The Vatican’s new envoy to Ireland, Monsignor Charles Brown (52) will shortly be elevated to Archbishop according to the National Catholic Register.
The Irish American from New York also dealt personally with the fallout from the Irish scandals in Rome according to the Register and is considered very close to Pope Benedict.
The Register reported that “The new nuncio is reputed to be very knowledgeable about the situation of the Irish Church, involved in two ad limina visits to the Vatican by Irish bishops, as well as the 2009 emergency summit when Ireland’s bishops were summoned to Rome over the clerical sex-abuse crisis.”
Msgr. Brown dealt directly with Irish abuse cases with Msgr. Charles Scicluna the equivalent of the Vatican Attorney General.
The Italian newspaper Il Fogolio has called the appointment highly unusual, stating that bypassing the normal Vatican diplomatic structure is a huge step. They compared it to Italy recently appointing a Prime Minister from outside the political arena.
Michael Kelly, deputy editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper stated “It is a sign, I believe, that the Holy Father is signaling that it is the Church’s own life and mission in Ireland that needs at this time the assistance of the Holy See...”
Archbishop-elect Brown has worked at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith since 1994, directly under the current pope to whom he is considered very close.
Brown is said to be very popular in Rome and is known for riding his scooter around Vatican City.
He has studied at the University of Notre Dame, Oxford University and the University of Toronto, and has a doctorate in sacramental theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo in Rome.
Brown’is said to be very close to fellow New Yorker Archbishop Timothy Dolan and could possibly be a contender to replace him some day.