Cardinal Ouellet named as papal legate


CHURCH LEADERS:THE CATHOLIC Primate Cardinal Seán Brady and Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin have warmly welcomed the announcement that Cardinal Marc Ouellet (69) has been appointed papal legate for the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next June.

Former Archbishop of Quebec and primate of Canada, Cardinal Ouellet is currently prefect of the Vatican’s congregation for bishops and president of its commission for Latin America.

As papal legate, he will be special envoy of the pope at the congress. His principal public roles will include presiding at the opening Mass on June 10th at the RDS and the concluding Mass in Croke Park on June 17th. He will also open a theology symposium in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from June 6th to 9th. He led the penitential liturgy at the Towards Healing conference in Rome’s Gregorian University last February.

Cardinal Brady recalled that Cardinal Ouellet hosted “an outstanding [Eucharistic] congress” at Quebec in 2008. Dr Martin said he was “particularly pleased” that Cardinal Ouellet was to be the papal legate to the congress. He said that as Archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Ouellet “had to face a very similar social and pastoral context to that which we have in Dublin, where traditional Catholicism was challenged by a rapid secularisation. He was a strong voice for the church in that changing situation.”

He recalled how their personal contacts “go back to our days as student priests in Rome and to Cardinal Ouellet’s visits to Geneva on ecumenical business, where as Apostolic Nuncio and Vatican Representative at the United Nations Office, I hosted him at the Holy See Mission in Geneva.”

Dr Martin has also asked all parishes and church organisations in Dublin to intensify spiritual and pastoral preparation for the congress.

At the Easter vigil in the Pro- Cathedral in Dublin on Saturday night, he said: “Faith can never be privatised. Where believers, whether lay or cleric, betray their calling to foster harmony, truthfulness and integrity in their own lives and in public life, they betray resurrection, they betray and damage their church, they betray and damage human dignity and community.”

The attendance included President Higgins and the papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown.