Dermot Ryan

Intro Irish bishop
Was Religious scholar Theologian Priest
From Ireland
Type Religion
Gender male
Birth 26 June 1924, Clondalkin, Ireland
Death 21 February 1985, Rome, Italy (aged 60 years)
Star sign Cancer

Dermot J. Ryan (26 June 1924 – 21 February 1985) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland from 1972 until 1984.

Professor and scholar

Dermot Ryan, a native of Dublin was Professor of Oriental Languages at University College Dublin before his appointment by Pope Paul VI as Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland on 29 December 1971. He was ordained a bishop by Pope Paul VI in Rome assisted by Cardinals Bernard Alfrink and William Conway (Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland), on 13 February 1972. At the time of his appointment he was seen as a liberal and a reformer in the Church.

Diocesan expansion

During his term he consolidated much of the expansion of the Archdiocese which had taken place during the term of his predecessor. He also oversaw the fuller implementation of the reforms of Vatican II. He was particularly interested in liturgical reform.

Social opinions and activities

Archbishop Ryan also took a traditional stand on social issues, including poverty, family life and opposition to abortion. He strongly promoted the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland in 1983, granted the equal right to life to mother and unborn. He was named in the Murphy Report on sexual abuse of children in Dublin; his actions in respect of complaints against priest Fr. McNamee were described in the report as "an example of how, throughout the 1970s, the church authorities were more concerned with the scandal that would be created by revealing Fr McNamee’s abuse rather than any concern for the abused". He also did not act on complaints against other priests who were also subsequently confirmed to be abusers.

Archbishop Ryan Park

As Archbishop he gave the people of Dublin a public park on a site earmarked by his predecessors for a proposed cathedral; it was named "Archbishop Ryan Park" in his honour. The land, at Merrion Square, was a gift from the Archbishop to the city of Dublin. In January 2010, after Ryan had been criticised in the Murphy Report the previous year, Dublin City Council sought public views on renaming the Park; in 2010 it was renamed Merrion Square Park by the City Council. He also served as Pro-Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 8 April 1984 until his death in Rome, following a heart attack at the age of 60.

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