New bishops ‘strengthened’ by Rome pilgrimage

Prelates overjoyed with Pope meeting

Ireland’s six newest bishops have described their recent pilgrimage to Rome as “a strengthening moment”.

Participating in the gathering of newly appointed bishops from around the world, from September 10 to 19, Bishops Brendan Leahy, William Crean, Eamon Martin, Denis Nulty, Ray Browne and soon-to-be elevated Francis Duffy joined prelates from 35 countries in discerning their new roles.


Speaking to The Irish Catholic after their return to Ireland, Bishop Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin said he had been “enthused” by the gathering, not least in meeting “prelates from Lebanon and Syria” which he described as “powerful”.

The pilgrimage included an audience with Pope Francis at which the Pontiff took time to greet each of the 115 bishop pilgrims.

That, Bishop Nulty said “was a wonderful moment to be treasured”.

Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick echoed Bishop Nulty’s joy at having met Pope Francis. Bishop Leahy told this newspaper of the moment he met with the Pontiff: “When I told him I was from the Diocese of Limerick, his eyes lit up and he said: ‘Ah Limerick! I know it. You know, I was in Ireland’.”

Of the pilgrimage, Bishop Leahy said it “gave a deeper sense of the universal Church, each area with its own particular hopes and struggles. All of that helped put our own Irish experience in context. It was a strengthening moment.”