zondag, november 12, 2017

Archbishop Martin accused of being ‘very negative’ about Church

All of this [then] requires a new sense of identity by the Catholic community 
[of the “why” of Catholic education]

 The “Irish religious education establishment is fixated on questions of ownership and management, and too little on the purpose of the Catholic school and the outcomes of Catholic education in terms of faith formation”.

Diarmuid Martin, Dublin 2017 

Feb 27, 2012

Sir, – Breda O’Brien (Opinion, February 11th), in writing about the possibility of complacency regarding child abuse, says: “There is also the very real fear among priests that things have moved so far in the opposite direction that any priest is presumed ‘guilty as charged’. There are some bishops . . . who believe it is impossible for a priest to return to ministry even when it is clear that a priest was falsely 

The implications of these attitudes for the working relationship between bishop and priest are far-reaching. The promise of respect on behalf of the priest was to be honoured by the bishop with a duty of care.accused.”
 In the past the exaggeration of respect and honour led to a culture of clericalism but their absence now as a result of the abuse crisis has created a vacuum in which trust has been replaced by suspicion on both sides.

Gathering around the bishop as a sign of unity has lost its meaning since I, and many priests like me, on being summoned to Archbishop’s House on any issue would not attend unless accompanied by a witness, if not a solicitor. – Yours, etc,

St Jude the Apostle,
Dublin 6W.

"People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along? Can we get along?" 


Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has been criticised for what a Dublin parish priest has called his negativity towards the Catholic Church in Ireland.
“It’s quite plain really,” said Fr Gregory O’Brien.
“He publishes statistics about 2 per cent (Sunday) Mass attendance when there are 1,000 people at Mass here and 1.2 million in the whole country. I don’t think it helps the morale of priests or people particularly”.
Fr O’Brien is parish priest at St Jude the Apostle in Willington, south Co Dublin. Archbishop Martin, he said, was “very negative, overly negative.”
In a letter to The Irish Times on Friday, the priest referred to Archbishop Martin as “not known for his positive take on things relating to the Catholic Church.”
He has been critical of the archbishop in previous letters to this newspaper.
Expanding on his views to The Irish Times, Fr O’Brien was dismissive of the Council of Priests in the archdiocese, as it “does what he tells them.”
He believed tensions in the archdiocese since publication of the Murphy report in November 2009 had never been resolved.
The report was a damning indictment of the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Dublin archdiocese.


Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on what should be my response to the overall conclusion of the Murphy report – particularly because I was part of the governance of the Archdiocese prior to when correct childprotection policies and procedures were implemented.
 It does not serve the truth to overstate my responsibility and authority within the Archdiocese. Nor does it serve the truth to overlook the fact that the system of management and communications was seriously flawed. However, with the benefit of hindsight, I accept that, from the time I became an Auxiliary Bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture.

Jim Moriarty, 23 december 2009

* * * 

Rite and Reason: church-run schools have failed at a deeper level

Patsy McGarry
Nov 7, 2017

Would the Celtic Tiger madness have overrun this country if schools had instilled Christian values?

The churches run 96 per cent of our primary schools and approximately 50 per cent at secondary level, yet the fastest growing cohort in the Irish population today is people with no religion. They are also among our youngest.

Their number, including atheists and agnostics, increased by more than 70 per cent per cent between 2011 and 2016, and now number 481,388. They are now the second largest category in the State, at 10.1 per cent of the population, with an average age of 34, or 3.4 years younger than the average for our population overall.

All came through an education system dominated by the churches.

It was Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin who last July noted that those in the “no religion” category were “highest in the age group 20-39, the group with children entering school life”.

That age group, he said, “accounts for 28 per cent of the general population, but 45 per cent of those with no religion fall into this age bracket”.

Yet there remained, he said, “a stubborn reluctance within the church” to allow the current situation to change. The “Irish religious education establishment is fixated on questions of ownership and management, and too little on the purpose of the Catholic school and the outcomes of Catholic education in terms of faith formation”.

The same would apply to the other churches.

All our major churches are ageing and in decline. The average age of Church of Ireland members was 40.3 years in 2016, while their number was down 2 per cent on 2011.

Catholics averaged 38.2 years, while their number was down to 78.3 per cent of the population in 2016. Most dramatic of all are Presbyterian numbers on the island of Ireland, which have dropped by approximately 40 per cent since the 1970s.

The trend is clear, vigorous and relentless, and it is unequivocally towards the secular among those who will be our future – our younger population – while more and more of those younger people who still identify with a church do so for cultural/identity reasons rather than faith.

Christian values

And all despite an education system dominated in Ireland by the churches for almost 200 years.
It is at the deeper level of faith and values that our church-run schools are failing most abjectly.
Would the Celtic Tiger madness have overrun this country with such a devastating effect if our church-run schools were successful in instilling Christian values in our population?
Would developers have been as reckless had church-run schools been effective? Would bankers have driven the economy over a cliff? Whatever happened that laudable “Protestant probity” once associated with Irish banks?
Had our church-run schools been effective would we have had need for so many tribunals and lengthy bank-related trials? Would the September 2008 bank guarantee in Ireland have been necessary, or the arrival of the bailout troika in November 2010? Would there have been need for either had our church-run schools done what they still claim to do?
Would our homelessness figures continue to climb even while 40 years ago, in a poorer Ireland, a government could build 100,000 homes over four years?
You do have to wonder.
None of this is to deny the quality of education provided in our church-run schools without which Ireland could not have evolved into the first-world country it is today with one of the fastest growing economies.
All of us have benefitted from such church-run education, including myself. That needs to be acknowledged. We should not throw out that baby. We should appreciate it, and at least some Irish people still do.

Irish names

This came to mind when, on a visit to Rome, I found myself in the sacristy of the Pauline Chapel at the Vatican, where I saw some prominent Irish names on a plaque there. It acknowledges, in Latin, generous financial support by 26 patrons for the chapel’s restoration which cost an estimated €9 million before completion in 2009.
Among those included are Seán FitzPatrick formerly of Anglo Irish BankMichael Fingleton, formerly of Irish Nationwide, property developers Paddy McKillen, Seán Mulryan, and Johnny Ronan and financier Derek Quinlan.
They are listed as patrons of the arts in the Vatican museums. They have not forgotten their debt to church-run schools.
Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent

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