KERRY had a special visitor on Tuesday, with Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Seán Brady visiting the county for the first time in an official capacity.
The Primate of All Ireland was fulfilling an invitation, sent by Bishop Bill Murphy, to address this week's Kerry Diocesan clergy assembly. Held at The Malton in Killarney, the annual three-day event is an opportunity for upskilling and prayer for local clergy.
Addressing local media, the primate said his message was one of hope.
"These are an important few days in the life of the clergy of Kerry. I was privileged to address them and I took my topic as hope, especially in these times of despair," Cardinal Brady stated.
"The cardinal was asked to speak on the Church in contemporary Ireland and that is why he addressed the issue of hope," director of communications Mary Fagan stated.
Referring to the current 'Year of Vocation', the cardinal stated that we all have a role to play.
"The most important thing is to remember that the task of announcing the Good News rests not just with the Popes, the cardinals, the bishops, priests and religious but to everyone who is baptised. That's very important.
"That task relies on each and every person baptised to announce the Good News. So, therefore, the challenge to the Church is to empower people to do that," he stated.
Asked about Bishop Magee, a former secretary to Pope John Paul II, who has refused to stand down following the findings of the controversial Cloyne Report, the cardinal said he had his full support.
"I have known John Magee for almost 50 years," he stated.
"I've always found him to be a reliable, dependable person and, at this stage, I know that trust has been damaged but trust can be restored. It can be built up, maybe earned by steps, by genuine steps that address the issue and address the concerns of victims who must always be our first concern."
The cardinal also addressed a public meeting at the Killarney hotel last night.