The new Bishop of Limerick has said he hopes legislators will be inspired to know how best to protect the lives of mothers and their unborn children.
Fr Brendan Leahy from Dublin was yesterday appointed
Bishop of Limerick by Pope Benedict XVI.
The 52-year-old professor
of systematic theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, succeeds
bishop Donal Murray, who resigned three years ago following the
publication of the Murphy report.
The report, which dealt with
clerical child abuse in the Dublin archdiocese, criticised Bishop Murray
for his failure to adequately deal with allegations of abuse when he
was an auxiliary bishop in in Dublin.
Speaking in Limerick
following the official announcement of his appointment, Fr Leahy, who
will be ordained Bishop of Limerick after Easter, spoke about the need
to protect the life of unborn children.
is a vocation and I am convinced most people enter politics with a
vision and a desire to improve the world. I want to assure them of
prayers at this delicate time for the protection of life, that they may
be inspired to know how best to protect the lives of mothers and their
unborn children,” he said.
Addressing about 300 parishioners who
gathered at St John’s Cathedral in Limerick, Fr Leahy acknowledged the
challenges of his new appointment. The Limerick diocese has 120 priests,
based in 60 parishes with an estimated 170,000 parishioners.
the church is going through a period of great transition is not new
news and yet it is good news . . .Yes, we have been through a very dark
moment but God is not absent,” Fr Leahy said.
“We must do all we
can to make sure that church settings are always good places to be,
where genuine mutual love is experienced. In this regard I am pleased to
recognise the observation by the recent audit by the National Board for
Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland that the
diocese has robust measures in place in the area of child safeguarding
and protection,” he added.
Fr Leahy was ordained in 1986 and has
been a lecturer in systematic theology at St Patrick’s College in
Maynooth since 2006. He was informed of the pope’s decision by the papal
nuncio on January 1st.
It is understood announcements for the
dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin, and Derry will be made in the coming
Three other posts will also have to be filled as the bishops of
Kerry, Elphin, and Ardagh Clonmacnoise have passed retirement age.