SEAN Brady has become the 11th Irish resident archbishop -- and the first Cavan man -- to be created a Prince of the Universal Church.
The 68-year-old Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland will be created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI at a Public Consistory, which is being held inside St Peter's Basilica.
His promotion is Papal recognition of his honesty in cleaning up the clerical child sex abuse scandals, as well as for his stout defence of the Catholic faith in the most difficult period for the Irish Church since the Penal Days.
He is widely seen as representing the pulse of a Catholic revival in Ireland, and is also being rewarded for his role in the peace process in the North.
Archbishop Brady will be one of 23 prelates, from 14 countries and four continents, to kneel in front of the German Pontiff, who will first place a zucchetto -- a skull cap -- and then a red biretta, on each of their heads.
The Irish Primate, who will be ninth in line to greet the Pope, will be told by the Pontiff the name of the Roman Church assigned to his charge.
After receiving his Red Hat, Cardinal Brady will walk over to greet his fellow members of the College of Cardinals, among them his predecessor in Armagh, Cardinal Cahal Daly (90) and the former Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell (81).
This will be the first time that Ireland has three cardinals at the one time, though Cardinals Daly and Connell are no longer eligible to vote in the next conclave to elect a Pope.
Today, Cardinal Brady will concelebrate Mass with the Pope, and on Monday will have an audience with the him.
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