Loading
Dublin archbishop says lapsed Catholics should admit their non-belief
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
By Benjamin Mann
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Non-practicing and non-believing Irish Catholics should be honest about their relation to the Church, Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told the makers of a TV documentary that aired Dec. 11.

“It requires maturity on two sides: maturity of those people who want their children to become members of the Church community, and maturity of those people who say, 'I don't believe in God, I really shouldn't be hanging on to the vestiges of faith when I don't really believe in it,'” he said.

Archbishop Martin's comments were featured in an episode of “Would You Believe,” RTE Television's investigative series on religion.

Its Dec. 11 episode looked at the issue of Irish parents who have ceased to practice their faith, but still want their children to receive the Catholic sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.

Filmmaker Mick Peelo's interviews showed many self-identified Irish Catholics seeking sacramental preparation for their children, while lacking either the intention or the ability to pass on the principles and meaning of the faith.

People interviewed for the show gave various reasons for wanting their children to receive the sacraments, despite their own lack of belief and practical commitment.

One woman described the rites of initiation as a “platform from which (children) can question” in later life. Another noted that a child often “doesn't want to be left out” when their peers are making their First Communion.

While Archbishop Martin called for honesty among adults no longer committed to the Church's faith, he also acknowledged that the problem's roots run deep.

“Irish Catholics are very weak, and that's the fault of generations of the Church in their understanding of Scriptures,” he said, reflecting on teachings that “taught us things about religion” but “didn't really deepen our faith.”

He suggested that practices of the past may have inspired anxiety, in place of a personal commitment.

“For many people in Ireland, the God we were practicing and teaching wasn't necessarily the God of love at all. It was a God who inspired fear, it was a God who was sort of a 'somebody watching you,' rather than freeing and empowering you.”

The situation calls not only for honesty, but for a more substantial presentation of Catholicism.

“We have to do a radical new look at the way that religious education takes place,” Archbishop Martin said in his interview with Peelo.

“A religious education is not simply for the schools or for school-age. You can't be a mature Catholic in today's world just on the basis on what you learned in primary school or secondary school. But we're not offering an ongoing formation to people in the way that they needed and wanted.”

The makers of “Would You Believe” spoke with several Irish clergy who acknowledged the inter-generational problems surrounding Catholic identity and commitment.

One of them, Fr. John Hassett, is shown baptizing the child of two parents who appear hesitant toward Catholic practice and belief in several interview segments.

But the priest says he encourages parents to show integrity by living up to the obligations of their choice.

“At every Baptism, I finish the ritual, the couples come up behind the altar, and I say: 'This is a fake – this is a fraud, this is hypocrisy –  if the next time your child touches this holy space is on the preparation of (first) Holy Communion,” Fr. Hassett explained.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14