Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor to oversee Armagh Visitation

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was today appointed by the Holy See to oversee the Visitation of the Archdiocese of Armagh.

Learning of his appointment, the Cardinal said: "I look forward to working with a fellow Cardinal and Archbishops from the United States and Canada in this task, as well as in co-operation with the Irish Episcopal Conference."  He expressed his hope that: "the Apostolic Visitation will provide the Holy See with a thorough analysis of the Catholic Church in Ireland and its safeguarding procedures and protocols.  Putting the safeguarding of children and all vulnerable people at the heart of every aspect of the Church's life is essential."

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor was the architect of the Nolan Report - a report published in 2001 by Lord Nolan which examined and reviewed the arrangements for child protection and the prevention of abuse within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.  The report contained 83 recommendations about how the Church should prevent child abuse from occurring within the Catholic community in England and Wales and to ensure that where abuse is disclosed or suspected, the Church deals with it properly.  All 83 recommendations were implemented by the 22 dioceses of England and Wales. 

In his Pastoral Letter to the people of Ireland,  Pope Benedict XVI said that he intended 'to hold an Apostolic Visitation of certain dioceses in Ireland, as well as seminaries and religious congregations. Arrangements for the Visitation, which is intended to assist the local Church on her path of renewal, will be made in co-operation with the competent offices of the Roman Curia and the Irish Episcopal Conference.'

An Apostolic Visitation is a formal but personal process, initiated by the Holy See, to look into the welfare of a particular aspect of the Church.
In response to the news, the Standing Committee of the Irish Bishops' Conference said: "We welcome the news today that the Apostolic Visitation in Ireland, announced by Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, will begin in  the autumn of this year.  An expression of the personal closeness of Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland, this Visitation represents one more important step on the path to healing, reparation and renewal in the Church in Ireland.  We pledge our full co-operation with all those involved and whose names were announced today.
The Apostolic Visitation will be an opportunity to further develop the work that is being undertaken in the Church in Ireland to address the needs of survivors of abuse, to build upon the strong procedures and guidelines for the safeguarding of children and to work for a renewal of faith.
The Apostolic Visitation is  also  an opportunity to reflect, evaluate and review certain aspects of life in the Church in Ireland at this time, mindful of Pope Benedict's words in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, "In solidarity with all of you, I am praying earnestly that, by God's grace, the wounds afflicting so many individuals and families may be healed and that the Church in Ireland may experience a season of rebirth and spiritual renewal."
We look forward to receiving further details of the precise terms of reference of the Apostolic Visitation in due course.

Source: CCS/ICMO

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