News archive 2008

Ireland cannot shrink from its European Responsibilities – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

14 November 2008

Ireland cannot shrink from its European Responsibilities – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

The Archbishop of Dublin has said Ireland cannot shrink from its European responsibilities. Ireland’s identity, said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin is “irrevocably bound with Europe”. He said commitment to a better Europe involves engagement, rather than resignation or simply lamenting from the sidelines.
In a homily at Mass to mark the feast day of Saint Laurence O’ Toole in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral (11am, Friday, 14th) Archbishop Martin said, many centuries ago Laurence O’ Toole had established strong links with Europe, as a mediator.
The congregation at the Pro Cathedral Mass was joined by a group of visitors from Eu in Normandy, led by the Archbishop of Rouen, Jean Charles Descaubes and the Lord Mayor of Eu, Madame Marie Francoise Gaouyer. Their presence, said the Archbishop was a reminder of how deep our links are with Europe as a people and as a Church.
“That link today is not one based on fear of domination, but one of opportunity, participation and partnership.” said Dr. Martin, “This does not mean a problem free relationship with contemporary Europe. It does mean however that Ireland within Europe has its role to play and its contribution to bring. Ireland cannot evade its European calling nor shrink from its European responsibilities.
He said that, far from looking at Europe as a threat to our distinctive Irishness, we should realize that Ireland has the capacity to contribute to Europe, to change Europe. He pointed out that, this requires a more robust and discerning politics towards Europe, recognizing the immense value of the European project as well as the challenges that the creation of a pluralist Europe entails in our times.
“Laurence O’Toole was one who within the difficult times in which he lived walked the unsafe paths of a tense and war torn Europe as one committed to peace and harmonious living together. The Church today can learn from his steps. Commitment to a better Europe involves engagement, rather than resignation or simply lamenting from the sidelines,” said Dr. Martin.
Also this morning, three men were ordained to the deaconate, two from the Archdiocese of Dublin, and a Capuchin Franciscan candidate.
Notes to editors 

  • St. Laurence O’ Toole was the first Archbishop of Dublin. He led a contemplative life of prayer and spent much time travelling in Europe acting as a mediator. Laurence led the six Irish bishops who attended the Third Lateran Council in Rome in 1179. Pope Alexander III was so impressed that he appointed him Papal Legate to Ireland with the responsibility of reforming the Church in Ireland and defending it against attack. On his return, Laurence summoned a council of the Irish Church at Clonfert which took firm action against the abuses of the time.
  • He died in the monastery at Eu, in Normandy, His tomb in Eu rapidly became a place of pilgrimage and many miracles were attributed to his intercession.
  • It was only his death that prevented him from completing his work of reformation. He was canonised in 1225.
  • Ordained to the deaconate – men studying for the priesthood are ordained as deacons before they are ordained priests. Ordained deacons today were, Colin Rothery and Aloysius Zuribo, both students of the Archdiocese of Dublin and Stephen Inchul Kim, Capuchin Franciscan.
Further information:
Archdiocese of Dublin Communications Office (tel: 01 8360723 / mobile: 087 8143462) Email:;  web

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