Saturday, March 03, 2012

Irish Archbishop: Catholic Church In Ireland at Breaking Point

Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin (pictured at left) has been one of the very few members of the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy who has indicated a desire to clean house and admit to the fact that Catholicism is collapsing in Ireland - a nation once considered among the most Catholic countries on earth. Unfortunately, the rest of the hierarchy and many in the laity around the world refuse to open their eyes to the magnitude of the moral bankruptcy of the Church leadership, including Benedict XVI and his anything but saintly predecessor John Paul II who did nothing to weed out predatory priests. Indeed, John Paul II was far more concerned about the reputation of the church than he was about stopping child rapists within the Catholic clergy. Here are highlights from an article in The Guardian that reports on Martin's prognosis for Catholicism in Ireland:

Irish Catholicism is at "breaking point" over the child sex abuse scandals involving the clergy, the leader of Ireland's largest Catholic diocese will say on Sunday. The archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, will also warn that the paedophile priest controversy is far from over for the Irish church.

In a frank admission of the church's failings on American primetime TV , Martin will say: "There's a real danger today of people saying: 'the child abuse scandal is over, let's bury it, let's move on'.

Regarded as one of the most progressive thinkers in the Irish Catholic church, Martin will appear on CBS's top current affairs show 60 Minutes. He is one of the most senior Catholics to openly criticise the way the hierarchy has handled the abuse allegations.

The head of Dublin's Catholics will tell the programme that "now is not the time to forget" and that the "problems are still there" when it comes to the scandals that have rocked the church and undermined its political power and authority in the Irish Republic.

Archbishop Martin has warned that the church in Ireland needs to make further progress and carry out major reforms before any visit by Pope Benedict could take place.

When Martin was appointed archbishop of Dublin he handed over 65,000 files to the Murphy commission, which was tasked with investigating clerical child abuse in the Irish capital. In his sermons he also confronted the church's leadership over the way they covered up past child abuse scandals by moving priests suspected of being paedophiles into new parishes in other parts of Ireland or abroad. He also met organisations representing the victims of clerical abuse.

It is noteworthy that Martin's predecessor had refused to turn the files over to Irish authorities. An Irish Central story also has some interesting items on what Martin will likely say on 60 Minutes tomorrow night:

Bob Simon’s report looks at how the sexual abuse scandal in Ireland has transformed the way of life.

He shows how the child sex abuse crisis and cover-up in the Catholic Church in Ireland has taken a devastating toll on one of the most Catholic countries in the world. Some parishes that once saw 90 percent Sunday Mass attendance are down to two percent.

A country that once produced so many priests that they were considered an important export now doesn’t have enough for its own churches the report finds.

If the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church were smart, they both launch major initiatives to attract Catholics who want to remain churchgoers but who are fed up financing the morally bankrupt monsters in the Catholic Church hierarchy. Where the laity likes to face reality or not, by continuing to support their parishes, they are supporting Rome and all of the corrupt protectors of child rapists throughout the Church hierarchy.

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