Actions Without Consequences?

Archbishop of Dublin criticizes Irish who use cocaine and then wonder about violence


Ireland has experienced a dramatic increase in its wealth over the last several years. Along with this surge of income, a strange way of thinking has developed amongst some people that disassociates their bad behavior from its larger societal consequences. The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin described this thinking by mentioning that some people “use cocaine on Saturday and eat organic food on Sunday.”

Archbishop Martin pointed out that a double standard exists among the better-off in Ireland because they want to be self-indulgent and also believe that their actions don't have a wider impact on society. He explained that people don't see their sins as being contected to societal problems.

"There is a strange dichotomy in society that these two realities are not being linked," he told the Sunday Tribune. "People are being killed in one area of the city, and the cocaine is being used in another part. It is not a healthy thing.”

"There are two different realities in our society. You get people using cocaine on Saturday night and eating organic food on Sunday."

Expressing his shock at the level of violence in Ireland, he noted that this reflected a weakening of respect for human life.

"What's going on here?" he asked. "Every day there is another version."

In the wake of the escalation in violence, the archbishop reiterated his proposal for a national summit of community leaders to address violent crime. He has made this suggestion before, but it was rejected by the Prime Minister of Ireland Bertie Ahern.

Archbishop Martin, who took over from Cardinal Desmond Connell three years ago after living in Rome for 30 years, asked why it was the case in Irish society today that people who used cocaine for recreational purposes did not see any link with a 19-year-old being killed.

The Irish prelate was also asked by The Independent what his thoughts are concerning the refusal of Communion to politicians who support abortion. His response was that he hoped no politician would receive the Eucharist “as a photo-op for his own position.” He also suggested that Communion should be withheld from “people involved in exploitation and corruption, especially a drug baron known to have ordered somebody's killing”.

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