Martin stresses theme of renewal for Armagh role

Cardinal Seán Brady believed likely to stand down before August of next year

Cardinal Seán Brady lays his hands on Msgr Eamon Martin during the ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh at St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker

Cardinal Seán Brady lays his hands on Msgr Eamon Martin during the ordination of the Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh at St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker

Mon, Apr 22, 2013, 06:00

The new Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin (51) said yesterday his motto would be Cantate Domino canticum novum (Sing a new song to the Lord). It “suggests ‘renewal’. It calls on us to seek fresh ways of presenting the message of the gospel.”

He recalled how when his appointment was announced last January, he had said then “we live in a time of change, challenge and opportunity, and I suggested that this is a good time, as the psalms say, to ‘sing a new song to the Lord’.”

As coadjutor in Armagh, Dr Martin has an automatic right to succeed Cardinal Seán Brady as archbishop of Armagh.

Cardinal Brady is entitled to remain on as archbishop of Armagh until August 2014 when he reaches 75 and must then submit a letter of resignation to the Vatican. It is thought likely he will stand down before then. He is a cardinal for life with voting rights at a conclave until August 2019, when he will be 80.

In his homily at St Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday, Dr Brady noted how the words of Archbishop Martin’s motto evoked “the memory of another shepherd. King David was the young shepherd, called by God, to become the leader of his people through some of the most difficult spiritual, economic and political times in Israel’s history.”

Archbishop Martin, in his various roles to date, had “generously and tirelessly placed your great gifts of leadership and administration at the service of the Gospel and the people to whom you were sent . . . Today the Lord calls you to a new place and different pasture,” he said.