Ireland’s longest-serving diocesan bishop has hailed the appointment of his successor as “a new beginning” for the Diocese of Cork and Ross.
Bishop John Buckley, who has headed the Diocese of Cork and Ross since 1998, welcomed the announcement that Dublin archdiocesan chancellor Fr Fintan Gavin [pictured] will succeed him as Bishop of Cork, saying that “it is a great honour for a Dublin man to be promoted to the real capital of Cork!”
Speaking in Cork’s Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Bishop-elect Gavin said it was difficult to express the “shock and surprise” he felt when Papal Nuncio Archbishop Jude Okolo told him of Pope Francis’ wish that he should succeed Dr Buckley.
The bishop-elect, who has served in a range of Dublin parishes since his ordination in 1991, said he had been “very happily serving the Church as an ordinary priest” but that he was “very excited” by the challenge.
“I look forward to supporting and being enriched by the community spirit here and together in collaborative ministry, getting to know you as I visit and meet and engage with you in the parishes across the diocese,” he said, adding: “I am conscious of those who have felt let down by the Church and are just ‘hanging in there’. I encourage you not to give up.”