3 April 2010
Statement of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on the comments of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams
The unequivocal and unqualified comment in a radio interview of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, that the Catholic Church in Ireland has “lost all credibility” has stunned me.
As Archbishop of Dublin, I have been more than forthright in addressing the failures of the Catholic Church in Ireland. I still shudder when I think of the harm that was caused to abused children. I recognise that their Church failed them.
But I also journey with those – especially parents and priests — who work day by day to renew the Catholic Church in this diocese and who are committed to staying with their Church and passing on the faith in wearying times. Archbishop Williams’ comments will be for them immensely disheartening and will challenge their faith even further. Those working for renewal in the Catholic Church in Ireland did not need this comment on this Easter weekend and do not deserve it.
Only last Thursday I had spoken about the good ecumenical, pastoral and personal friendship that I share with the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, John Neill, and I repeat that statement today.
But speaking frankly I have to say that in all my years as Archbishop of Dublin in difficult times I have rarely felt personally so discouraged as this morning when I woke to hear Archbishop William’s comments.