News archive 2005

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s statement on the responsibility of newspapers to maturely represent the norms of Church teaching


24 FEBRUARY 2005




The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has expressed his disappointment
at the manner in which a recent newspaper interview was taken up in a subsequent
article in yesterday’s Irish Independent (23/02/05), under the heading “Missing
Sunday Mass is not a mortal sin, says Archbishop”.    

In the original interview, in the Irish Daily Star, Archbishop Martin addressed
the situation of people who had drifted from Church practice, but who still
maintained bonds with the Church through prayer and occasional Church attendance.
The Archbishop would not be drawn into answering questions about the subjective
dispositions of conscience of individuals. In no place did he challenge or
deny the current norms of Church teaching and discipline on Mass attendance,
as some have interpreted the headline in the Irish Independent.  Indeed the
Archbishop clearly recalled the centrality of active membership of the
Eucharistic community and attendance at Mass each Sunday.

This matter again indicates the difficulty the Archbishop increasingly encounters
in attempting to address questions of Church life, which are complex in their
nature and  require to be examined in a sensitive manner.  The Archbishop
sincerely feels a mature debate on Church life is not served when genuine
attempts to address these issues in a receptive manner are responded to with
superficial newspaper headlines.

Archbishop Martin remains genuinely committed to fostering such a debate.


Annette O Donnell
Communications Office
Archbishop’s House
Dublin 9
Telephone: (01) 836 0723
Facsimile: (01) 836 0793

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