Vatican appoints 'doctrine of faith' priest as papal nuncio to Ireland

 

A US PRIEST who has worked at the Vatican’s Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith since 1994 is to be the new papal nuncio to Ireland, The Irish Timeshas learned.

The Vatican nominated New Yorker Msgr Charles J Brown for the role.

The nomination was approved by the Government, as per the usual diplomatic procedure, at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Although the Holy See’s senior spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, had no comment to make last night, Vatican insiders confirmed the appointment.

It is standard Holy See practice not to confirm or deny appointment rumours until such time as the nomination has been officially published by the secretary of state.

Several Vatican insiders last night praised the appointment, pointing out Msgr Brown was a savvy communicator who comes across, according to one source, as “intelligent, lucid and clear”, even if he reportedly has no particular liking for the media.

His appointment is unusual, by Holy See standards, in that he does not come from the Vatican’s diplomatic corps.

Given the delicacy of the role of papal nuncio in contemporary Ireland, the Holy See decided the new nuncio would ideally be both a native English speaker and a relatively young ambassador. However, there are few such candidates in the ranks of Vatican diplomats, so the Vatican turned to the Congregation For the Doctrine of The Faith (CDF).

Most commentators argue his CDF experience will prove to be a huge advantage in Ireland given the CDF (formerly known as the Holy Office) is the Vatican department which has dealt directly with the clerical sex abuse crisis.