‘We Share Similar Goals’

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Archbishop of Armagh, Catholic Primate of All Ireland Eamon Martin

You can keep us out of this.

“Over the past year or so, in my role as chair of the Council for Communications of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, I have heard a variety of views on the relationship between the Church and the media in Ireland. These views were garnered from professionals working inside and outside of Church structures, and they ranged from the negative to the optimistic.

In my view it is now time for us to build afresh mutual respect and trust between the Church and the media in Ireland, not in any fawning or deferential manner, but in recognition of the fact that we share similar goals – to seek out the truth, to highlight injustice. In many ways we have a common mission – vocation even – to interact with society and the world in order to promote truth, ask hard questions, multiply goodness, enhance beauty and to serve the common good.

I recognise that coverage of the child abuse scandals in the Church has fundamentally shifted our relationship with the media. We are a long way from the 31 December 1961 when my predecessor Cardinal D’Alton broadcast a live message of blessing and goodwill from Armagh to the newly established RTÉ television station. It is true that we in the Church have sometimes reacted defensively or in denial to legitimate criticism in the media – it is also true that some commentators, particularly on social media, seem at times to have lost the ability to objectively question a story, running instead with their consensus caricature of the Church.

Most now accept that “the media” has played a vitally important role in Ireland and around the world, in lifting the lid on a terrible and shameful chapter of our history; giving a voice to those who for years had been carrying a lonely trauma. Media attention of these issues has accelerated the development and implementation of best practice in safeguarding, both in the Church and throughout society.

There is, of course, a legitimate interest in reporting bad as well as good news about the Church. What Radharc  [long-running RTÉ Catholic documentary strand] did so well, however, was to present the beautiful, edifying and spiritually-inspiring lives of people of faith in ways which reflected the beauty and goodness of God. I believe that today, when so many people are tempted to despair, we need to rediscover the Radharc vision and lift people up, giving them, as Saint Peter put it, “a reason for the hope that lies within us.” With so much conflict, hatred and division in the world, it would do all our hearts good to witness the commitment of people of faith to peace and justice, to love and understanding.”

Archbishop Eamon Martin

Archbishop Eamon Martin at the 2014 Radharc Trust awards ceremony (CatholicBishops.ie)

49 thoughts on “‘We Share Similar Goals’

    1. ABM

      I’m surprised he didn’t make even the slightest reference to the pig ignorance of the Irish media when it comes to church affairs. Even the so-called religious affairs “experts” haven’t a clue and are more concerned with relaying the opinions of dissident priests (and ex-priests) than reporting on the documented facts published by the Irish dioceses and by Rome.

      Archbishop Martin is a wise and learned man. A man who won’t be dictated to by the 24 hour news cycle – he’s more concerned about the long game: what effect his legacy will have in 100 years’ time. God bless him in his work. There are much bigger issues that need tackling than bothering wasting time on a dying Irish media landscape that will publish anything to keep their circulation figures up.

      1. Jordofthejungle

        “Pig ignorance” LOL. From anyone else. Like a fly to the proverbial, ABM revelling in his displacement internet activities and pretend religiosity to distract from the crushing loneliness and social dysfunctional that is the hallmark of his life. The cleric Martin needs your praise ABM like a hole in the head.

    1. ahjayzis

      “It is true that we in the Church have sometimes reacted defensively or in denial to legitimate criticism in the media – it is also true that some commentators, particularly on social media, seem at times to have lost the ability to objectively question a story, running instead with their consensus caricature of the Church.”

      Ah yeah, ah yeah, fair point. Sure we were all in it together. I’m just glad it’s all in the open now and the church has lived up to it’s obligations.

      And yes, the media and the church both are “pro-truth”, so let’s be honest and get the undisputed, evidenced-based facts out there, guys – gays are intrinsically disordered, contracting HIV/AIDS is better than putting a latex sheath on your shaft and geriatric male virgins know what’s best for a woman and her sexual life.

      1. ABM

        Do you think compulsory lessons involving condoms and cucumbers given to schoolboys and schoolgirls decreases the incidence of disease, infection, abortion and the participation in “anything goes” sexual acts? Do you think we should we be teaching boys and girls to “do whatever they want”, buy now, pay later and sure if all goes wrong we’ll give you a free sail-rail to Liverpool (or maybe a flight to Ghent complete with a voucher for a sex “change” operation)? How about teaching hard work, self restraint, modesty, charity and that we should always act according to what is right and just?

        1. CousinJack

          Except in the Netherlands and Scandi countries where sex education is begun at primary level, they have some of the lowest STD, teenage pregnancy and sexual violence rates in the western world. They just all happen to be protestant and not blessed with sexual guilt.

          Stil trying to understand why a convicted rapist can get the scariments in RC church but divorcee can’t, s’pose morality is not relevant to your religion.

      2. ABM

        Also, your assertion that the Church says that “gays are intrinsically disordered” is factually incorrect. It’s engaging in homosexual acts is what is intrinsically disordered (as is lust, masturbation, adultery and lots of other behaviours). This was all written down a long, long time ago. Unless new facts arise, I don’t see how any of this might be changed.

        The world doesn’t revolve around gays and the church certainly doesn’t either.

        1. bisted

          …the church did a fair bit of revolving around the two gay priests squabbling over their property in Donegal last week….persuading one that he may like to stop practising while he took some time to reflect. Vow of chastity? Vow of poverty? They both seem to have taken the hypocritic oath though….in common with all ‘people of faith’.

          1. ABM

            All the puffing was from the D4 media and Independent Newspapers (regional and national). The diocese had very little to say on the issue; Rome certainly had nothing to say on the issue. If anything, the bishop should have fixed this problem by jettisoning them years ago. His career will now be a very, very long plateau.

