Archbishop Eamon Martin succeeded Cardinal Sean Brady as Primate of All Ireland yesterday

Archbishop Eamon Martin succeeded Cardinal Sean Brady as Primate of All Ireland yesterday, taking over a leadership role which covers the 26 dioceses of Ireland

The new leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has pledged to lead it through a process of “humble renewal” without trying “to make sure that it dominates politics and the State”.

The 52-year-old Derry native becomes the 116th Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland in succession to St Patrick.

He said that even though people are living in a very fast world with many commitments, he believed “people still need God in their lives and they need their church. There is still a lot of hope in people that they would like a renewal of their church.” But he cautioned against over optimism.

“I am only one person. I wouldn’t want to give any impression that somehow I can work miracles for the church in Ireland. We’re living in a very different Ireland now. It is a new context and therefore we need to learn ways of bringing the Gospel.”

His appointment follows the Vatican’s acceptance of Cardinal Brady’s resignation, which was tendered in August when he turned 75.

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