Archbishop urges society to unite over economic crisis

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin today called for Irish society to show solidarity to get through the economic crisis.

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin today called for Irish society to show solidarity to get through the economic crisis.

On the anniversary of the publication of the Murphy Report into the Church’s mishandling of clerical child sex abuse, the archbishop acknowledged survivors would be suffering one year on.

“Today is the first anniversary of the publication of the Murphy Report, an anniversary which will reawaken the pain and the anger of many survivors of abuse,” he said.

Focusing on the economic chaos, the archbishop said if the country is to move forward society needs a renewed sense of national purpose, not just negativity.

“Ireland in its current crisis requires obviously to keep its feet firmly on the ground in addressing the unprecedented challenge we have inherited,” the senior cleric said.

“We must be lucid about the mistakes of the past and the uncertainties of the path forward.

“A political climate of anger about the past and anxiety of the future could also lead to a negative politics which is only ’against’.

“If we want to move towards a different future we also, and perhaps above all, need a politics ’for’.”

The archbishop made the call at a Mass to celebrate graduations at the Mater Dei Institute of Education.

“We need not just negativity, but also a renewed sense of national purpose,” he said.

“The basis of that national purpose must be solidarity. It will be solidarity among us all in the face of the challenge.”

Meanwhile, campaigners used the anniversary to call on the Government to reaffirm commitments to protect children.

Support group One-in-Four said there are worries that promises to improve services may not be kept because of the economic crisis.

Executive director Maeve Lewis said: “The Murphy Report revealed a shameful era in Irish society.

“On the anniversary of its publication we must reaffirm our commitment to protecting the children of today. We owe this much at least to those who have suffered so greatly.”

One-in-Four said it has been contacted by about 1,000 survivors in the last 12 months.

The country was also promised a referendum on children’s rights but no date has been set.

The Murphy Report was published on November 26, 2009, and described horrific abuse of children and the refusal of church authorities to properly deal with paedophile priests.

It dealt with only a sample of 46 priests and allegations against them but went on to expose how clerics were not punished because the Catholic hierarchy in Ireland was granted police immunity.

Bishop Donal Murray and Bishop Jim Moriarty, both named in the report, and former auxiliaries in Dublin, had their resignations accepted by the Vatican.

Two other auxiliaries, Bishops Ray Field and Eamonn Walsh, offered their resignations which Pope Benedict has not accepted.

Recalling the one-year anniversary of the Murphy Report, the archbishop told graduates that open displays of faith have become difficult due to the scandals of abuse within the Church.

“It is not easy to be a believing Catholic in such a situation,” he said.

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