Archbishop Martin said, “I was very sorry to hear of the death of Cardinal Desmond Connell today. Just yesterday we prayed for him at the spring meeting of the Standing Committee of the Bishops’ Conference. Although I did not know him personally, I understand he was a gentle and holy priest. His distinguished contributions as an academic, scholar and writer are well documented. Cardinal Connell was generous with his God-given gifts during his sixty-six years of ministry, including as Professor of Philosophy in UCD, and subsequently as Archbishop of Dublin. Although his time as archbishop coincided with one of the most challenging periods in the recent history of the Church in Ireland, he remained dedicated to his priestly and episcopal calling. Regarding the failures on his part in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse, he himself asked for forgiveness from those who had been ‘so shamefully harmed’, and said, ‘I express without reservation my bitter regret’.
“I wish to pay tribute to his contribution to the Irish Catholic
Bishops’ Conference between 1988 and 2004 in his role as vice-president;
as a member of the Commission for Doctrine, and of the Theology
Commission; as chair of the Commission for Universities; as a member of
the Commission on Ecumenism; as a member of the Committee for European
Affairs and as a member of the Inter-Church Committee.
“At this sad time for Cardinal Connell’s family, and for the
Archdiocese of Dublin, I invite the faithful to pray for repose of
Cardinal Connell’s soul. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal”.