Sunday, March 12, 2017

Bishop Doran and ACP say farewell to Charles Brown

The bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran pays tribute to the departing papal nuncio Charles Brown.

It's always interesting how people have different views and opinions on people.

Even accepting how we all have our own views on people, ideas, beliefs, customs etc and how important it is to be respectful, is this not ever so sycophantic. Good too to be diplomatic, but....
And why upper case 'Episcopal appointments'?

'His Excellency' and then an abbreviation for March.

In the midst of a church so shaken and damaged does a press release such as this add one iota to the good name of the Catholic Church in Ireland?

Below the bishop's press release is a statement from the ACP.

Bishop Kevin Doran pays tribute to His Excellency, Archbishop Charles J Brown
09. MAR, 2017

Since his arrival in Ireland as Apostolic Nuncio in January 2012, Archbishop Charles J Brown has always been clearly and recognisably the representative of the Holy Father, first Pope Benedict XVI and then Pope Francis.  He came among us as a diplomat, at a time when diplomacy was really needed, but he came with the heart of a pastor.  Over the past five years, he has challenged us and encouraged us in equal measure.

I first met Archbishop Brown when he came to visit the staff at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress office, shortly after his appointment to Ireland.  During that busy period he was very supportive to us and was ready to do anything he could to help.  In much the same way, around the time of my appointment as a bishop, I found him very approachable and encouraging.  He has visited the Diocese of Elphin on five or six occasions over the past three years and always seemed to have plenty of time to meet people, young and old alike.

As many people will be aware, Archbishop Brown had to devote a significant amount of energy to the renewal of the Episcopal Conference.  In the past five years, eleven Episcopal appointments have been made in Ireland and the process is under way for seven more.  This work will have to be completed on someone else’s watch, but that is the nature of the Church.  As Saint Paul says, “I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow”.

While I am sorry that Archbishop Brown will soon be leaving us, I am delighted that the Catholics of Albania, who have suffered so much in the past, will have him among them as the personal representative of Pope Francis.  I wish him every blessing in his new mission and hope that he will occasionally return to visit us.

+Kevin Doran


Bishop Kevin Doran is Bishop of Elphin.                                                    
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678

Statement from the Association of Catholic Priests
on the Apostolic Nuncio’s new appointment

The Association of Catholic Priests (ACP), in responding to the announcement that the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, has been transferred to Albania, wish him well in his new appointment.

The ACP has been trenchant in its criticisms of the policies Archbishop Brown pursued, particularly in relation to the choice of bishops during his years in Ireland as inadequate to the needs of our time, at odds with the expectations of people and priests, and out of sync with the new church dispensation ushered in by the election of Pope Francis. However, we accept that, with his background and training, his lack of understanding of the Irish Church and an appreciation of our culture, Archbishop Brown was ill-equipped to respond to the needs of the Irish Church.

We have to say too that we found it frustrating and disappointing that, during his years here, he refused to meet us to discuss our concerns. However, we recognise that he worked within a system of protocols and procedures in which he felt obliged to confine himself and, though we believe he was fundamentally mistaken in his views, we hold no personal rancour in his regard.

We pray God’s blessing on him in his new appointment and in his future life.

Brendan Hoban
Roy Donovan
Gerry O’Connor
Tim Hazelwood 

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