrees in theology from Oxford University, in medieval studies from the University of Toronto and in sacramental theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome.

He was ordained a priest in 1989 in St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, and served from 1989-91 as vicar at St Brendan’s parish in the Bronx. He came to the doctrinal congregation in 1994, working in the doctrinal section, and in 2004 also became an adjunct secretary of the International Theological Commission.

  • Mark Castilano

    If Monsignor Charles Brown has served in St Brendan’s in the Bronx (a place I know well), then I can state with confidence that he is unlikely to be a “stuffed shirt” and he is more likely to understand human suffering than any of his ‘pantomime figure’ predecessors. This appointment can only be a healthy sign and supports the speculation that has been around for some time that the Catholic Church may have to pack up and leave Rome altogether. This is because the ethics and legality of The Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Catholic Church and ‘murdering psychopath’ Mussolini is being questioned and that the Italian State and the city of Rome may want to take charge of the billions of euros worth of art treasures in the Vatican. There is reasoned speculation that Washington DC might be more conducive to Catholic ideology because of the American Constitution’s attitude to the worship of God, than the increasing secular, Godless Europe.

  • chiaramonti

    There is no issue as to the legality of the Lateran Treaty.Mussolini was the legal leader of Italy at the relevant time and acted with the King’s authority.  In any event, it is the Holy See that is recognised in International law and by the United Nations. I think there would be an outcry if Italy attempted to appropriate the treasures of the Vatican, not least by the Italian people. It has been done before, of course, in the long history of the Church. Popes have had to leave Rome many times but have always returned whilst the men who drove them out have usually been defeated. The conclave that elected Pius VII met in Venice for that very reason and although the Pope was imprisoned by Napoleon, it was Napoleon who was defeated in the end.

  • Carlton

    Of course, the laity were never consulted, nor did they have a vote in Msgr. Brown’s selection.  Also, as standard Vatican procedure, Msgr. Brown will NOT undergo a criminal background check of any kind before he’s foisted upon the Irish people.  Who also had no say in his selection.

    Outmoded procedures practiced by an outmoded institution.  Illustrative of a Church out of touch with the times and completely dismissive of the concerns and the welfare of  its people. 

  • Mark Castilano

    Victor Emmanuel III was a weak puppet king and by 1928 Mussolini had complete power. He could only be dismissed by the King on the say-so of The Fascist Grand Council that Mussolini controlled. The Lateran treaty came into being because The Pacelli Family [who drafted and executed the treaty] wanted a “Pacelli Dynasty” like “The Medici” (promised to them by Mussolini) hence the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and the Italian State. The ‘Pacelli’ scam did not work out because Mussolini was a murderous psychopath and had been so since his early teenage years. For that reason, The Lateran Treaty is unethical and illegal.I do not want to see the dissolution of The Catholic Church (The Holy See, The Pope, The Vatican) but it is quite wrong that The Vatican is a secret state like North Korea and Burma where criminals can hide from justice and the Italian police and Interpol have no power. God alone knows what goes on behind the those foreboding walls. Although, the last place God would want to be found is in The Vatican. The Catholic Church will continue to go on, but not as it is today. The dresses, frocks, cloaks and daggers will have to go, and all pretence of communication with the heavens will also have to go. The tenets of Matthew 19:21 will have to apply. “Sell your possessions and give the money to the poor”. (¾ of the third world live in virtual poverty).

  • Anonymous

    Oh for heaven’s sake. The sovereignty of the Holy See was established in international law for centuries and centuries before the Lateran Treaty and was confirmed by the treaty of Vienna. The Vatican city state – as a restitution of only a tiny part of what was illegally stolen by Garibaldi from its lawful ruler, the Pope – owes its existence, if not its moral right to exist, to the Lateran Treaty, but the sovereignty of the Holy See depends on it not one whit.

  • Anonymous

    PS what are “foreboding” walls? I had no idea walls had a sense of impending problems! Perhaps you mean forbidding.

