“It has been very difficult for us not being able to gather together in our beautiful church buildings. We’ve had to rely on spiritual communion,” said Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh.
“I may be looking out at empty pews, but in my mind’s eye and with the eyes of my heart, I can see you in your living rooms, in nursing homes, hospital wards or perhaps driving in your cars, all linked spiritually in the ‘family of families’ that is the Church,” said Archbishop Eamon Martin.
First priorities in the diocese will be a full briefing on safeguarding issues and encouraging positive pastoral initiatives and administrative developments.
Bishop Philip Boyce OCD will oversee the pastoral needs of the faithful of the diocese and will begin his residency on Holy Thursday with the celebration of the Mass of Chrism and for the Easter ceremonies.
“Following media reports which have disturbed and upset many people in the Diocese and further afield, I have decided to step down with immediate effect.”