John Cooney Religious Affairs Correspondent A LIBERAL cleric has been chosen as the Church of Ireland's Bishop of Cashel and Ossory, in a surprise backlash against the Church's evangelical wing.
Michael Burrows (45), a Dubliner who is the Dean of Cork, was elected yesterday to succeed ex-bishop Peter Barrett by the Episcopal Electoral College which met in private in Christ Church Cathedral under the chairmanship of Archbishop John Neill.
Bishop Ken Clarke of Kilmore, a staunch evangelical from Co Down, had emerged as the favourite for the post which also includes the dioceses of Waterford, Lismore, Ferns and Leighlin, a huge church.
Last night from Cork, where he was heading for a wedding service, Bishop-elect Burrows said he was honoured to be elected.
"I will try to do my best."
The bishop-elect faces the task of restoring morale after the devastating impact of his predecessor's abrupt resignation two months ago which came after an affair with a married woman which led to his separating from his wife and departure to London.
A scholar of Trinity College, Bishop-elect Burrows is an historian and writer. He took part in ecumenical talks with the Lutherans which resulted in the Poorvo Common Statement in 1993.
In 1998 he was appointed Irish representative to the Anglican Consultative Council. He has been Dean of Cork since 2002, based at the Cathedral Church of St Fin Barre.