  • Mark Castilano

    My uncle Cornelius was a prisoner of war at Colditz, and he referred to the foreboding walls (sinister and menacing in character). The same term was used about the walls of the Bastille. However, the reason that you did not know this is because so are so preoccupied with your own trite and pointless theological, doctrinal and historical prognostications and self righteousness opinions that you are blind to all other reason. That is why you are so quick to correct and chastise other opinions. I will not take any lessons from someone like you, about anything.

  • Dr PJ McFall

    You have disclosed a great deal about yourself by picking on “foreboding walls”. The term was used in the correct context and your attempt to discredit the writer was pitiful. What do you think about Matthew 19:21 considering that the slums of Manila and Philippines and other Roman Catholic places, where the majority of the people live in poverty and squalor when there are art treasures worth trillions of dollars to museums and art collectors. These works of art could be shared with all the people of the world. The money recovered from the sale of art could be used to alleviate pain, suffering, hunger and disease. The new testament says that Jesus owned nothing, so how do you justify Papal waste, opulence and profligacy? If you must be petty and disagreeable, then at least be logical in your argument.

  • Anonymous

    @Carlton: does the UK government consult its people before it appoints its Ambassador to the Vatican? No? Thought not. Why should a diplomat’s appointment be in any way the business of anyone except the government he represents?

  • chiaramonti

    You are in a minority of one, I’m afraid. We cannot re-negotiate the history of the world on the basis that kings were puppets. You obviously cannot see the distiction between the Holy See which has existed for centuries and the Vatican City State which is a comparative newcomer. The Papal States, which existed for centuries, were restored to the Papacy by the Congress of Vienna following the downfall of Napoleon in which many protestant politicians played a major role. They were restored principally because the Pope refused to side with Napoleon and refused to close the papal ports to the allies ships, despite pressure from the French Emperor. As Pius VII said, “We are the Vicar of a God of peace by which we mean peace to all men, whether they be Catholics or heretics.” Pax tecum!

  • Mark Castilano

    I don’t care if I am a minority of one; Christ was a minority of one at his trial, so was Galileo, so the majority does not make it right. I am quite familiar with the stuff you write about as I studied it more than fifty years ago and I do not doubt your account for one moment. Also I am cognisant with the meaning and the history of The Holy See, The Vatican States and different Popes stance regarding faith, morals and power. It makes interesting historical reading. The problem is not the Vatican; but the people. The people have wised up to the Machiavellian “con trick’ of the Catholic Church using the threat of Hell to induce fear and control.  It does not matter how long the Church has been around, because nonsense is still nonsense no matter how long it has been around.  Civilisation has been around for thousands of years before the Catholic Church and will be around when the Roman Church is being documented in history in the same way the Phoenicians are today.

  • Recusant

    It’s funny that your form of words is as indignant as Judas when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with an expensive jar of perfume. It is entirely proper for the Church to give glory to God through fine artwork and vestments, especially as it is also the most generous charity in the world. Why don’t you sell your computer and give the money to the poor?

  • Dr PJ McFall

    I do not accept the story of Jesus or of anyone washing his feet. The story is totally preposterous and is nothing more than sanctimonious hyperbole contrived by zealous and superstitious fanatics. I make no religious or doctrinal claim about being Christ-like or giving away all my worldly goods to the poor. This argument about hoarding all the art treasures for the greater glory of God is poppycock. I predict that within the next fifty years, all the Vatican art treasures will have been sold and disseminated throughout the world and the Catholic Church will have vacated Rome and will have moved to pastures new: Washington DC.

  • Recusant

    Wow, touchy. Anyway, you seem far too sure of your opinions to be worth the debate (and what kind of arse includes the title Dr in their moniker? Are you trying to impress us?), but I would happily take a bet with you about your prediction.

  • David Corrigan

    I wonder if you are a Catholic priest in that you attack the mans integrity and dignity but could give a cogent response to his proposition. The substance of what he has stated is rapidly growing insofar that many believe it to be immoral to have trillions of equity in the form of art treasures in The Vatican whilst thousands of children die in filth and disease in Manila and other Catholic cities. Keeping hoarded art treasures in the Vatican have nothing to do with the glory of God. It has to do with the arrogance of The Church. Anyhow, it does not matter, because the Dr is essentially right. Other Powerful people have their eyes on the treasure, and who is going to stop them taking it?

