Tag Archives: Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Kate O’Neill, in The Times Ireland edition, reports:

The archbishop [Diarmuid Martin] said the suggestion that the pontiff would visit a former Magdalene laundry during his visit was just speculation.

“The question of all victims will be looked at. There are victims of institutions, survivors of abuse by priests, Magdalene laundries, the mother and baby homes, we are looking at all of those,” he said.

Pope protesters decried as ‘spoilsports’ (Kate O’Neill, The Times Ireland edition)

Sam Boal/Rollingnews


Pope Francis (second left) and Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin

This morning.

On Today with Sean O’Rourke, hosted by Keelin Shanley, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin talked about how the World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin in 2018.

It’s described as the “world’s largest Catholic gathering of families” and happens every three years. Pope Francis hopes to attend.

From this morning’s interview.

Keelin Shanley: “Archbishop, the World Meeting of Families [Congress]. First off, why was Dublin chosen or how did you manage to bring it to Dublin, I suppose is the real question?”

Diarmuid Martin:I didn’t ask for it. The pope decided that he… I was told the pope was thinking, you know, Dublin and if that was the case, would I, would I accept. And that’s the way it went. The pope himself told me that there were two other…generally speaking, it’s once in Europe and then once somewhere else… that two other European cities had made the request, that he felt that Dublin would be an interesting place for him to come to and to reflect on, on family, family in the church, family in society. That that would be not just a reflection for Ireland but a reflection coming from Ireland for major parts of Europe.”

Shanley: “That’s interesting so two other European cities, they’d asked for it?”

Martin: “Yes.”

Shanley: “Ireland hadn’t asked for it?


Shanley: “And yet he came to you and asked…”

Martin: “It was…in a sense…it was embarrassing because I was asked and told under no circumstances to say this, and at the same time, there’s a parallel process going on among Irish bishops wanting to invite the pope and I couldn’t say ‘well, you know, the pope is looking at this’.”

Shanley: “And do you think the pope will come in 2018, at the same time?”

Martin: “He has, he said to me that he hoped he would come or, if not him, his successor, that’s the first thing you have to say, the pope will be 80 next month or in December. So he’ll be 81 and a half by the time this event would take place and, obviously, you know, that poses questions as to what he would be able to undertake at that particular time. One thing is certain that, you know, if he does decide to come, he will come to something, to a different Ireland but also with a very different understanding of what the pope coming to Ireland is about. I hear people saying ‘the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit’ as if these were two separate things. The pope would come to Ireland for the Meeting of the Families – and that would be the primary purpose of him coming and most of his time would be dedicated to that. And when he goes to a country…when he goes to an event, for example, and…in Krakow, he went to Auschwitz and he went the marian shrine in Czestochowa, but if he went there and back in both cases in the morning, there weren’t those huge events that we are associated with the papal visit in 1979 and I think if he were in Ireland going outside the actual meeting, he would go in a framework which would stress that he’s here in Ireland for the Meeting of the Families.”

Shanley: “Right, so it would be a much lower key event than we would have seen before?”

Martin: “A different kind of event. But it’s primary purpose in coming was to the World Meeting of the Families. As I say, to bring a message for Ireland, to bring a message from Ireland for families, particularly in Europe.”

Shanley: “It’s interesting, I mean since he became pope, this pope has been very interested in the family, it’s very much put at centre stage. And yet, when the church begins to talk about families, there is always the ‘well, why are these usually older men, unmarried, with no children themselves, why are they talking about family?’ How difficult is that? That bridge?”

Martin: “I think, you know, we can have lots of discussions around the family and the difficulties of the family as an institution but I think all of us realise that when family, when families work, they bring stability to society, in a way that no other institution does. If you look at the trans-generational dimension of families, the idea of the nuclear family that we had – mother, father, two children, a boy and a girl – that really is a distortion of the real notion of family. Family is the place where values are passed on from one generation to the next, where families bring – through the love and the support they give – within their own homes and in society and, if that breaks down, then everybody should be concerned about it.”

Shanley: “And would that be part of this next World Meeting of Families? The embracing of new types of families, including same-sex couples, divorced couples, separated couples?

