Monday 3 March 2014

The Archanalyst of Dublin

Once more the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, delivers the diagnosis, the analysis of the problems in the Church.

And once more he fails to deliver any suggestions for fixing things.  Nor does he seem to be remotely aware of his part in the failure.  Patsy Mc Garry writes:

Catholic teaching on contraception, cohabitation, same sex relationships, the divorced and remarried is “disconnected from real life experience of families – and not by just younger people”, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin last night.

In general, church teaching in those areas was found to be “poorly understood . . . poorly accepted” by Catholics in Dublin, he said at a meeting in Holy Cross College, Clonliffe. He was commenting on findings of a consultation in the diocese.

Every time the good Archbishop opens his mouth some sort of subtle nuance drops out.  Where Cardinal Brady (God help us, has he still not retired?) back in 2008 managed to condemn same sex civil unions in something like clear terms, Martin, in a letter to the Irish Catholic wrote:

The debate about civil unions is precisely about a situation in which the mutuality of the sexes is no longer seen as something anthropologically unique and irreplaceable, but simply a cultural construct which can be adapted and changed. That is the central issue which the Church should be addressing in her catechesis and in her witness towards society.

No doubt the faithful in Rialto and Fatima Mansions were grateful for the clarity of that contribution.

So now Catholic teaching is disconnected from real life. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.  Christ has always made "impossible" demands on us.  He wants hands cut off and eyes plucked out to avoid sin.  He expects sinners to go and sin no more.  He expects marriage to be for life.  He wants us to love God and neighbour more than we love ourselves.  Of course there's a disconnect from "real life".


  1. Excellent analysis. But what's the solution to Diarmuid?

    Btw, great to have you back blogging.

  2. I believe that people can change and I believe that Diarmuid Martin has some great human qualities and he needs to think about what sort of leadership it can bring to the Church in Dublin. He could read Forming Intentional Disciples. He could look at the dioceses that have good vocations records and act similarly. He could do something loud and public about the Mater hospital and abortion, and about St Patrick's training college and heresy.