THE PARISH priest of Tullow, Msgr Brendan Byrne, has taken over as caretaker of the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin following the acceptance by Pope Benedict XVI last week of Bishop Jim Moriarty's resignation.
Msgr Byrne, inset, was elected the new apostolic administrator after an advisory group of priests met on Sunday.
Bishop Moriarty, above, had his resignation formally accepted in Rome on Thursday but he has yet to make an announcement about his plans for the future, and whether or not he will continue to live in Carlow.
The Papal Nuncio will now began consultations with different priests and people in the diocese and the information gathered will be used in the appointment of the next bishop. BISHOP James Moriarty was born in Dublin in 1937, the eldest son of Michael and Catherine Moriarty. From a medical family, his siblings, sister Ann and brothers Aidan, Dr Michael and Prof Denis, have all worked in healthcare at Dublin hospitals.
Bishop Moriarty was educated at Catholic University School, Lower Leeson Street; Holy Cross College, Clonliffe; University College, Dublin; and St Patrick's College, Maynooth. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Dublin in 1961 and was chaplain in UCD from 1968 to 1979.
He was the first parish priest of Deansrath, near Clondalkin, from 1983 to 1989, and parish priest of Donaghmede from 1989 to 1991. In the late 1980s, he was elected chairman of the Dublin Diocesan Council of Priests.
In September 1991, he was ordained Titular Bishop of Bononia and Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin with responsibility for the deaneries of Fingal South East, Fingal South West and Howth.
He was chairman of the National Committee of Diocesan Youth Directors in which role he spoke at the 2002 World Youth Day celebrations in Toronto which were attended by Pope John Paul II.
In June 2002, he was appointed Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin and installed at Carlow Cathedral on August 31, 2002. He succeeded the late Bishop Laurence Ryan who submitted his resignation as Bishop of Kildare Leighlin on health grounds to Pope John Paul II in July 2001.
Bishop Moriarty has been chairman of the Irish Bishops' Conference Department of Worship, Pastoral Renewal and Faith Development and chairman of the Bishops' Commission for Pastoral Renewal, as well as chairman of the commission's sub-group on parish life.
He was formerly chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Renewal and was also president of the Episcopal Commission for Social Welfare.