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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 09:17 GMT
Brady 'honoured' by cardinal role
Irish President  Mary McAleese with Cardinal Sean Brady
Irish President Mary McAleese travelled to Rome to congratulate the new cardinal
The head of the Catholic church in Ireland has said he believes his new role as cardinal carries a great deal of responsibility.

Sean Brady was among 24 new cardinals to be created by Pope Benedict XVI at the special Consistory on Saturday.

"The Holy Father emphasised that it is a call to serve and a call to responsibility," Cardinal Brady said.

"It a great honour, but it is also a call to suffer, if necessary, for the truth."

The Archbishop of Armagh will also be assigned a Roman church as an honorary post.

Aged 68, Cardinal Brady will be able to elect the next pope.

"I am honoured that Pope Benedict XVI has created me a cardinal," he said.

"I hope that people in Ireland will see in it an expression of our Holy Father's particular regard and affection for them and for the Church in Ireland."

Meanwhile, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who attended Saturday's ceremony, has said he hoped Northern Ireland would get its first Papal visit in the near future.

"I have no doubt for one minute that the prospect of a visit by Pope Benedict would have been raised in Cardinal Brady's conversations with the Holy Father over the course of this weekend," he said.

Dr Brady was made Primate of All Ireland in October 1996, but now as a member of the College of Cardinals he will assist the pope in the governance of the church.


The additional cardinals will bring the total to 202 members. But Dr Brady will be one of only 121 members under the age of 80 who are allowed to vote.

Ireland will now have three cardinals for the first time in its history, with Cardinal Cathal Daly and Cardinal Desmond Connell already in the roles, but unable to vote due to their age.

Dr Brady was born in 1939 at Drumcalpin, near Laragh in County Cavan, and after an early education in the local school he went to St Patrick's College, Cavan.

He then attended St Patrick's College, Maynooth and the Irish College in Rome.

He was ordained in February 1964 and after post-graduate studies in canon law in Rome he returned to teach at St Patrick's, Cavan, in 1967.

In 1980, he was appointed vice-rector of the Irish College in Rome and became rector in 1987. He remained there until 1993 when he was appointed parish priest of Castletara, Ballyhaise, County Cavan.

In February 1995 he was ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh and a year and a half later he became Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland October 1996.

Julian O'Neill reports from Rome

Brady set for cardinal ceremony
24 Nov 07 |  Northern Ireland
Pope 'may visit Northern Ireland'
19 Oct 07 |  Northern Ireland

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