  • Guy Picarde

    The Dr has given his real name and not hidden behind some superseded title that has been obsolete since 1829. Calling someone an ‘arse’ denotes you lack of integrity and the coarseness of your nature because the term ‘arse’ means ‘arseh-le’. Had you called him ‘an ass’ as in stupid donkey, that would have been bad enough. You disclose a great deal about your lack of education and your grudging and small minded nature.

  • Js898

    On first look its favouritism for a CDF staffer. On closer look he is the best man for the job. From Msgr to Archbishop, looks like a double promotion

  • Anonymous

    A lot of US Catholics are  – if the evidence of their internet presence is any guide – pretty aggressive types; the kind of people who think talk of justice and peace is a liberal plot to feminise the Church, & whose notion of love is always of the “tough” variety. So I hope you’re right that this man is likely to understand that the commotion is Ireland is not similulated or groundless or likely to be healed by practicing thuggery for Jesus. Jesus  Rambo may work in (some of) the US – not this side of the Pond. The Church is supposed to have some exiguous connection to tripe like compassion, truth, and other abomination: telling people who’ve been greatly wronged by the Church to “join another Church if they like the true Church” (and people are told that by self-styled orthodox Catholics, all too often) is neither kind nor Christian.

    “This appointment can only be a healthy sign and supports the speculation that has been around for some time that the Catholic Church may have to pack up and leave Rome altogether.”

    ## Is that being seriously suggested ? If the Vatican gives comfort to tyrants, it can hardly complain when the chickens come home to roost. The USA is as non-Christian in its own way as “secular, Godless Europe” – if the Vatican can’t see that, it’s blinder than I thought :( It would be fascinating to know where this “reasoned speculation” can be researched.

  • I Italo

    In Holland some catholics are vary in favoure of the writings of George Weigel, because he talks of strong catholic leadership and of conservatives and progressive catholics.

    In the comments on this article I hear the difference between the States , where they still believe in God, and in Europe were there are only seculars.

    Well, the act’s of the States, including Obama, are not very cristianlike ( think of the asasination drones, which kill a lot of civilians ) , so that you can say that they are believers in their thinking maybe, but certainly not in their acting.

    If we talk of Believing, we should really think of following Jezus , and imitating Him, as we can read in the New Testament.
    And that is certainly not the case in the States, were they see Jezus more like a profet from the Old testament.

    So both in the States and in Europe we must go back to the teachings of Jezus Christ ( think of the Mountain Speach of Jezus ) , that is the Evangelization that the Church must carry out on both continents.
    And then we do not have to talk about opposit sides, we will all be Followers of Jezus with the New Testament in our hands.

  • Bod682

    just the man to suggest changes to the Irish church. turf out the bishops who did nothing and just watched as the scandals multiplied. And also the cardinals who had all the files of the errant priests in their safes but also did nothing.
    Time to turf out all these negligent people. Cannot just do nothing and look the other way and just retire the negligent people. And the irish state should prosecute the priests and negligent bishops. Nothing less would do. Because the Irish church is in decline; seminaries are closing; numbers of vocations falling drastically and that decline can be terminal if nothing is done. It is a great shame because Ireland has for centuries sent missionaires all over the World. Many people were baptised by Irish priests and came to know the Lord Jesus because of these irish missionaries

  • Js46

    He is the Pope’s man in Ireland. He is the Pope’s envoy. The Pope can appoint anyone he choose without consulting the Irish hierarchy, the Vatican being Europe’s last absolute monarchy.

  • David B McGinnity

    Dear Monsignor Brown 
    THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS NOT TO BLAME FOR ABUSE IN IRELAND.
    PrécisPope Anastasius IV sent an envoy to Ireland in 1151 asked the Irish Bishops for military help in the Second Crusade that was going badly  The synod of Irish Bishops held the council of Kells in 1152 and refused to help and they gave him a curt response. In 1154 Pope Adrian IV begged the Irish for assistance, but again they said no.  In 1155, three years after the Synod of Kells Adrian IV published the Papal Bull ‘Laudabiliter’,(permission to invade Ireland) which was addressed to King Henry II of England. He urged Henry to invade Ireland to bring  the Irish Catholic Church to obedience under the Roman system. (This document may have been a forgery drawn up by Henry II to justify his invasion of Ireland).
     
