Dublin Archbishop Denounces Church for ‘Harshness’ Towards Gays
Abp. Diarmuid Martin made his critical remarks during Holy Week homily
by Rodney Pelletier • ChurchMilitant • April 17, 2017
DUBLIN – In his Holy Week and Easter Sunday homilies, Ireland’s head archbishop, Diarmuid Martin, called Catholicism a “religion of fear” and a “faith of prohibitions.”
Martin has spoken out in the past in support of homosexuality and commented the Catholic Church must change with the times.
On his Easter Sunday homily, Martin criticized the Catholic Church, claiming, “We had created a religion of fear, so much that even when we tried to live the good life, we were never left with a sensation of being free.” Martin continued, “For many, Christianity had been turned into a faith of prohibitions. Certain theologies spoke about freeing people from sin but had developed a concept of sin and sinner which made it almost impossible for a sinner ever to feel himself or herself truly liberated.” The archbishop added, “There were so many rules that many were left with a sense of scrupulosity, which left them trapped and oppressed by guilt and doubts.”
Martin rationalized his comments, alleging, “We could find people who observed all the norms and yet were the deepest of sinners because of the way they lived.”
We could find poor sinners who failed and failed again but their struggle was a struggle to be loving persons, and they realised that the Lord’s hand was always there to pick them up again, so that they could stand up once more and with their head hung [sic] high.
In his address during the Stations of the Cross held on April 14 in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, he maintained, “People reject Jesus because of us his believers.” He continued, “Scandals within the Church, bitterness and division, empty ritual, a false clerical culture of superiority, judgementalism of people who Jesus would have welcomed, have all contributed to darkening the possibility of many to recognise the true Jesus.”
During the 2015 referendum that legalized so-called “homosexual marriage” in Ireland, Martin commented, “I appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day. That they feel this is something that is enriching the way they live. I think it is a social revolution.”
He justified his refusal to proclaim Catholic teaching on the matter, claiming, “I have, however, no wish to stuff my religious views down other people’s throats.”
It is a contradiction to Martin’s April 14 statement where he lamented, “[M]any Christians simply hide their faith in the privacy of their hearts. They do not want to show their faith and their Christian allegiance in a clear way.” He continued, “Much less do they try to envisage how their faith might in fact bring something vital to the day-to-day widespread search about the meaning of life and above all about how the power of love can change attitudes.”
Martin has gone against the Vatican by maintaining in The Tablet in 2005, “You don’t write off a candidate for the priesthood simply because he is a gay man.” He has also denied the link between homosexual men and the abuse of boys and teenagers.
Ireland’s national seminary in Maynooth, headed by Martin and the other bishops of Ireland, has been plagued with scandal. Seminarians were removed after complaining their professor, who was a Catholic priest, professed he didn’t believe in the True Presence of the Holy Eucharist.
In 2015, seminarians were dismissed for being too “theologically rigid,” while others were sent packing when they expressed their preference to kneel for the Consecration at Mass.
One seminarian was removed after he reported his vocation director to the police for abusive behavior. He alleges the priest inappropriately touched him multiple times, asked questions about his sexuality and told offensive and sexually graphic jokes.
In January 2017, Church Militant reported that Martin had moved a deacon accused of homosexual misconduct at Maynooth to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. Some are affirming a “homosexual, a gay culture; that students have been using an app called Grindr, which is a gay dating app,” and Martin and the other Catholic bishops of Ireland are doing nothing to stop it