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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin speaks of the 'critical juncture' of the Catholic Church

But he said “despite the difficulties of the Church in Ireland there are also so many signs of hope”.

ARCHBISHOP DIARMUID MARTIN has said, “we are at a critical juncture in the history of the Catholic Church in this diocese and in our country”.

He was speaking at the Chrism Mass this morning in St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral in Dublin.

The Archbishop also spoke about the amount of people losing faith and leaving the Catholic church:

We are at critical juncture about the place of the Catholic Church in Irish society and in the future culture of Ireland. And we are at a critical juncture about the very place of faith and the very understanding of faith within the Catholic community.

But he said “despite the difficulties of the Church in Ireland there are also so many signs of hope”.


He prayed for the “anguish” of victims of child clerical sex abuse following the sentencing of former priest of the Diocese, Patrick Mc Cabe, for abuse. Seventy-year-old McCabe was, who abused two boys over 30 years ago, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last week.

I feel that on this day, which is a day of celebration, I would not be honest with myself to allow the horror of abuse that took place in this very Church to pass unnoticed and remain simply newspaper articles, without remembering the anguish of the victim.

However, Martin welcomed that the “Church in Ireland has made great progress in the area of child safeguarding” following the implementation of the National Board for Safeguarding Children. He believes the board is helping pave the way for the Catholic church in the future, but added that the past would not be forgotten.

Pope Francis

During the homily, Martin also welcomed the new Pope Francis and the “surprises” he brings to the Catholic Church “every day” and spoke of what he believes was a successful Eucharistic Congress which took places for eight days last year. He added that many people changed the day they entered into the Congress and “many who came skeptical overcame it”.

Read: Priest dismissed over complaints of child sexual abuse >

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