Vatican appointment for Irish priest

 A young Irish priest, Fr Joseph Murphy, has been appointed Secretary to Cardinal Sodano, Pope John Paul II's Secretary of State. Fr Joseph, from diocese of Cloyne, was born in 1968. He was educated at St Colman's College, Fermoy, St Patrick's College and NUI Maynooth where he graduated in 1989 with a first BA class honours degree. In 1989 he was sent to Rome to continue his studies for the priesthood at the Irish College, the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical French Seminary. He graduated with a First Class Honours Licentiate in Theology in 1994. Fr Joseph was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Cloyne in 1993, and returned to Rome to continue his studies at the Gregorian University. After obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, he began post-graduate studies for a Doctorate in Theology at the Gregorian University. During his studies for his Doctorate, he was asked by the Holy See in 1997 to assist in the English language section of the Secretariat of State. The news of his new appointment was released yesterday. In a statement the Irish Bishops Conference said: "The appointment of Fr Joseph Murphy to this very delicate and responsible position in the Holy See is a great honour for him personally and for his family. This honour is shared by his Bishop and by his Diocese of Cloyne and by the Church in Ireland."