limerick’s long wait for a successor to Dr Donal Murray as Bishop of Limerick could soon be over with hope rising that the new man could be installed by the spring.
This is the third Christmas season to pass without a bishop in place following Dr Murray’s resignation in December 2009.
Part of the reason for the delay was the Vatican’s intention to reform the Irish Church in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandals. An apostolic visitation from Rome has concluded its work and it had been expected they would reduce the number of dioceses in Ireland through amalgamation. But sources this week said the signs were that the Diocese of Limerick would survive in tact.
“We hear that Limerick, as one of the biggest dioceses in the country and with a major city at its centre, will not be changed although there might be changes in more rural dioceses,” he said.
“We also hope to hear news on the bishop early in the new year, hopefully by February or March. The situation where the diocese has had no leader has gone on far too long.”
A shortlist of Limerick clerics has been sent to the Vatican for consideration in appointing a successor to Dr Murray.
“But we have no idea whether there will be an internal appointment or an external one, like they did in Clare after Willie Walsh went,” the source said.