Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Archbishop of Dublin: The future of the Church in Ireland

I had a clergy meeting today, the Irish brothers were talking about Archbishop Martin's speech on the "The future of the Church in Ireland". It is an honest statement about the Archbishop's personal feelings but also a great, great deal more.
On a purely personal level, as Diarmuid Martin, I have never since becoming Archbishop of Dublin felt so disheartened and discouraged about the level of willingness to really begin what is going to be a painful path of renewal and of what is involved in that renewal.

How do I reconcile these differing trends in my reflection on the future of the Catholic Church in Ireland? On a personal level, I have no choice but to lay aside personal discouragement and continue day-by-day the search for personal conversion and renewal and to re-discover for my own life the essentials of the message of Jesus Christ.
The rest has a great deal to say not only about Ireland but the Church in the UK and elsewhere, read it here.


bernadette said...

The future of The Church in Ireland is strong. Everyone thought that when Jesus was dying on the cross that they'd backed a loser and only a handful stayed to the bitter end. It was a really pathetic scene. Yet, it still didn't stop the Resurrection, and this is a metaphor for The Church: It will appear to die and be written off by many. But, it won't die. The key is the steadfastness of Eucharistic Adoration, which does happen much more in Ireland than in the UK. It's the future of the Church in England and Wales that concerns me more. Perhaps someone would like to offer a slightly more optimistic view of it than the one I can see.

shane said...

His Grace is a media whore. He is seeking to disarm his critics by emotional blackmail and media manipulation. As Pat Kenny, RTE Radio presenter noted, his Grace deliberately determined this speech, made at the KOSC, to be high profile and to be heard by the media.

Volpius Leonius said...

Shane what do you want the Bishop to do give all his speeches in his kitchen to himself where no one can hear?

Of course he wanted his speech to reach as many listeners as possible, anyone who gives a speech wants that.

Pat Kenny is the master at just that is he not? So good he actually gets paid for speaking by the media.

A speech with no listeners would be utterly pointless and the Bishop has as much right to have his words heard as anyone else, more than most in fact given his position.

shane said...

Volpius, if Archbishop Martin were to give all his speeches in his kitchen you would not hear me complaining. Alas I cannot make him do that because I am not the absolute dictator of this country...yet.

But I am not contesting Archbishop Martin's undoubted right to articulate his feelings about child sexual abuse, nor his right to speculate about the prospects of the Church in Ireland. What does concern me is the highly emotive and manipulative way in which he has used this speech to get back at his fellow bishops and priests who have criticized his handling of this issue, imputing to them rhetorical strawmen and false motives - along with the unjust sullying of his predecessors.

Unfortunately Archbishop Martin has drawn criticism from both fellow bishops and priests over his inappropriate use of the media. Most notably, where he used the Press to urge bishops to resign, without even talking to them first, which put them in an impossible situation - and over criticisms which were not sustained by the Murphy Report and which the Archbishop knew had no basis. Bishop O'Mahoney in his Letter to the Council of Priests criticized Martin for his uncritical acceptance of the Murphy Report and the "cover-up" narrative, which he knows to be utterly false. O'Mahoney pointed to a police investigation, in 2003, which found no sign of interference with evidence and no attempt to obstruct the course of justice.Bishop O'Mahoney in his letter condemned the way in which Martin did nothing to challenge certain conclusions of the Report, such as the Report’s allowing a ‘learning curve’ for other professsions, but not for clergy. He also criticized Martin for doing “nothing to counteract the statement of the Murphy Report, widely circulated in the media that ‘the majority of clergy knew and did nothing’. The majority of clergy in Dublin did in fact know nothing. Many priests in Dublin are very angry at Martin's position. Bishop O’Mahony also said: “You were out of the Diocese for 31 years and had no idea how traumatic it was for those of us who had to deal with allegations without protocols or guidelines or experience in the matter of child sex abuse.” This was echoed in Bishop Walsh's Letter to the Dublin Deanaries, where he made clear his active involvement in sorting out this mess.

Anne Whitehead said...

The Archbishop of Dublin was trained in the elite Roman Accademia - and has mixed in political, diplomatic circles for most of his adult life. He knows how to use the media and is a very political creature - this comes as no surprise at all.

Ma Tucker said...

When I hear that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is implementing the Popes program for renewal then I'll believe him. There is nothing stopping him from doing this right now both for himself and the flock in his care.

Volpius Leonius said...

Your second post was much better than your first Shane, now I understand where you are coming from.

Sharon said...

You were out of the Diocese for 31 years and had no idea how traumatic it was for those of us who had to deal with allegations without protocols or guidelines or experience in the matter of child sex abuse.

Didn't the Code Of Canon Law have protocols re the sexual abuse of minors?

Grave Dave said...

Anne Whitehead - Diarmuid Martin was never a student at the Academia. Please check your facts! He abounds in native cunning, however.