Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on 60 Minutes

I found this interview with Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin on "60 Minutes" last night to be deeply moving.  The archbishop of Dublin is resolute about confronting the sex abuse crisis in his country; he has rightly apologized to victims; he correctly states that the crisis is far from over; he uses the plainest language when describing the crimes committed; and, towards the end of the interview, weeps when he thinks of the rape (the right word to use) of an eight-year-old boy by a priest.  A true pastor, who weeps over those in his flock whose lives have been ruined, and who lets compassion move him to action. 

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6 years 10 months ago
The disillusionment with the Church in Ireland is part of the general disillusionment  in a more secular/educated quarters, profoundly magnified by  the abuse matter.
The subsequent visitation there by  AmericanCardinals  and a new vatican Irish american rep will attempt to start to heal matters, but...
Contrary to the Abp.'s recomendation, Maynootth is shut off from secular socviety and like American diocesan seminaries seem only to be abou tpromoting the view of Rome.
Now Rome in its confernece on abuse stressed the importance of listening (to victims), accountability and an end to secrecy.
The question is -will the Cjurch in ireland see this in practice or will they perceive as just nice words, despite the efforts of Abp. Martin? 
James Lawton
6 years 10 months ago
How sad that we have come to a point where a bishop speaking the truth is considered an act of bravery.
david power
6 years 10 months ago
The two bishops in question handed in their resignation letters and quite typically portrayed it in evangelical terms about wanting to help the "healing process" etc and spoke of their sacrifices etc and then after Christmas they sneakily wrote to the Vatican rescinding their previous acts.
They didn't say anything to anybody and the Vatican decided against accepting them.
The blame lies more with the bishops perhaps than the Vatican. 
I don't think that the Pope used the consistory to punish Archbishop Martin and as Thomas said he does have the support of the Pope.
The upshot of it all is that Archbishop has been transformed from being learned,pedantic and speaking like a civil servant to being radicalized and sounding like the only bishop in the world with a clue as to what is going on.
Not just on the crisis but in the world itself.
If you read his homilies etc you will see the depth of his analysis surpasses all of the others and especially those who are charged with the New Evangelization.
ed gleason
6 years 10 months ago
I guess sending over a jolly Irish American to put matters to rest didn't work..The Irish have rejected that stuff [crap] ever since the Quiet Man movie.

My take away from 60 Minutes, besides his real weeping at the 8 year old being assaulted, is that Vatican dissed him and the Irish nation by the continual passover of  naming him a Cardinal. 
the Irish, the Archbishop do not need the title,... but the Vatican message is loud and clear..
" Our Roman rep is more important than the child's rape."
6 years 10 months ago
What a courageous shephard, an example to those hypocrites who's deeds betray their words. God Bless You Archbishop Martin, certa bonum certanum!
david power
6 years 10 months ago
The Archbishop has the most thankless job in the world.He was found in an impossible situation with many Priests feeling that he betrayed them and all of the other bishops with few exceptions not wanting to do anything but maintain the Status  Quo and craft beautiful letters of apology.
I think it is important for everybody in the Church to do what the Archbishop did and visualise what actually happened.Many people don't want to go there and so it remains on a superficial level of consciousness.If we could all imagine our 8year old selves being in that scene we would come closer to understanding the devastation.
The Archbishop knows the layers of mendacity that exist in the Church and so his little smile at being asked to blame the Pope is telling.
The Church is still not prepared to go the final step and admit that the last Pope was involved in the cover up.We want to mollify the truth and make it more palateable.Even last week Cardinal Sodano was sat next to the Pope at the convention for the New Evangelization.He has never apologised for his role in many scandals and for aiding Marciel and god knows who else.
The tragedy is not over yet and when Poland finally has it's cathartic moment you can be sure that walls will tumble.
Archbishop Martin gives me a glimmer of hope though.  
Thomas Rooney OFS
6 years 10 months ago
Maybe, just maybe...this is a sign that the Irish are being called upon to save the Church once again, as their monasteries did in the Dark Ages. 

Please don't give up Archbishop Martin...the pressure to still your tongue must be incredible.  The Body of Christ needs you so very much!
Bill Collier
6 years 10 months ago
I was also moved by the interview with Archbishop Martin. He seems to be a deeply compassionate person. In addition to his comments, and those of others, about the abuse scandal in Ireland, the 60 Minutes piece revealed the sad facts that only 2% of Irish Catholics attend weekly religious services and that there were no ordinations to the priesthood throughout all of Ireland last year, and that but one ordination is expected this year. Some of this is no doubt the result of the scandal, but the problem must go deeper IMO. It wasn't so long ago that the Emerald Isle was sending missionary priests throughout the world. My wife and I were married by an Irish Columban missionary 31 years ago. He's still out there spreading the Gospel in far corners of the globe, and though we remain in contact, I hesitate to ask him about the sad state of the Church in his native country.
Vince Killoran
6 years 10 months ago
"[T]he sad facts that only 2% of Irish Catholics attend weekly religious services . . ."