Martin: If you start going around, looking at a whole series of categories, you miss the important, most of us know, we’re able to identify what is family – whether that’s in Africa, whether it’s in South America or in Ireland. And there’s a huge variety in families. The same thing is, we often say the church is opposed to the idea of family. I’ve gone to meetings recently and one of the questions they ask is: hands up anybody who says their family here is the ideal family? And, of course, we all know that isn’t the case. We all know that there’s imperfection in us, in all our institutions. But does that mean that we have to renounce the idea of having an ideal to which people can aspire? Of having with young people, saying to them, look, this is a vital part of your search for happiness in your life. Get ready for it…”

Shanley: “And what is that ideal? As you would see it, that the church would aspire to in terms of family?


Shanley: “When you talk about permanence, fidelity, love, you could find permanence, fidelity, love in any type of relationship and I suppose that is around the key issues of family and the Catholic Church. It’s had so many families around Ireland feel that they are not respected equally by the Catholic Church, if they are a same-sex couple or if they are, you know, a non couple or whatever the individual kind of family is made up as. Do you think you will extend out to these families and bring them in?”

Martin: “I think there’ll be ways in which you can do that, but not sort of generalised decrees saying there’s an amnesty for this group or an amnesty for that group..many of these things can be looked at on an individual basis.”

Shanley: “What does that mean?”

Martin: “Well, you’ll have to find the particular circumstances in which people find themselves in and begin to reflect on that and see are there elements which really belong to the church’s understanding of marriage present in people who don’t fully realise those..”

Shanley: “I, I don’t… sorry, not to be..but I don’t fully understand there. Are you saying, for example, two women living together with two children which, if they’re permanent, faithful…”

Martin: “In that particular case, my first concern would be about the two children. And to see that they receive from the church and from society all the support that is there, despite, and, you know, without going, despite the fact that it’s, it’s a different type of relationship to the church’s teaching on marriage. One of the big challenges, if you take, for example, what is it in today’s world, why is it that so many people are not getting married? Why are people afraid of a commitment for life and what is that saying? These are big societal questions that we have to look at..”

Listen back in full here


 “From the point of view of Catholic teaching in general medical ethics, there is no obligation to use extraordinary means to maintain a life. That applies both to the woman and to the child.

 “A woman can’t be, isn’t simply an incubator, the relation between a woman and a child is a relationship and it is very clear that one has to look at what stage is this foetus, what are the possibilities, is it even right to use extraordinary means to prolong that life if it is not going to move.”

 “I mean there are cases, for example, it happens very sadly, in car accidents where a pregnant woman is kept alive so the child is born. Each of these cases has to be looked at individually, this is a very different case. I would hope, it’s a pity that all of these [cases] come to the courts to be decided. The medical profession, it should be, within the area of, but there seems to be a polarisation and a fear that things will go wrong, that they’ll have difficulty legally or with the insurance and so on.”

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin speaking to Pat Kenny on Newstalk earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, Fiona Londras writes on the Human Rights In Ireland blog:

“One important question for the High Court today, then, will be whether or not sustaining life for the amount of time required to vindicate the right to life of the foetus is practicable. In this respect, medical evidence as to the point at which delivery would be safe will be important. Whether or not the Court takes into account the statistical likelihood of survival and statistical likelihood of severe disability to help to determine the point of appropriate intervention (barring any medical emergencies in the meantime) will be especially interesting, but these certainly seem to me to be important elements in determining practicability.”

“Questions of proportionality are also likely to arise and to be influenced by these considerations as to medical practice. Even if the right to life is a pre-eminient right, the Court will surely ask whether the interferences with the woman’s constitutional rights in order to vindicate the foetal right to life are proportionate. The question of proportionality will come down, in all likelihood, to a determination of the extent of the interference which implicates matters of how long her life will have to be sustained considered by reference to the likelihood of optimal health outcomes for the foetus.”

“In short, the High Court today (and, perhaps, the Supreme Court on appeal tomorrow) will have to make a decision as to just how long a hand the 8th Amendment reaches into medical care in this country. It is clear that this is not a case that is governed by the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013. That Act deals only with situations in which there is a risk to the life of a pregnant woman that might be averted through abortion. This is clearly not such a case. However, the 8th Amendment is far broader than abortion, whatever its original intended reach might have been. The fact that medical professionals have felt utterly unable to make a medical decision to cease life support, with the support of the patient’s family, because of the legal uncertainty that surrounds the life of a foetus which is at such an early point of gestation as to be far from viable sharply illustrates the consequences of having constitutionalised the ban of abortion through the use of such far-reaching language.”

