Dublin, Ireland, Nov 30, 2010 / 03:54 am
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland delivered a hopeful but brutally honest homily about the state of the Irish Church on Nov. 20, addressing serious failings that he said indicated a deeper crisis of faith.
The archbishop did not shrink from speaking frankly about the scandals that have rocked the Irish Church in the wake of two 2009 reports. The Murphy Report and the Ryan Report detailed sexual and other physical abuse in the Irish Church, along with church authorities' efforts to hide the incidents. Both reports prompted a papal investigation that began Nov. 12.
Speaking to members of the Legion of Mary at a Mass marking the 30th anniversary of its founder Frank Duff's death, Archbishop Martin acknowledged that many church leaders had failed profoundly in their pastoral duties. More than this, he said, they had demonstrated “arrogance and power seeking,” acting in a way that alienated many believers and contradicted the message of the gospel.
These failures and abuses, he said, caused the Church to lose both its remaining social power and much of its credibility. The blows came at a time when many Irish Catholics were already drifting away from the Church to “live as if God did not exist,” the archbishop continued.