    AN INVASION (by invitation)It seems that Henry II was preoccupied with family feuds and the war in France and it was not important to him at that time. One of the Kings of Ireland was called Dermot McMurrough the King of Leinster who thought that he was entitled to be the High King but he lost his kingdom when he was deposed by Rory O’Connor. To recover his kingdom, Dermot MacMurrough solicited help from King Henry II of England. However Henry was far too busy with affairs of state mainly, Thomas Beckett and the Catholic Church, together with family turmoil and the war in France. Henry II delegated the task of helping Dermot McMorrough to Richard de Clare, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke, also known as Strongbow. Under Strongbow, the first invasion (by invitation) of Ireland happened in September 1169 and Rory O’Connor was disposed as High King.  Dermot MacMurrough then became The High King of Ireland for a short time. 
     
    NOT IN MY BACKYARD (I am the only King)However, there was a fly in the ointment insofar that Dermot McMorrough’s daughter Aoife  married the ambitious Strongbow. It has been suspected with reasoned moral certainty that Aofie and Strongbow planned to murder Dermot McMorrough with the intention of Strongbow becoming the High King of Ireland. Someone it seems, sent word to Henry II who perceived the action of Strongbow as a direct threat to his throne and it was then that Henry II started to worry and mounted a large invasion in 1171 (840 years ago).  He justified his actions with the written permission of Pope Adrian IV inscribed in Papal Bull ‘Laudabiliter’. The Irish had brought trouble on themselves just as they have always done, and the rest is history.  Henry II claimed that Pope Adrian IV  thought the Irish were no better than animals and were badly in need of moral discipline and civilization (in a peculiar way nothing has changed in 840 years).
     
    THE ANATOMY OF ROTTENNESSAfter Irish independence, Eamon DeValera and Douglas Hyde had aspirations to have Ireland completely free from all English influence (religion and language). DeValera shamefully used his friend John Charles McQuaid, the Dean and President of Blackrock College Dublin (later to be the Archbishop of Dublin) to draw up the principles of The Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hEireann).
     
    VERY MACHIAVELLIAN Because Ireland was still politically divided since the civil war, DeValera cleverly manipulated Dr McQuaid and misused the Roman Catholic Church as a punitive political and doctrinal tool to bring about imposed social change in Irish education and to unify Ireland under the banner of The Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church (Dr McQuaid in particular) had become a big stick and the Machiavellian DeValera could stand aloof if there were any complaints, and he could blame the Catholic Church, which he did during the teachers strike of 1946. 
     
    A LEGACY OF POLLUTIONDeValera also wished to revive the Irish Language (Gaelic) and embarked on a very slick way of doing so.  He engaged and employed people from the remote The Gaeltacht Areas (Donegal, Galway, Mayo and Kerry) in the main where people already spoke Irish. Without too much training and without much sophistication these people were employed in the Civil Service, Garda Síochána na hÉireann, (Police),  The Army and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church recruited heavily from these desolate and mountainous “Hillybilly” areas (The Bogs of Ireland) for the priesthood, Christian brothers and nuns.
     
    THE GAELTACHT “HILL-BILLYS”These people did not speak English and been isolated from civilisation and the rest of the world from centuries and lived by their own code  where incest, sodomy and bestiality were readily practiced. In many ways they were beyond and above the law.  They did not think it wrong to abuse women and children and they (using their newly acquired official status) speedily proliferated their social and religious deviant propensities throughout Ireland.   This accounts for the unpardonable cruelty, ignorance and sexual abuse in the Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools (Artane and Letterfrack). However, the main culprit in this outrage was the Irish people themselves who repeatedly voted for (giving acquiescence to) greedy, corrupt and sadistic governments of all political parties. (The evidence now speaks for itself).
     
    “AH, SURE HE HAS NO NEED TO KNOW”I once asked a parish priest why the Pope didn’t stop the abuse. He replied “Ah, sure the attitude in Ireland is, what the Pope doesn’t know won’t harm him” which means that they (Irish bishops) told the Pope only what they thought he should know.  The problem in Ireland is not the fault of the Roman Catholic Church. The problem of sexual abuse and cruelty in Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries rests in the very nature of undisciplined hooligan Irish attitudes.
     
