Tuesday 7 May 2013

New bishop of Kildare and Leighlin appointed - Most Rev. Denis Nulty

Most Rev. Denis Nulty, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin with a first communicant

Update:  Bishops' Conference Website has just made the announcement at eleven o'clock.  See details here.

Further update:  crowd gathered at St Mary's in Drogheda being treated to tea and buns at the parish centre.  The curate, Fr Joe Campbell, read out a statement from the bishop-elect, read the gospel annunciation story and then they all prayed a decade of the rosary for Fr Denis, with much tears mingled with smiles.

And another update:  Bishop Smith issued the following statement following the appointment of Fr Denis Nulty as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin:
"I warmly welcome the announcement today that Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Denis Nulty, P.P., V.F. of St. Mary’s Parish Drogheda in the Diocese of Meath as Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

Fr. Denis brings many gifts to the task of being chief shepherd of Kildare and Leighlin.

His leaving us leaves a deep void since his contribution to the mission of faith in the Diocese went far beyond his own parish. He has at all times brought to his priestly ministry great dedication, commitment and wisdom both during his ten years in the Cathedral parish, Mullingar and since 1998 as Parish Priest of St. Mary’s. He became Ireland’s youngest parish priest at the time of his appointment to St. Mary’s, a large and expanding parish.
Fr Denis brings to his ministry intelligence and approachability, rooted in a deep faith, that was appreciated by all who crossed his path. I have every confidence that he will fulfil his new ministry with the same dedication and commitment that has characterised his priestly life.

He goes with the prayers and good wishes of all of us, priests and people."

And another:  Kildare and Leighlin wikipedia entry updated already.

And more:  former curate of Bishop-elect Nulty pays tribute.

And again:  Bishop-elect's first public statement.

Original post below:

The parish priest of St Mary's Parish, Drogheda (Diocese of Meath) has been been appointed as bishop-elect of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin by the Holy Father.  The word began to leak out yesterday when the faithful were invited to a meeting at St Mary's Church in Drogheda at 10.15am this morning.  It didn't take much of a soothsayer to figure out that someone was getting a pointy hat, the only question being "which diocese?".  There was great hope in Drogheda that Fr Nulty, the extremely popular parish priest for the last fifteen years, might be made co-adjutor for the Diocese of Meath.  But a source in Carlow revealed that morning plans were underway there as well and with no hint of anything in Mullingar it quickly became clear to all that Fr Nulty would be leaving the beauty of St Mary's in Drogheda for the horror which is Carlow Cathedral.

It's a big job for a big priest.

Hat/tip to Whispers in the Loggia for the material below:

What of the style "bishop-elect"? Bishops are elected in the Catholic church -- albeit by an electorate of one. (Except when, in 1985, a liberal cabal of gays, heretics, liturgical dancers and pastoral associates gathered at a secret country ranch in Colorado to elect Roger Mahony as Archbishop of Los Angeles.)

Bishops of the Latin rite, with the rare exceptions of places like Salzburg, where centuries-old concordats which are still in force concede the election of the bishop to the Cathedral Chapter, are chosen -- "elected" -- by the Pope "acting on the opinion of the Congregation for Bishops."  (And where that phrase doesn't appear in the letter of appointment, hide the children and the seminarians, because something crazy went down. This has been known to happen, however sparsely.)

Within four months of election -- known in the law as "canonical provision" -- a nominee who does not yet possess the episcopal character must receive ordination and take possession of his office. The latter is constituted not in the sacramental act, but in the presentation of the papal letter of appointment (which authorizes the ordination to take place "from the hands of any Catholic bishop outside the city of Rome") to the diocesan college of consultors or the chapter of canons. In the case of a new bishop who has already received episcopal ordination, the installation must take place within two months.

The ancient tradition remains that a bishop-elect takes to himself three principal ordaining bishops for his episcopal ordination. The lack of record-keeping in earlier times dictated this practice to ensure that at least one of the prelates had a valid place in the apostolic succession stretching back to the time of the apostles. Even though these difficulties have been cleared up over time, it wasn't until the post-Vatican II period at which all bishops present would participate in the ritual which would transmit the lineage to the newest among them. However, despite the participation of all in the new rite, the presence of two chief co-consecrators is maintained.

In terms of the externals, from the moment their appointments are announced, bishops-elect are entitled to the styles "Excellency" (in Ireland "Lord") and "Most Reverend." They may also immediately assume the amaranth choir cassock, zucchetto, biretta, mozzetta, rochet, the pectoral cross and the simar with appropriate piping and shoulder cape, just in case they've got any of those lying around, because you never know. (The rest -- mitre, crozier, ring -- are, of course, conferred at ordination.)

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