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New apostolic nuncio reflects on challenges in Ireland

January 12, 2012

Archbishop Charles Brown, the newly installed apostolic nuncio in Dublin, reflects on the challenges facing him in a conversation with the Irish Times.

The American-born archbishop reminds his interviewer that his task is not to reform the Irish Church—that job is for the Irish bishops—but to serve as a line of communication between Ireland and the Vatican. Having worked since 1994 at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which until 2004 was led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he has the confidence of the current Pontiff. “I know him , he knows me,” he says. “I worked with him closely for 10 years, I travelled with him, I worked hard for him. He trusts me, for better or for worse.”

Archbishop Brown says that during his tenure at the CDF, he was not directly involved in handling the many sex-abuse cases that came through that Vatican office. But he was actively involved in the general discussions of that topic, so he feels somewhat prepared to tackle the subject in Ireland. Still he admits that he feels he has a lot to learn about the country.


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