26TH FEBRUARY 2007
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE – ARCHBISHOP’S HOUSE, DUBLIN
Inauguration of Church and State Dialogue – 26th February 2007
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has welcomed today’s inauguration of the process for structured dialogue between the Government and the Churches, Philosophical and non confessional Organisations of Ireland. He said it was an important step in recognising the role and contribution religious groups have to make.
“As I have said many times in the past I believe the planned dialogue will be a positive step forward between Church and State in Ireland,” said Archbishop Martin, “it should accord true recognition by each and delineate the rights of each, within what I would call a ‘co-operative regime of separation between Church and State.” He added this separation means the Church does not interfere in the role of the State but also that politicians respect the legitimate autonomy of the Church.
Archbishop Martin, who attended the launch by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said it was equally important that Church bodies continue to engage with each other in deepening inter religious dialogue. This he said would lead to greatly improving the quality of contribution that religious bodies make to society.
For further information please contact: Ms Annette O’ Donnell: (087) 8143462