Two percent? Is it that low?  I thought it was closer to 20 percent.
david power
6 years 10 months ago
It is not 2%.The report said that it was that low in some parishes. It is about 20% in most parishes with the vast majority being in the 40+ category.
In Dublin it is really bad.  
Judy Jones
6 years 10 months ago
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin must feel very much alone among his peers and the rest of the church hierarchy,  much like a child feels very much alone, who has been sexually abused by a clergy.

Martin is very brave to speak the truth, as are the thousands of victims.

When victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, priests, nuns, religious brothers, bishops, cardinals and the pope stay silent, nothing changes. But when they find the courage to take action, there's at least a chance for healing, justice, and protecting children.
Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511 <>
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is

6 years 10 months ago
I, too, was impressed by Archbishop Martin and could not help comparing his courage with the cowardice in the Vatican and the United States. 
Winifred Holloway
6 years 10 months ago
If only more bishops could find it in their heart to be as forthright and honest as Archbishop Martin.  Sadly, they don't appear to have the depth, empathy or humanity of Martin. And certainly not his  courage. Their stated aplogies all seem to be cut on the same template (another day, another apology, oh, well).  If they only realized that they would have the support and respect of many more Catholics if they started behaving more like shepherds and less like Company Men.  We read and hear their thin apologies over and over again and we just don't believe them.
William Wilson
6 years 10 months ago
Archbishop Martin must be doing something right because he was passed over for a red hat, while guys like Tim Dolan, whose record in Milwaukee leaves a lot to be desired, is now a prince of the church. Some prince!
Thomas Hennigan
6 years 10 months ago
Several of the comments manifest an anti Rome bias, but the truth is that Archbishop is doing exactly what Pope Benedict and also other important Vatican officials want. Obviously those who attempt to lionize Archbishop Martin and blame the evil ''Vatican'', on the matter are ill informed. They probably havn't read the various papers given at the recent Symposium on clerical sexual abuse held at the Gregorian University in Rome. Let them read for instance the paper delivered by Mosnignor John Scicluna, Promoter of Justice at the CDF, appointed to that position by then Cardinal Ratzinger, and the one who investigated Maciel. 
It would be nice if they brushed up on the matter instead of making uninformed and disparraging comments about the evil ''Vatican', an easy target in any case'.
As for Archibisp Martin being made Cardinal, I guess Rome has its ways of doing things. His predecessor was made Cardinal and he is still alive. Tthe Archbishop of Armagh is also a Cardinal, not bad for a small country like Ireland. It is rather unsual for the Archbishop of Dublin to be Cardinal, but the fact that as yet he is not in no way indicaates that his stance on clerical sexual abuse doesn't have the support of the Pope. There is no doubt that he has plenty of support in Rome. There are bishops in other places like Poland who don't seem to have gotten it as yet.
Edward Alten
6 years 10 months ago
Certainly a courageous act by a cleric that loves his Church despite its ''Systemic faults''. The Catholic Church as an institution despertly needs reform, just like America needs reform for its ''Systemic faults''.  Where are our leaders both in side the Church and outside?  Come Lord Jesus come.
david power
6 years 10 months ago

I am not so sure you are as well informed as you seem to think you are.From your comments I would hazard a guess that you have never spent more than a week in Rome .
I would also say that you know very little about Ireland."Small" it may be in geographical terms but it is a Giant in catholic terms.
Dolan, Burke ,Mahoney,Egan,O'Malley ,Collins  are not  Mexican surnames and most of the missionary world can claim an Irish Priest on it's ground.
The Cardinal in question was responsible for the coverup of sexual abuse on a major scale and then acted shocked when the other scandals came to light.
Nineteen kids were raped by Fr Brendan Smythe AFTER Brady had silenced two victims who as teenagers had the temerity to speak up. The guy is not exactly a blessing.
Archbishop Martin should not be lionised on that I agree with you.Even describing his acts as "pastoral" is to give a clerical slant to what is only human.The vast majority of grown men would have acted the same way ,the scandal is that he seems to be the only churchman to act this way.
I have read what Scicluna said and as usual he impressed me and I think he truly is a man with his teeth in the problem.
But he also says that we need the whole Truth out.That is all I am saying.Not an anti-rome bias from me.  
James Jenkins
6 years 10 months ago
I think that Diarmuid Martin is a genuinely sincere man.  The shame he feels for the serial rape and sodomy of children by Catholic priests and bishops is real.

