2011-07-18 12:01:42

Archbishop Martin on aftermath of Cloyne report

The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, addressing the faithful of his diocese during mass Sunday appealed to priests and laypeople not to be become “frustrated or indifferent”.

A letter from the apostolic administrator of Cloyne, Archbishop Dermot Clifford, was read in parishes throughout Ireland Sunday as Catholics came to grips with the aftermath of the government commissioned report into the handling of abuse in the diocese.

Since the report’s publication Wednesday public anger has been mounting. On Thursday the government convoked the Apostolic Nuncio Giuseppe Leanza, who stated he was “very distressed that again there have been failures in assuring the protection of children in the church despite all the good work that has been done”.

Speaking to believers in Dublin’s pro-cathedral Sunday Archbishop Martin said that the former Church authorities in Cloyne, had put themselves “beyond the norms the current Pope had promulgated for the entire Church” and that the “Church can never rest until the day in which the last victim has found his or her peace”.

Although Archbishop Martin stated that “the Catholic Church in Ireland is a much safer place today than it was even in the recent past,” he admitted that the Church has not yet “learned the lessons” from mistakes made in handling the sex abuse crisis.

He expressed his anger that children had been put at risk well after the Bishop’s guidelines were in place.

He insisted that “those in Church and State who have acted wrongly or inadequately should assume accountability,” but maintained that “those priests who have ministered untarnished and generously over years – indeed for an entire lifetime - should not be made scapegoats and objects of hate.”

He said “Priests deserve recognition for the good they do and they need the support of their people. I appeal to those priests who have become demoralised and half-hearted not to give in to cynicism but to heed the Lord’s call to renewal and conversion”.

Archbishop Martin also called on the government to respect the rights of believers as enshrined in the nation’s 1916 Proclamation of Independence. He said “a republic is not indifferent to the faith of its citizens”, “a republic respects the specific rights of believers”.

He conceded that “great damage has been done to the credibility of the Church in Ireland” and repeated that the role of the Church in Irish society will only be regained by the Church being more truly what the Church is”.
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