Pope Francis to be invited to Ireland when ‘appropriate occasion occurs’

Cardinal Brady says new pope told his electors ‘may God forgive you’ after decisive vote

Cardinal Sean Brady arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall in the Vatican earlier this month. Photograph:  Max Rossi/Reuters.

Cardinal Sean Brady arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall in the Vatican earlier this month. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters.

Thu, Mar 14, 2013, 18:42

The Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady has said the Irish bishops plan to invite Pope Francis to Ireland “when an appropraite occasion occurs.”

He also said that at the conclusion of supper with cardinal electors in St Peter’s last night the new pope turned to his former colleagues as he was leaving and said “may God forgive you .”

Cardinal Brady was speaking at a post conclave press conference in Rome’s Irish College this afternoon.

He was asked whether he would be inviting the new Pope to Ireland and replied “I didn’t get round to asking him yesterday evening but we will be inviting him to Ireland, I’m sure of that, when an appropriate occasion occurs.”

Cardinal Brady noted how one of the links between Ireland and Argentina was Admiral Wiliam Browne “the founder of the Argentinian navy. He’s a Co Mayo man, from Foxford in Co Mayo.”

For his own part Cardinal Brady didn’t know Pope Francis very well, he said, but noted “his simple style of life, his emphasis on the poor and his witness to heroic practical love...”

He said “the papacy has crossed the Atlantic to the New World for the first time”, with the name Pope Francis “being a statement in itself.”

It was a reference to the patron saint of Italy Francis of Assisi, who was committed to the poor and church reform and the great Jesuit saint Francis Xavier who set about bringing the faith to the East.

Cardinal Brady recalled how yesterday it as “very moving as the votes were called ‘Bergoglio, Bergoglio, Bergoglio, until the magic number was reached and there was applause.”

When Francis accepted all the cardinal electors went to the Pauline chapel to pray. “Then his first action was to go to a cardinal who is in a wheelchair. It was very touching.”

He recalled how it was said during the meetings of cardinals before the conclave that what required in a new pope was “a man who can not only enlighten the mind b ut also set hearts on fire by his witness to practical Christian love, especially love for the poor.”

Cardinal Brady continued “....and thanks be to God I think that is what we have received. I’m quite confident of that.”