    CLOG DANCERS AND DYNASTIC POLITICIANS.These Gaeltacht People imbedded themselves (using bribery and nepotism) within the political system and Catholic Church and all aspects of Irish life and perverted society and the Catholic Church to what it is today. In 1964, an English Catholic Monsignor summed it up in these words: “In general, the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, is like the “Kirov Ballet”, whereas the Irish Catholic Church is like coarse and crude village simpletons performing clog dancing”.
     
    David B McGinnity

  • Dave Corrigan

    Having lived in Ireland during the late thirties, forties and fifties I can concur with this point of view. I remember witnessing a terrible scene when I was thirteen years old where a whole family was taken into care at the behest of the parish priest because the children’s father refused to have them confirmed. The police, the priest and two Legion of Mary women came and forcibly abducted them using physical violence to remove them from their council house and placed them in the care of the Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Mercy to be beaten, battered and buggered and to work as slaves. The children were aged between four years old and twelve years old. It was more than five years before the family were together again, their father had died. A few decent people (my father) tried to intervene, but it was no good, because the Irish Constitution allowed the police and church to do this. When I came to England to University and attended Mass for the first time, I thought I was in the wrong church because it was the first time I had heard the Latin Mass enunciated with solemnity and with perfect diction. In Ireland, the Mass was hurried and mumbled, so as to get it over with as quickly as possible. I always believed that the Catholic religion in Ireland was wafer thin insofar that they made up the rules to suit the occasion and the sense of solemnity was just theatre. This concept is made very clear in “The Secret Scripture” by Sebastian Barry, Faber and Faber (2008) ISBN 978-0-571-21527-7. Ireland and the Catholic Church in Ireland was far removed from the pristine teachings of Jesus Christ .

