Irish resent Vatican's 'politically insensitive' appointment of cardinal
There has been considerable negative reaction to the appointment to the College of Cardinals of the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Desmond Connell, and the overlooking of Dr Sean Daly, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland.
The move breaks with tradition, and is being perceived as Vatican acceptance of the political partition of Ireland.
Fr Oliver Rafferty SJ, professor of ecclesiastical history at St Patrick's College Maynooth, told The Irish Times that "it was an extraordinary decision not to make Archbishop Seán Brady a cardinal" and to appoint instead a cardinal "in the relative security of Dublin". He said it indicated "a lack of political sensitivity on the part of the Vatican, especially as regards the current state of the peace process".
He said that Archbishop Connell was regarded by Rome as a 'very worthy' person who more closely reflected the prevailing orthodoxy.
Describing the appointment as a 'worrying phenomenon', Fr Raggerty said the Catholic Church had in effect removed the prestige and status of Armagh by moving the appointment to Dublin. No other primatial See in Europe had been denied a cardinal at its head, he said, even though it had been settled 900 years ago that Armagh was the primatial See on the Irish island. The appointment "added to the complexity of the political division" of Ireland, he said.
It was "as if Rome was saying it is not really concerned with the political issue of a divided Ireland, despite all that has happened over the past 30 years, especially as regards the suffering of Catholics (in the North)".