Archbishop of Dublin says a woman “isn’t simply an incubator” (Newstalk)

Foetal life, natural death and the 8th amendment (Human Rights in Ireland)

Photocall Ireland


Archbishop Diarmuid Martin says he is concerned about “a deeply divided Dublin” (Newstalk)

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)



turner-martyn[Martyn Turner’ (above) and the controversial cartoon (top)]

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin voiced his grievances about a cartoon which appeared in the Irish Times on Wednesday, during a Holy Thursday Mass in the Dublin’s Pro Cathedral yesterday morning.

It appeared in the paper a day after retired parish priest Fr Gearoid O Donnchu told Chris O’Donoghue on Newstalk that he will not break the seal of confession under any circumstance.

The cartoon – a comment on the Children First Bill which provides for the mandatory reporting of child abuse and the Catholic Church’s seal of the confessional – no longer appears on the Irish Times website.


Martyn Turner (Irish Times)

Previously: Too Toon?

Bless Me Father

Thanks Joan O’Connell

MartinbigArchbishop Diarmuid Martin has made an “unprecedented” appeal for food, saying one of Ireland’s biggest charities Crosscare – which is the social care agency of the Dublin Archdiocese – can’t meet the demand.

In one community last week it could only provide 40 food parcels when 120 were needed.

RTÉ reports:

“The Dublin diocesan social care agency has said unless parishes provide urgent help more hungry people could be turned away soon.”

“Archbishop Martin said this year it expects to have distributed 750 tonnes of food, 50% more than last year.

“It will be sending collection vans to parishes each week during December. Among its urgent requirements are pasta and rice, fruit juice, tea and coffee, soup, sugar and powdered milk, canned meat, fish, vegetables and fruit, as well as packaged desserts and biscuits and hygiene products.

Archbishop Martin makes unprecedented food appeal (RTÉ)


(Laura Hutton/Photocall)

That’s what Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Michael D’Antonio thinks.

Writing in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times, Mr D’Antonio says:

“Some longtime Vatican watchers say the Italians seek to reassert their control, in order to fix the management problems inside the bureaucracy. According to this faction, the church’s finances are a mess and the brand is severely damaged.

“But the damage to the church has been done mainly by the never-ending scandal of priests who sexually abuse children and the routine cover-up practiced by higher-level officials, up to and including the pope.

“The lowest point in the crisis came with Ireland’s outraged response to revelations of sexual abuse by priests and the cover-up orchestrated by the hierarchy. In 2011, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny decried “the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.”

“More telling was the public response. A 2010 protest march through the streets of Dublin ended at the seat of Irish Catholicism, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. There, more than 1,000 children’s shoes were tied to an iron fence in front of the church. The shoes represented child victims of abuse at the hands of priests. When a bishop appeared to speak with the protesters, he was met with a furious response from men and women who called Irish clerics “child-abusing terrorists” and the church “the largest pedophile ring in Ireland.”

“In the world’s most Catholic country, attendance at Sunday services — once standing room only — declined by more than half. In just eight months, more than 6,000 people publicly renounced their faith as part of a project called Count Me Out.

“Amid the crisis, only one Irish bishop, Diarmuid Martin, approached the angry and the disillusioned with the kind of humility required. Martin symbolically washed the feet of abuse victims and noted the futility of a “faith built on a faulty structure,” by which he meant the rule of ordained men. “The narrow culture of clericalism has to be eliminated,” he declared. “It did not come out of nowhere, and so we have to address its roots from the time of seminary training onwards.”

“This Martin is no Martin Luther. He supports the morality preached from Rome, including its opposition to abortion. These positions might bother anyone looking for rapid change in the church, but they should reassure the orthodox and make it possible for him to be considered a worthy successor of retiring Pope Benedict XVI. In addition, he’s a son of the land that has historically given more priests and nuns to the church, per capita, than any on Earth.”

“Intelligent and effective dissent is an Irish trait forged over centuries of suffering, deprivation and repression. I think it dwells inside Martin alongside his genuine shame over the church’s sins. His choice to replace the caretaker Benedict would bring the possibility of renewal to the church in the West, including former strongholds like Ireland, and signal a recognition that today’s crisis won’t be resolved with yesterday’s perspective.”

To Replace Benedict XVI, Irish Bishop Diarmuid Martin (Los Angeles Times)

(Pic: Missliliphoto)

“It isn’t over. Child protection and the protection of children is something that will go on…for the rest of our lives and into the future. Because the problems are there.”


VIdeo: 60 MInutes On The Church In Ireland Trailer