Dublin archbishop gets it

If only the church had a few more leaders who could step up and face reality instead of smearing victims. The Catholic church in Ireland is in a very dangerous moment and making excuses won’t help. Dragging out an already bad situation will only lose more support but the church does seem to prefer a narrow minority who sees no wrong. Maybe their goal is to have a small group of purists who will accept anything. In Dublin, at least, the church is moving in the right direction. Why so little elsewhere?

The archbishop — who leads an archdiocese containing more than 1 million of Ireland’s 4 million Catholics — said in an Irish Times column that the church in Ireland has lost credibility because of its weak response to 15 years of revelations of chronic child abuse within its ranks.

Martin said it was incomprehensible why other church leaders remained “in denial” following a nine-year investigation by a child abuse commission, which published its devastating 2,600-page report last Wednesday.

He said the report documented beyond any doubt “church institutions where children were placed in the care of people with practically no morals.” The last of those workhouses for Ireland’s poorest children closed more than a decade ago.

The archbishop also accused the orders of reneging even on the amount promised to the government, which is funding more than euro1.1 billion in payouts to victims and their lawyers. Martin said the church’s failure to complete transfers of cash, property and land worth at least euro128 million over the past seven years “is stunning.”

“There may have been legal difficulties, but they are really a poor excuse after so many years,” he wrote.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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