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Tuesday 23 September 2014

New bishop hits out at do-nothing politicians

Published 07/04/2014 | 02:30

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The new Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown, is installed at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry with Archbishop Eamon Martin and Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland. Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

THE new Catholic Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, has been officially installed in his role.

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He used the opportunity to comment on the failure of the Northern Assembly "to focus on delivering the reforms that people need".

"As Christians of various traditions, we have an opportunity and a duty to be sources of hope, especially when political sclerosis seems to have afflicted our body politic," he said in his homily during Mass in St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry yesterday.

"I know that many politicians are embarrassed at the failure of the NI Assembly to focus on delivering the reforms that people need.

"But, as churches, we cannot merely criticise them.

"We have the chance to play the part of critical friends, speaking on behalf of the many who feel that human needs are being neglected in the service of political priorities.

"There is no more room in society for self-referential politics than there is for a church that falls prey to ecclesial introversion."

He was appointed by Pope Francis in February, but his tenure began yesterday.

Dr McKeown, who will celebrate his 64th birthday next week, is a former auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Down and Connor. He takes over a post which had been vacant since 2011 when Bishop Seamus Hegarty retired due to ill-health.

The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, also took part in the installation ceremony yesterday.

Irish Independent

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