14TH DECEMBER 2006
STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN
CONDEMNATION OF VIOLENCE
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin – in a statement issued in response to the horrific
violence of the last few days in Dublin – today said that “Human life is sacred.
Those who disregard human life must face the judgment of God. If those who carry
out such violence or those who mandate them have any conscience, let them remember
that, whatever else, God’s judgment is something they will never evade.”
Full statement follows:
Again in these days the streets of Dublin have witnessed a series of horrific
killings. They are a terrible reminder of a culture of violence that is beginning
to devastate areas of our city. There are some who feel that they have a right
to callously disregard the dignity of human life – even of innocent bystanders – in
order to foster their criminal interests. There can be nothing further from the
message of the Gospel and we all have responsibility to denounce such violence.
Human life is sacred. Those who disregard human life must face the judgment of
God. If those who carry out such violence or those who mandate them have any
conscience, let them remember that, whatever else, God’s judgment is something
they will never evade.
The violence we have witnessed cannot be justified or tolerated whether the victims
are known to be innocent or suspected of involvement in criminal activities. This
culture of violence leads only to death. A culture which attempts to impose its
interests through violence undermines the rule of law and is a threat to democracy.
There is no room for complacency in the face of such evil. I wish to encourage
every support for the Gardai and other civic authorities in their efforts to bring
to justice those responsible for these murders and to prevent further killings.
I can only praise the courage of individuals and communities who, notwithstanding
threats and intimidation, are willing to bring to the attention of the relevant
authorities the information they need to act against those who seek to profit
from the suffering and addictions of others. All of us must bring home to those
who attempt to impose their “law” by means of fear that as a society we are prepared
to show that we are not afraid of them. I encourage every parish on this coming
Sunday to offer prayers for the communities most affected.
I know from priests in many parishes how the trade in illegal drugs in Dublin is
destroying lives every day. In addition to the terrible shootings and beatings that
make the news, there is the daily reality of young lives being wasted and families
and communities being ripped apart by the terrible plague of drug abuse. There can
be no tolerance of this trade. Those who might seek to characterize, however
naively, their use of illegal drugs as being “recreational” cannot be allowed to
blind themselves to the terrible consequences of this “trade in death” they are
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