“So if that rumor is true, then praised be Jesus Christ!”
The news of Msgr. Brown’s possible appointment emerged earlier this week following a meeting of the Irish cabinet in Dublin where the Holy See’s nomination for a nuncio was discussed and approved. If appointed, Msgr. Brown would replace Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza who was reassigned to the Czech Republic in September.
It is widely recognized that relations between the Holy See and Ireland are currently at their lowest point since the two states established diplomatic relations in 1929.
Earlier this month, Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore announced the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See after 82 years. His claim that the decision was taken solely on economic grounds was met with skepticism by many leading Irish Catholics.
The decision to close the embassy followed harsh words spoken against the Catholic Church in July by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in the Dublin parliament. Prime Minister Kenny accused the Vatican of attempting to “frustrate an inquiry” into clerical abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne, County Cork.
The Vatican rejected this accusation and a spokesperson for the Prime Minister later confirmed that he had not been referring to any specific incident. Prime Minister Kenny has yet to withdraw his remarks or issue an apology.