New bishop criticises legislation in first address
THE newly announced Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin made an outspoken attack on plans to legislate for abortion in his first address.
Fr Denis Nulty said: "The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of life is always morally wrong."
The Co Meath parish priest called for the best medical and psychiatric care to be made available during pregnancy to mothers "when the lives of two persons – the life of the unborn and the life of the mother – are at stake".
As he accepted his appointment by Pope Francis, the new bishop addressed abortion, the economy and touched upon the issue of clerical sex abuse.
He acknowledged the concerns of those "living in negative equity in the commuter belt; those coping with the stress of the daily treadmill; those out of work searching for a deeper appreciation of their self-worth and dignity; farmers coping with the fodder crisis and late spring".
He said he was also conscious of those who had been wounded by the church and the terrible sins of individuals who "inflicted pain and destruction on too many".
Fr Nulty (50) is currently the parish priest of St Mary's in Drogheda, Co Louth, and has 25 years of pastoral experience.
At the time of his appointment to Drogheda, he was the youngest parish priest in the country. Now the bishop-elect will become the youngest bishop in the Irish Church.
Kildare and Leighlin has been waiting for three years for a replacement for Bishop Jim Moriarty, who stepped down in April 2010 following criticism of him in the Murphy Report.
The Murphy Report said Bishop Moriarty had failed to challenge the prevailing culture in the archdiocese of Dublin when he was an auxiliary bishop there.
Kildare and Leighlin's administrator Monsignor Brendan Byrne described the news as "long-awaited", while Cardinal Sean Brady paid tribute to Father Nulty's new diocese as "a place of vibrant faith today".