More dioceses to merge but slowly, said Apostolic Nuncio

More dioceses to merge but slowly, said Apostolic Nuncio Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor

The Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor said changes to the structure of Irish dioceses will keep happening “little by little with consultation in the measure that is possible because it’s not a referendum.”

He said he personally goes to the dioceses that are most likely to be next and meets “some of the priests at least, some of the faithful that are engaged in the pastoral work in order to listen to what they say and what they have to suggest.”

With the information given by the priests and laypeople, the nuncio gets together with bishops to consider the requests and suggestions. “We make a judgment, we send to Rome, Rome study and Rome decide. That is the process.”

The changes in the Irish Church will keep happening, he said adding,  “Not immediately, it is step by step but it will continue.”

The Nuncio was speaking on Monday after the unveiling of a plaque at the Ashtown Castle in Phoenix Park, where the first Holy See Embassy was located. Marking the site of the first Apostolic Nunciature is very important, “in order to recover the memory of this, this fact that this was the area of the ancient Nunciature,” the Nuncio told The Irish Catholic.

“The first Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paschal Robinson, came to take up residence here at the Nunciature in the Phoenix Park in January 1930. In five years’ time we will be celebrating the centenary of this highly eloquent diplomatic gesture,” the nuncio said.

“That was a kind of recognition of the government at that time,” he continued. “the first recognising the Irish Free State in 1929”. And added, “The Holy See established relations with Ireland, because Ireland has been always in the mind of Rome, was one of the pastoral worries of the Popes.”