Editor of Ireland’s best-selling religious news paper bows out after 12 years

Irish journalist Michael Kelly has announced he is leaving his role as editor of the Irish Catholic newspaper after 12 years at the helm.

Taking to the platform X, formerly known as Twitter, he said he will be stepping down from the job in early 2024 “to work on some long-cherished projects “, which he will reveal more details about at a later date.

“This job has been the great honour and joy of my life. Thank you to everyone who trusted me to tell their stories,” Michael added.

The experienced journalist has led a pilgrimage in the Middle East with people from across the island of Ireland for the last 15 years, crossing the border from Israel to Bethlehem, and he has written a book on the subject.

Speaking further about his resignation from the Irish Catholic, Michael continued: “I leave with a bit of a heavy heart, but it’s mostly heavy with gratitude for the many blessings and opportunities that God has showered upon this his unworthy servant. I have sought to lead to the best of my ability, and tend the small part of the vineyard entrusted to me.

“I have also borne the heat and burden of the day. Reporting on the abuse scandals has exposed me to depths of human wickedness I once thought unimaginable, but also the unrelenting quiet heroism of survivors and their advocates and champions for justice in the Church.

“My Catholic Faith has been challenged, and often shaken. But I have also been blessed to meet and be inspired by some of the most wonderful people on this planet living their lives in the service of others, many of them priests and religious.

“It has also been a time of great loss and suffering for me personally with the untimely deaths of both my mother and brother, and yet I have seen God’s gentle hand and felt his presence in the comfort of those around me, especially my family and dear father.

“We’ve always had a lot of interns, and I brim with pride as I see them now excel in every corner of the globe, proud I had some small part in their formation, and that they have helped shape and form me.”

Michael concluded his statement by saying that The Irish Catholic “is a great paper, looking good at 135 – for now, all I can say is a very heartfelt ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart. I rest confident in the knowledge that we are none of us the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of God’s love for us.”

COE of The Catholic Network Joseph Kelly, who himself edited a national Catholic paper for more than 20 years, said Michael was “an editor of exceptional grace and skill” who will no doubt continue to contribute to the Catholic narrative in Ireland from a personal perspective.

“Michael, you can now embrace being who you are, and not what what you are,” said My Kelly.

The Irish Catholic is based in Dublin and is Ireland’s best-selling religious newspaper. Michael took up its deputy editor post in 2005, going on to become editor in 2012.