Taboo Breaking


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Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin

Patsy McGarry, in the Irish Times, reports:

Speaking at a Mass in Lucan Co Dublin marking the 10th anniversary of suicide support organisation Pieta House, [Archbishop Diarmuid Martin] said it would not be right not to accept the church’s role in fomenting such taboos.

It would not be honest for me to stand here this afternoon and not recognise that the Church in Ireland and farther afield contributed greatly to the level of taboo which surrounded suicide,” he said.

He continued that “a Church which loses the sense of the priority of mercy gets trapped in a priority of rules, and loses the meaning of those rules. The preaching of Jesus was constantly directed against those who imposed burdens on others and never lifted a hand to help.

That rigidity and hypocrisy remains always a temptation. It will not be combated simply by homilies and critique, no matter how important they are.”

Church ‘contributed greatly’ to taboos on suicide – Martin (Irish Times)

Sam Boal/

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19 thoughts on “Taboo Breaking

    1. classter

      Only the babbies went to Limbo, no?

      Suicide victims were guilty of a mortal sin & potentially could go to hell. The thinking was that this wasn’t definite since the victim ‘may not have given full consent of the will.’

      Taboo or no taboo, I thought this was still the Church’s position, even if Martin frames it in a more empathetic manner? Happy to be corrected.

  1. MoyestWithExcitement

    It almost sounds like religious rules are made by men and so can’t really be used as a special defence for being a bigoted See You Next Tuesday.

      1. manolo

        I wonder what does that mean to pastafarianism. It should be up there with the main religions in my view.

  2. KirkenBrenner

    I’m sure DQ will “correct” Martin at some stage very soon and tell us what he meant to say.

    1. Rob_G

      Martin seems like a decent enough fellow; I imagine that it is difficult at times for him to defend things that are oftentimes indefensible.

    2. Clampers Outside!

      Nah, ABM often clashes with the Catholic Church’s official line and he often ignores or rallies against what his leader El Papa says. He’s a bit more closely aligned to fundamentalist Christian groups like IONA and YD, who also criticise the RCC on many issues, than he is to the official RCC line.

  3. Mayor Quimby

    if taboos prevent people from harming themselves is it a bad thing?

    This idea that removing the taboo will solve the problem is suspect

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