Ironically, Archbishop Martin is probably the best example of what is wrong with the feudal oligarchy that presently controls the Catholic Church.

How could Martin rise to the office of archbishop of Dublin without the support of the Vatican's most reactionary hierarchy?

How could Martin now turn his back on the Vatican oligarchs even after they have publicly humiliated him? 

Yet, especially after the stinging rebuke he received from B16 and the Vatican curia who reinstated complicit bishops and refused to name Martin a cardinal as is the custom, the best thing for him, and the Irish church, is for Martin to resign as Dublin archbishop and spend the rest of his priesthood as the Irish Peoples' archbishop and apostle going around Ireland seeking to heal and minister to those whose deep wounds still fester.

Legend has it that St. Patrick, the Irish apostle, once drove all the snakes in Ireland into the sea.  Diarmuid Martin could reenact that mythic miracle by driving all the snakes of patriarchy and clericalism into the Irish Sea.

Harry Whitney
6 years 10 months ago
Martin is a saint.  The 'others'-all of them-are imposters, beginning in New York and ending in Vatican City. 
6 years 10 months ago
I wept along with the Bishop as he described the 8 year old children. It is still very real that there are thousands who continue to suffer the effects of this hurtful and criminal behavior. Not only the act itself, said Bishop, but the abuse of the priest's authority. Recently a fity-six year old man revealed to me his story of abuse by a priest when he was 10 years old. He told the story as if it happened to him yesterday. He seeks no compensation, he doesn't seek revenge. He hasn't left the Church. He knows God loves him. He just wants to hear the truth from those in authority.
Maureen O'Riordan-Lundy
6 years 10 months ago
The plight of the Catholic Church reminds me of a poem, 'Advent' by Patrick Kavanagh where the return to innocence comes through a return to simplicity. An invitation to rebirth for the Church as institution seems to be going unheard. On the contrary, there seems to be tremendous resistance to opening the windows to allow the Spirit to fan the embers. All energy is focused on an empty effort to maintain business as usual, and business as usual never does return. How much darkness and disillusion must be experienced before the need to truely repent is felt? As in the blindness of addiction, the possibility of healing comes after all avenues of escape have failed. How long must we wait?
Who can tell what a Church renewed might look like!
Carolyn Disco
6 years 10 months ago
Diarmuid Martin is a breath of fresh air. Bless him abundantly.

The other prelates in Ireland, especially Brady, look like a self-serving lot.
Catherine Kelly
6 years 10 months ago
Wasn't it a delight to hear that young Irish priest say that the future of our Church lies in the hands of the laity?  I do not get that impression from our newly ordained on this side of the ocean.  In fact, just the opposite:  laity have to learn to keep their place and it is definitely below the privileged ordained.
Crystal Watson
6 years 10 months ago
What a good and brave person Diarmuid Martin is.  The other bishops and the Vatican should be ashamed of their contrasting behavior.  It's really awful when one person doing the right thing is such an exception to the rule.
Amy Ho-Ohn
6 years 10 months ago
I agree with Jim Jenkins (#16). Tears are cheap; any Acting 101 student can cry on command. The Archbishop has not surrendered any of the prestige, status, power, comforts or privileges of his ontologically-exalted office. I wouldn't leave an eight-year-old alone with a priest of his archdiocese.
Michael Appleton
6 years 10 months ago
I was moved more by the words of Archbishop Martin than I have been by anything coming out of the mouths of the American bishops.  He reminds us that a bishop is not merely an administrator and that genuine humility and pastoral commitment mark a great religious leader. History teaches us that religious politics can be just as corrupting as secular politics.  But it need not be so.  I applaud his moral courage and his fierce love for the entire Body of Christ.
Eileen Sadasiv
6 years 10 months ago
I woud repeat the comment of Rev. Thomas Rooney OFS, (above) "Maybe, just maybe...this is a sign that the Irish are being called upon to save the Church once again, as their monasteries did in the Dark Ages.  

Please don't give up Archbishop Martin...the pressure to still your tongue must be incredible.  The Body of Christ needs you so very much!"  Go méadaí Dia sibh.  You make me proud to be Catholic.
Molly Roach
6 years 10 months ago
Archbishop Martin has been standing up to the snakes in the RC Irish hierarchy ever since he became the archbishop of Dublin.  He turned over the files of priests to the Murphy commission shortly after being made the archbishop and his predecessor Cardinal Desmond O'Connell filed a law suit against him to stop that. Archbishop Martin didn't back off and after about a week or so, Cardinal O'Connell was persuaded to drop his suit.


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