          2. ABM

            FYI: Diocesan priests generally don’t take vows of poverty. I know of one priest who likes high quality wine. He has a very active parish, works extremely hard, is incredibly intelligent and gets through an unbelievable quantity of work. One of life’s little luxuries he wholeheartedly deserves. If anything, purchasing a top quality bottle of wine that originates from a famous vineyard is a much more socially responsible act than buying a Big Mac with your VISA.

          1. ABM

            Don’t worry. I’ll be giving broadsheet.ie up for Lent. Sometimes I feel as if a wire brush and a bottle of Jif is in order after writing on here.

          2. Jordofthejungle

            If there is no Broadsheet for you poor ABM, then where is the meaning in your life? How else can you waste your lonely days with your engineered crusade revealing more social (and sexual) dysfunction than genuine belief? How can revel in your hypocrisy and low-born talents? You’ll never give your Broadsheet monitoring up, without it, well it wouldn’t look good for you, would it, you poor wretch…

  1. Soundings

    Didn’t Father Jack stick a holy stone up that gibshite’s hole the last time he went on about the meedja?

  2. Sidewinder

    It’s not a caricature when it’s completely accurate. Maybe if you’d apologise for the following (*without reservation, explanation, comparison or specifying that the apology is addressed to “the faithful”) we’d consider the possibility of maybe, at some time in the future, holding that pit of arrogance, oppression and hypocrisy that is the Vatican and its employees up as even the slightest source of possible inspiration for an iota of hope.

    Mother & baby homes
    Magdalene laundries
    Child abuse
    Covering up child abuse
    Enabling child abusers
    Denying medicine to cancer patients
    Condemning 9 year old rape victims for getting abortions
    Condemning gay people
    Holding unimaginable amounts of wealth while telling people to be charitable and complaining about lack of funding for your organisation

    1. scottser

      well in fairness, they should actually start with blatant corruption of christ’s teachings and go from there. your list is a p1ss in the ocean when you look at the last couple of thousand years of church cruely and hypocrisy.

        1. Sidewinder

          Although the corruption of christ’s teachings ranks fairly far below mass child abuse in my book.

    2. ABM

      “[Holds] unimaginable amounts of wealth while telling people to be charitable and complaining about lack of funding for your organisation”

      You make it sound as if the Pope has his own personal super-yacht and spends his days island hopping around the Mediterranean.

      Irish society has benefited greatly from Catholic missions. And yet here’s an Irishman pontificating to 50% of the world (who live on less than $2.50 a day) that they shouldn’t benefit from Catholic missions. What are YOU doing to alleviate the problems facing the vast majority of humans living on this earth?

      1. DoM

        No, but does have an enormous palace full of priceless treasures on what must be some pretty expensive real estate… What about selling that to make some money for the poor, and then we can start talking about charity?

      2. DoM

        Oh, and also, maybe you could try not attaching strings to that mission-aid? Strings like “I’ll feed you if you promise to only have unprotected sex with your husband. And no, I really don’t give a flying f**k if he has HIV, which you’d rather not pass on to your kids”.

  3. Odis

    Firstly,
    “– to seek out the truth, to highlight injustice. In many ways we have a common mission – vocation even – to interact with society and the world in order to promote truth, ask hard questions, multiply goodness, enhance beauty and to serve the common good. – did he lift this from “Superman II”? It sounds familiar.

    Secondly,
    Not a word about the Angelus, the ungrateful lout.

  4. Gorugeen

    Hmm. It’s kinda like the burglar eagerly giving the laptop back to the householder when he realises the cops are at the bottom of the stairs.

    1. ahjayzis

      “I shouldn’t have taken the laptop, I know that, and I shouldn’t have beaten and abused your kids and wife while taking it, this is true, nor should I have made a deal with your corrupt insurance company forcing YOU to pay for all the damage – but equally, EQUALLY, mind, you shouldn’t have raised your voice to me. So I’d say we’re quits”

      1. Sam

        Excellent analogy – just missing a bit about how burglars fulfill an important role in society that the self appointed spokespeople of the so-called neighbourhood watch are *hostile* to.

        1. ahjayzis

          In what way? They might OWN the hospitals and schools, but we pay for them? Their upkeep, staff wages, capital costs are covered by you and me, not his divine and serene holiness in Rome – in which way is their continued influence and involvement important to us?

          Please outline the actual important role here, outside of weddings, funerals etc. for the comfort of the deluded flock?

  5. Drogg

    If he is anyway serious he should immediately sack the communications clinic as a gesture that they are serious because no one in media will take them seriously as long as prone is spinning shame for them.

    1. Dubloony

      Lets take this at face value for a sec.
      I’d love to hear the official church thoughts on groups that presume to speak on their behalf, ahem, certain “institutes”.

  6. El Friendo

    Give up yer oul sins, hand your vast wealth to the main non-denominational charities (no post-dated cheques please), hand over the keys to that 2010/11 VW Comfort Line Passat, take off your watches, hand back the keys to all the schools in Ireland and give up all your documents detailing the rape and torture of members of our society.

    Then, we can talk.

    1. ABM

      Do you think the state, which I assume you pledge your loyalty to, should sell the National Gallery to a Russian oligarch? Maybe an Apple executive might like a Dublin holiday lodge in the Phoenix Park?

      1. Jordofthejungle

        Lol. Don’t you need to feed your cat ABM? You’ll wear out your poor hypocritical and bile-laden self and your (state-subsidised) keyboard which has received a fair amount of bashing tonight, eh?

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