New Nuncio to Ireland?

From CNA:

New York priest tipped as next Irish Nuncio

Vatican City, Nov 25, 2011 / 02:32 pm (CNA).- Monsignor Charles Brown, a 52 year-old New York priest who currently works in the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is rumored to become the Pope’s next apostolic nuncio to Ireland.

“If that rumor is true I’d say hallelujah,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York told CNA Nov. 24.  [By an odd coincidence, Archbp. Dolan was one of the “visitors” to Ireland.]

“What a good guy he is,” the archbishop added. “He’s a young, vibrant, very theologically savvy but pastorally sensitive guy.” [I have known Msgr. Brown for a long time.  Great fellow.  Very smart.  Very faithful.  Well-known by Pope Benedict.]


The news of Msgr. Brown’s possible appointment emerged earlier this week following a meeting of the Irish cabinet in Dublin where the Holy See’s nomination for a nuncio was discussed and approved. If appointed, Msgr. Brown would replace Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza who was reassigned to the Czech Republic in September.

It is widely recognized that relations between the Holy See and Ireland are currently at their lowest point since the two states established diplomatic relations in 1929.

Earlier this month, Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore announced the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See after 82 years. His claim that the decision was taken solely on economic grounds was met with skepticism by many leading Irish Catholics.  [You’ve all heard my solution.]


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Maltese says:

    Query: if Vatican II had never happened would we have had such scandals in the U.S., Ireland and elsewhere? Sure we would have had scandals, but not to the scope and scale that we’ve had. How can anyone with a sound mind think that Vatican II was a “new springtime” for the Church? Every poll, every indicator points to it being an absolute disaster for the Church (and therefore the World).

    That said, Ireland is a very special land. While studying at Trinity College, I took some time to drive the backroads, listening to music such as Caoineadh na Maighdine (The Blessed Virgin’s Keening) by the amazing (and too little appreciated) artist, Norin Ni Riain.

    I popped a tire in rural Ireland, and was approached by two boys speaking Gaelic! Realizing I was American, they spoke in English, and directed me to a tire-shop close-by. I also found a small chapel, long abandoned and in the woods with no roof (probably 500+ years old), but with its altar intact, and there I prayed. One need only go the Achill Island with its 1,500 year Catholic heritage or climb Cough Patrick to understand how special, and Catholic, Ireland is.

    Ironically, it was the European Union and the “Irish Tiger” that started to change her. She gained new roads (a good thing), but started to lose her churches to mammon and greed.

    When one focusses too much on mammon, one can lose focus on God. I pray Ireland can acquire a proper balance, and not lose her faith completely as most of Europe has…

  2. Very, very interesting.

  3. Dr. Peters: Ain’t it, though? I can think of 50 reasons why the Secretariat of State or the Irish themselves might object to the appointment. They make me think that this is a case of extreme confidence on the part of the Holy Father as well as his determination to clean up many aspects of the Irish situation. Consider, for example, that roughly a quarter of the sees of Ireland are vacant.

  4. Sorbonnetoga says:

    The Labour Party would object to a tough savvy individual but that’s because they’re the sort that cry foul when their opponent actually fights back. (Part of this current carry-on is probably revenge for the Pro-Life Campaign telling the truth so effectively about Labour’s pro-abortion plans.) Bear in mind that an Irish-American from the 33rd county (eastern seaboard of the US) will be much more easily accepted than an Italian. It looks like a very good move on the part of the Holy See.

  5. Maltese says:

    Isn’t it ironic that it’s Alan Shattler who is now part of the Cabinet, but as Justice Minister really began to gun after the Church?

  6. Andrew says:

    Charlie Brown is one of the nicest Americans in the Curia. Good looking, polite, deeply spiritual, orthodox, yet at the same time having a marvelous pastoral manner. Fun to watch riding his vespa! (Because I could never master riding a bicycle).

    For years he has been stationed at the CDF in the Vatican, and it has been a pleasure for me to catch up with him in recent visits to Rome.

    He is the chaplain emeritus to FOCUS, a group that promotes right teaching on Catholic campuses across the USA.

    Obviously with the deteriorating situation between Ireland and the Vatican, and the cancellation of its embassy there, a very special person is needed to get through the minefield of errors and aberrations, on a number of levels.

    You have your man in Msgr Charles Brown. I will really miss him not being in Rome, but I agree they had to scratch deep into the surface, to find the right person for this job.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Archbishop Dolan (who shepherds Charlie’s home diocese in New York) recommended him for this post, as the archbishop is also Apostolic Visitor investigating the serious ecclesial problems in recent years, that have taken place in Ireland.

  7. Tom Ryan says:

    I know that Ireland holds a special place in the Holy Father’s heart and remember well the way he beamed and laughed on the 3rd floor of the Holy Office when, after an hour together, he finally asked me my name.

  8. Prof. Basto says:

    CONFIRMED: The appointment was made public today! The Bulletin states:


    Il Santo Padre ha nominato Nunzio Apostolico in Irlanda il Mons. Charles John Brown, Officiale della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, elevandolo in pari tempo alla sede titolare di Aquileia, con dignità di Arcivescovo. Mons. Charles John Brown Mons. Charles John Brown
    Il Mons. Charles John Brown è nato a New York il 13 ottobre 1959.
    Ha compiuto i seguenti studi accademici: B.A. (Storia), Università di Notre Dame, Indiana (USA); M.A. (Teologia), Università di Oxford (Inghilterra); M.A. (Studi Medievali), Università di Toronto (Canada); M. Div. Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers (USA); S.T.L. e S.T.D. (Teologia Sacramentale), Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo (Roma).
    È stato ordinato sacerdote il 13 maggio 1989, nella Cattedrale di San Patrizio a New York, per l’Arcidiocesi di New York.
    Dal 1989 al 1991 è stato Vicario parrocchiale presso la parrocchia di San Brendan nel quartiere del Bronx, New York.
    Dal 1994 è Officiale della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede.
    È stato nominato Cappellano di Sua Santità il 6 maggio 2000.
    È stato nominato Segretario Aggiunto della Commissione Teologica Internazionale nel settembre 2009.

  9. cumecclesia says:

    Msgr. Brown is a priest of my Archdiocese and while studying in Rome as a college student, he was so kind as to take an active interest in my discernment of a vocation and treated me to dinner and good conversation on two occasions. He is a holy priest, an alumnus of Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie and is very close with the Missionaries of Charity–often leading retreats for them. The Holy Father chose well. May God bless Msgr. Brown in his important mission to Ireland!

Comments are closed.