Who does the papal nuncio consult when choosing future bishops?
The present Papal Nuncio has the task of nominating bishops for the following dioceses: Armagh, Cloyne, Limerick, Kerry, Kildare and Loughlin, Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, Derry and maybe a few more
In each case, so far, the man nominated is from outside the diocese in question.
This gives the Nuncio immense power. It means that he is determining the future of the Irish Church for years to come by choosing now who the future leaders will be.
In the old days there was a consultation process. The priests of the diocese were consulted by means of a vote. Often the popular choice was ignored by the powers-that-be in Rome. But at least there was some attempt at consultation
Who does the present Nuncio consult? I am sure he consults chosen individuals. In most cases even the priests of the diocese had never even heard of the man they were now getting as bishop. What criteria does he use in judging a man suitable to be a bishop?
In our struggle for freedom from the colonial power of past times there was an old Irish motto: no taxation without representation.
Surely we should be given some say in who our leaders are to be.
Fr. John O’Connell (retired priest, Dublin diocese)
COMMENT FROM ACP LEADERSHIP TEAM
• The ACP Leadership are grateful to John for raising this issue, because it is something that has concerned us for the past number of years. We do not wish to reflect on the qualities of the men chosen to be bishops, but when the future of the Irish Church seems to be largely shaped by one person it is a matter of concern.