Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fellow churchmen salute intelligence, knowledge and ability

CHURCH TRIBUTES : Compliments were paid to Msgr Eamon Martin by his peers and by other church leaders yesterday as he was named Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh.

Retired bishop of Derry Edward Daly said he joined with others in praying “that he will give inspiring leadership and bring a new vitality and hope to the Irish church at this challenging time”.

Over the past 25 years, he had fulfilled “with outstanding ability” various major responsibilities in the Derry diocese and the Irish Episcopal Conference.

“He is highly intelligent, knowledgeable and articulate, and an excellent communicator of God’s word,” the bishop added.

Fellow bishop emeritus Séamus Hegarty praised his “dedicated work in the field of education”, both as a teacher and as president of Saint Columb’s College, Derry.

The Church of Ireland issued messages of support, with Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson complimenting “his desire to work with those of us who are members of other Christian traditions”.

He said: “I would also like to record my appreciation of my longstanding personal friendship with Cardinal Brady and thank him for all the good things that he has contributed to the relationship between churches in Ireland.”

Dialogue 

Presbyterian moderator Roy Patton similarly welcomed Msgr Martin’s comments stating “that as church leaders we must continue in dialogue and working together for the good of all”.

Fr Godfrey O’Donnell, president of the Irish Council of Churches, which represents 14 denominations, said: “It is fitting that this appointment is announced on the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.”

He added that there was still “much that needs to be done to address the divisions and hurt in our society ...”

The Catholic Church’s National Board for Safeguarding Children also welcomed the appointment, saying it wished Msgr Martin “every grace and blessing in embarking on this most important undertaking in the church”.

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