STATEMENT BY BISHOP LARRY DUFFY, WEDNESDAY 11 MARCH 2020.
On my own behalf and on behalf of the entire Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Clogher, I warmly congratulate Bishop John McDowell on his election today by the Church of Ireland Bench of Bishops to be the next Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.
Since my appointment as Bishop of Clogher I have been privileged to work with Bishop John as fellow Christians and as leaders of our respective Church communities. Since 2011 Bishop John has given outstanding witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through his leadership. His authentic outreach, friendship and solidarity – all of this has been of great benefit to the communities we serve on both sides of the border over recent times.
In addition, through my role as Chair of the Council for Ecumenism of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, I have had much contact with Bishop John through his work with the Irish Inter-Church Meeting, of which he was chair for many years. I know that he will bring the same spirt of Christian love, dedication and outreach as the leader of the Church of Ireland throughout our island.
I assure Bishop John of our prayers and continued friendship and support into the future.
BISHOP JOHN McDOWELL
Bishop McDowell succeeds Archbishop Richard Clarke who retired on 2 February last. Bishop John (aged 64) was ordained in 1996 and has served as Bishop of Clogher since 2011. He was previously Rector of St Mark’s, Dundela, in East Belfast (2002–2011), Rector of Ballyrashane (1999–2002), and Curate of Antrim (1996–1999). He has also served as an Honorary Secretary of the General Synod (2008–2011) and is currently Chairman of the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue.
His appointment will take effect on April 28 next and the date of his enthronement will be announced over the coming weeks.