Tuesday 21 May 2019

'Confident' new bishop takes charge of scandal-hit diocese

John Cooney

MICHAEL Burrows, the Dean of Cork, was consecrated Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel and Ossory yesterday by Archbishop of Dublin John Neill in Christ Church Cathedral.

Aged 44, the Dublin-born Burrows succeeds Peter Barrett, who resigned suddenly as bishop six months ago after being involved in an affair with a Catholic married woman. No reference was made to ex-bishop Barrett by name, nor to the scandal that shocked the united dioceses - which also include Waterford, Lismore, Ferns and Leighlin. But mention was made of "a horrible half-year for all concerned".

The emphasis placed by the preacher, Archdeacon of Cork Robin White, was on the future challenges for the new bishop, who faced "an unexpected and demanding call for a new ministry". Archdeacon White highlighted Bishop Burrows' qualities as a historian, an ecumenist, a liturgist, and a pastor.

Businessman

But Archdeacon White also identified Bishop Burrows as "a consummate businessman" and "a confident administrator".

"In an age of litigation, of compliance issues in all sorts of fields, the bishop is responsible for safety of those who look to him for authority," the Archdeacon noted. "By this I mean not just clergy and those who serve on the councils of the church. I mean also teachers and those who serve on boards of management. I mean both youth workers and young people."

Archdeacon White went on to predict that the new bishop would play an important role in the Anglican Communion's worldwide efforts to avert a schism over gay bishops.

"At a time when the very existence of the Anglican Communion as we have known it is under threat from dislocating forces and questions, it is good that the new bishop will be already up to speed."

Present at the consecration were Bishop Burrows' wife, Claire, and his children, Henry, Andrew, Grainne and James.

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