Gibson on Diarmuid Martin

In light of Austen Ivereigh's strong post below on the Irish bishops, and his favorable mention of Diarmuid Martin, the archbishop of Dublin (whose suggestion that the Irish bishops resign did not carry the day), here is a long piece by David Gibson on Martin's career and example in the midst of a church in crisis:

From the start Martin rejected the common approach of denying problems, or denouncing modern Catholics for bad faith or bad behavior, and he accepted the church's responsibility in creating the current difficulties. "It's no longer a question that you just learn your Catechism or your religious education in school and that will take you clearly through life," he said. "We have to have a constant dialogue and deepening of the realization of what it means to be a believer in a world where things change so much for the future." In light of Ireland's tradition of almost reflexive Catholic practice, that was a startling break from the past. 

Rather than berating young people for living together, he lobbied the government to enact policies to support working couples, since so many more women were working outside the home than ever before. He made an outreach to Ireland's new immigrants a priority, and insisted children who were not Catholic should not have to receive religious instruction in Catholic schools. "For example, I would have no difficulty with the wearing of the Muslim headscarf in a Catholic school -- as I have no difficulty with nuns wearing a veil or priests wearing a religious habit," he has said. 

In a message last year at Holy Week, he acknowledged that "there is a dramatic and growing rift between the Church and our younger generations and the blame does not lie principally with young people. Our young people are generous and idealistic but such generosity and idealism does not seem to find a home in the Church," which he said for many "remains an alien place."  

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Read the rest of Gibson's piece here.

Equally explosive have been allegations of sexual abuse in Jesuit high schools in Germany, which we mentioned in our Signs of the Times this week.  The German bishops have just issued an apology, according to Deutsche Welle.  This follows an earlier statement by the German Jesuit Provincial, Stefan Dartmann, SJ.  Fr. Dartmann's complete statement on the website of the German Province is here.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Rory Connor
7 years 5 months ago
I doubt if you will publish my article on Archbishop Martin but you should take a look at it anyway. He has supported one of the biggest fraudsters in Irish history - a modern Irish equivalent of your Maria Monk - while throwing falsely accused clergy to the wolves. To say that he treats his priests as ''guilty until proven innocent'' is putting it mildly as he invited a Bishop to resign even though NO allegation was made against him. (Bishop Martin Drennan.) He removed a retired Bishop from his role as director of the Archdiocese pilgrimage to Lourdes on the grounds that he had failed to apologise for his failings. Bishop Dermot O'Mahony HAD apologised and had sent a statement to the Communications Office which Martin had seen and suppressed. (The REAL reason was that Bishop O'Mahony disagreed with Martin's policy.)The Archbishop is our equivalent of the Red Dean of Canterbury Hewlett Johnson who got his ''Progressive'' reputation by denouncing the evils of Capitalism while praising Comrade Stalin.
My website is www.irishsalem.com and the article on Archbishop Martin is athttp://www.irishsalem.com/individuals/Politicians%20and%20Others/archbishop-martin/index.php

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