Maureen Dowd on a Church Hero: Diarmuid Martin

The archbishop of Dublin was beginning to sniffle.

He could not get through a story about “a really nasty man” — an Irish priest who sexually abused, physically tortured and emotionally threatened vulnerable boys — without pulling out his handkerchief and wiping his nose.


“He built a swimming pool in his own garden, to which only boys of a certain age, of a certain appearance were allowed into it,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told me recently. “There were eight other priests in that parish, and not one of them seemed to think there was something strange about it.”

Two years after learning the extent of the depraved and Dickensian treatment of children in the care of the Irish Catholic Church — a fifth circle of hell hidden for decades by church and police officials — the Irish are still angry and appalled.

The only church leader who escapes their disgust is the no-nonsense, multilingual Martin. He was sent home to Dublin in 2003 after 27 years in the Vatican bureaucracy and diplomatic corps and found the Irish church in crisis, reeling from a cover-up that spanned the tenures of four past Dublin archbishops.

I went to see him at his office in Drumcondra in north Dublin because he is that rarest of things in the church’s tragedy: a moral voice.

Read the rest here.

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Frank Gibbons
7 years 7 months ago
Archbishop Martin is a real hero.  But it's unfortunate the Maureen Dowd puts the usual conservative suspects (Law, etc) on the wall of shame (where they belong) while leaving off liberal protectors of abusers like Mahoney, Weakland, some Superiors of the Society of Jesus, etc. If it's really about the kids, if it's really about calling out people prophetically, let's cover all the bases when expressing outrage. 
Winifred Holloway
7 years 7 months ago
This is not a conservative vs. liberal issue.  It's more a power vs. powerless problem.  I applaud Archbishop Martin for his courage and his guts.  When the pope called the Irish bishops to Rome, I told my husband that it wasn't so much to scold them, but to put Martin in his place.  The archbishop had suggested that those Irish bishops who were culpable in the cover up should perhaps resign.  A hierarchical no-no.  Only the pope could make that determination.  Let's keep the lines of authority sacred and inviolable. If you color outside the lines, you will be punished.  Our faith is gold.  Our leaders are dross.
david power
7 years 7 months ago
A few  points.
Archbishop Martin is not a "hero". He only did what any decent human being would do in those circumstances.He may look heroic lined up  against the rest of the Bishops but well you know.....
Secondly ,He was not overlooked for a cardinal's hat in 2009 but in 2006 when Cradinal Brady was chosen. He could not have really been picked at that stage as Ireland already had two cardinals. There has been an agreement of sorts that it goes north,south ,north ,south etc.
Do we really know what Pope Benedict has in mind?
He kept them in place while the investigation was taking place but might reasonably decide that "the heads of the five families must die ". He could be thinking "let them clean up this mess" he could be thinking " we believe in forgiveness" or he could be thinking  along the lines that Winnifred outlined.
I am convinced though that the Pope ,Dolan and O'Malley will all underestimate how bad the situation is in Ireland. Recently ,Cardinal Brady chastised the Irish people saying that they no longer knew how to forgive

The same guy silenced two victims of Fr Brendan Smythe and then said 30 years later he was "shocked" to hear of pedophilia.
This guy should be locked up. I would sooner put a child in a room with Charlie Manson than with this creep.

Archbishop Martin ,is a man of intelligence surrounded by dolts.The good thing about this article from the reprehensible Dowd is that it will reach the eyes of Rome and Gotham City.I can picture Tim as he pores over it thinking to himself in a Brando-esque fashion "I cudda bin a contender".

Next year the Eucharistic Congress is in Dublin and the wind will most certainly blow Archbishop Martin's way but for those who go they will discover what a "tough room" is.      
Todd Flowerday
7 years 7 months ago
"He may look heroic lined up against the rest of the Bishops but well you know..."

I'm still grateful for him taking a stand. He stands out as a  human being in the midst of criminals.

"But it's unfortunate the Maureen Dowd ..."

Oh, how it must sting to have a liberal chastise. I must point out that when somebody doesn't bother to spell Cardinal Mahony's name right, they usually also misplace him on the Catholic Left. Take it from a liberal: Cardinal Mahony is not one of us. He's a company man, a JPII bishop, and conservative through and through. I wouldn't pay any more attention to his spat with Mother A than I would to the guy who called Bishop Finn pro-abort.

I repeat: Cardinal Mahony is all yours, righties.
ed gleason
7 years 7 months ago
Standing up and being apart from the excusers, and being for abuse survivors, as A/B Martin does, is not a 'right' or 'left' position.
God help some on the 'right' as they still make excuses in a partisan stance; they will slide into the dustbin of history and be remembered as the dust they are.
Martin Gallagher
7 years 7 months ago
I hate to see Catholics arguing about whether another member of the body of Christ is right/left  or conservative/liberal in regards to his/her faith - we get too much of that in the secular world.  We should focus more on whether our actions are virtuous/sinful and our faith is orthodox/heterodox.  Unfortunately, we all fall on the imperfect end some times - such is our fallen nature.
7 years 7 months ago
Maureen Dowd is not one of my favorite journalists because I feel she tends to treat the Church shabbily. Many journalists to please their bosses and in that way secure their jobs  in Dowd’s case, “The New Times” sniff the boss’s “scent” so to speak  and write accordingly. “The Old Grey Lady” aging as she is, even showing signs of journalistic  dementia relative to the Catholic Church about whom failing memory remembers nothing good, eagerly pounds the Church  mercilessly!
But for once, Maureen Dowd  writing about Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in The New York Times  as above, regarding his  courage in speaking out against the horrors of the sex abuse scandals within the Irish Church , writes honestly and deserves praise.
PBXVI addressing the clergy sex abuse scandals in the Church called it “filth!” That word is appropriate throughout the Church where scandal exists, but most  shockingly  in the Irish Church as this article by Maureen Dowd reveals. I can hardly believe what I’ve read! It made me feel sick.
Obviously just as angels can become devils as in the Fall of the Angels, so too, men configured to Christ in a special way through Holy Orders, can also become devils! Indeed so can any of the baptized and  for that matter any member of the human race made in the image and likeness of God, can also at will  become a devil!  Well, let me put it another way -  there’s always hope! One doesn’t have to be a devil, one can resist evil, do good and become a saint!
Yet considering Maureen Dowd’s article, I must say with prayerful dismay, God help our Church, the Church I love so very much!


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