The report's authors: who they are


CARDINAL TIMOTHY Dolan(62) is of Irish-American background and received his red hat from Pope Benedict last February. He is regarded as something of a rising star where this papacy is concerned.

The eldest of five children, he was born in St Louis, Missouri, and ordained in 1976.

On completion of postgraduate studies, he returned to St Louis and served in parish ministry until 1987 when he was appointed secretary at the papal nunciature in Washington.

In 1994 he was appointed rector of the North American College in Rome, the US equivalent of the Irish College in that city.

He was there until 2001 when he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of St Louis.

The following year he was appointed Archbishop of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after his predecessor there, Rembert Weakland, admitted paying a $450,000 (€355,000) settlement to a man with whom he had had a sexual relationship.

In 2009 he became Archbishop of New York.

On his appointment to New York he was described in this newspaper as “a gregarious figure with an avowed fondness for Jameson whiskey, Miller beer and cigars, the archbishop is, however, an effective enforcer of theological orthodoxy”.

In May 2010 the Vatican announced that he would lead one of the apostolic visitations to Ireland promised by the pope in his pastoral letter to Irish Catholics two months earlier.

It was decided that Archbishop Dolan would lead the visitation to Irish seminaries at Maynooth, Belfast, the Milltown Institute in Dublin and the Irish College in Rome.

Maynooth and Rome are the two major seminaries of the Irish Church.

In November 2010 Archbishop Dolan was elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

CARDINAL EDWIN O’Brien(73) is a New Yorker who was born in the Bronx.

One of three children, he was ordained in 1965. He began as chaplain to the military at West Point military academy and was also chaplain in Vietnam in the early 1970s.

Afterwards he studied in Rome before returning to the archdiocese of New York, where was private secretary to both Cardinal Terence Cooke and his successor, Cardinal John O’Connor.

He held the office of Rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he had studied in the 1970s, from 1990 to 1994, after which he was succeeded by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

In 1996 he was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of New York, later becoming Archbishop for the military services in 1997.

From September 2005 to June 2006, he was the Vatican’s co-ordinator for the visitation to seminaries and houses of priestly formation; he expressed personal opposition to admitting homosexuals to seminaries.

He was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore in Maryland in 2007 and also became a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.

This was the Vatican body to which the visitation report on the Irish College in Rome was submitted.

Last February he was elevated to the College of Cardinals in a consistory in Rome and the following month was appointed Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Last April he was appointed to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Oriental Churches and its council, Cor Unum.