  • David B McGinnity

    CATHOLIC CHURCH: NOT GUILTY

    Catholic Church reveals 85 priests accused of abuse Irish Independent Thursday (December 01 2011)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_abuse_scandal_in_Raphoe_diocese. There is a clear pattern of evidence to support the hypothesis that dioceses in rural Gaeltacht mountain regions are significantly higher in terms of child sexual abuse than other dioceses in the eastern parts of Ireland. This is because they did not(and still do not) think it is wrong to abuse children because it is part of the that culture that became a disease that infected all of Ireland. In Donegal, The Gaeltacht Diocese of Raphoe probably has the worst record for clerical child sex abuse in Ireland as admitted by Bishop Philip Boyce. “THE MEN OF THE WEST”Other rural Gaeltacht areas of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, Cloyne (Cork) and Kerry have long been associated with the questionable activities of several bishops relating to child sexual abuse: Eamon Casey, Michael Browne, Martin Drennan and John Magee (to name but a few). The Archdioceses of Dublin was deeply involved in sexual abuse that was covered up for 90 years by all Irish governments and the Irish Catholic Church. “THE MECHANIC”It would seem at first glance that all this abuse was the fault of the Roman Catholic Church, but it was not. Eamon DeValera was a “mechanic” in playing card parlance; he could, and did fix the game to suit his political ambitions. The Catholic Church was also the victim of abuse by cunning and greedy political rascals who insidiously inveigled their way into the inter sanctum of the Catholic Church like a silent fulminating cancer, whilst dressed up in the coat of respectability.“ARCHBISHOP McQUAID WAS A VICTIM”I today’s Irish independent, the name of John Charles McQuaid is being besmirched and tarnished by speculation and innuendo. The reason for this is clear. The present Irish government are trying to rationalise and displace the blame for all sexual abuse onto the Roman Catholic Church and to excuse themselves for their failings. The Catholic Church did not have the power to create legislation and enact and enforce laws, however the government did.  John Charles McQuaid and the Catholic Church were maliciously used by Eamon DeValera and the Fianna Fail party. The other political parties were not any better, but had less mendacity than DeValera et al. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/there-was-unease-at-the-way-hed-touch-an-arm-or-stay-close-when-talking-2959887.html“THE FIGHT BACK”It is time that the Roman Catholic Church fought back (instead of making apologies and handing out compensation money to thieves and liars). it is the government should be paying out the money for their negligence. All Irish governments could have ended the Industrial school and Magdalene Laundry system with the stroke of a pen at any time, but they did not. It is time that the Catholic Church was exonerated and the people were truthfully informed as to who were the real culprits. It was (and is) the dynastic predecessors and nepotistic relatives of present day Irish politicians who are to blame, not the Catholic Church David B. McGinnityhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_abuse_scandal_in_Raphoe_diocese. There is a clear pattern of evidence to support the hypothesis that dioceses in rural Gaeltacht mountain regions are significantly higher in terms of child sexual abuse than other dioceses in the eastern parts of Ireland. This is because they did not(and still do not) think it is wrong to abuse children because it is part of the that culture that became a disease that infected all of Ireland. In Donegal, The Gaeltacht Diocese of Raphoe probably has the worst record for clerical child sex abuse in Ireland as admitted by Bishop Philip Boyce. “THE MEN OF THE WEST”Other rural Gaeltacht areas of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, Cloyne (Cork) and Kerry have long been associated with the questionable activities of several bishops relating to child sexual abuse: Eamon Casey, Michael Browne, Martin Drennan and John Magee (to name but a few). The Archdioceses of Dublin was deeply involved in sexual abuse that was covered up for 90 years by all Irish governments and the Irish Catholic Church. “THE MECHANIC”It would seem at first glance that all this abuse was the fault of the Roman Catholic Church, but it was not. Eamon DeValera was a “mechanic” in playing card parlance; he could, and did fix the game to suit his political ambitions. The Catholic Church was also the victim of abuse by cunning and greedy political rascals who insidiously inveigled their way into the inter sanctum of the Catholic Church like a silent fulminating cancer, whilst dressed up in the coat of respectability.“ARCHBISHOP McQUAID WAS A VICTIM”I today’s Irish independent, the name of John Charles McQuaid is being besmirched and tarnished by speculation and innuendo. The reason for this is clear. The present Irish government are trying to rationalise and displace the blame for all sexual abuse onto the Roman Catholic Church and to excuse themselves for their failings. The Catholic Church did not have the power to create legislation and enact and enforce laws, however the government did.  John Charles McQuaid and the Catholic Church were maliciously used by Eamon DeValera and the Fianna Fail party. The other political parties were not any better, but had less mendacity than DeValera et al. http://www.independent.ie/national-news/there-was-unease-at-the-way-hed-touch-an-arm-or-stay-close-when-talking-2959887.html“THE FIGHT BACK”It is time that the Roman Catholic Church fought back (instead of making apologies and handing out compensation money to thieves and liars). it is the government should be paying out the money for their negligence. All Irish governments could have ended the Industrial school and Magdalene Laundry system with the stroke of a pen at any time, but they did not. It is time that the Catholic Church was exonerated and the people were truthfully informed as to who were the real culprits. It was (and is) the dynastic predecessors and nepotistic relatives of present day Irish politicians who are to blame, not the Catholic Church David B. McGinnity

  • David B McGinnity

    It is very frustrating to find that after taking time to compose a post and set it out logically, that it is then duplicated, ‘jammed together’ and rendered unreadable. This sort of editorial activity discourages and devalues contribution and opinion.

  • Born again

    The Pope can appoint whoever he choose. But it will help if the candidate has some management and administrative skills and is not just a diplomat. The Pope’s nuncio in Singapore was recently doing his rounds and a church council member asked him’ “What is your strategic plan for the next five years?” The Pope man stuttered, stammered and mumured. So the councillor knowing that the nuncio was probably hearing the word strategic plan for the first time, put it in simpler terms by rephrasing the question” What is your strategy going forward for the next five years. Again the nuncio couldn’t answer.

    In this modern age we need people of substance with pastoral experience who are well read and intelligent and not just political appointees who know little but are trumpted up in the Vatican press as if they are religious heroes

  • Lenore

    Hello, as Msgr Brown is American, I would hazard a guess that he has gone through a criminal check in the US.