“It requires maturity on those people who want their children to become members of the church community and maturity on those people who say ‘I don’t believe in God and I really shouldn’t be hanging on to the vestiges of faith when I don’t really believe in it’.” The Irish Times reports: ‘ The Archbishop of Dublin,Diarmuid Martin,has urged the country’s lapsed Catholics to have the maturity to leave the church. Over the past two decades,rising numbers of ‘a la carte’Catholics simply turn up at the altar for the sacraments like baptism,communion and marriage.Of course the Archbishop's position that non-believers should not pretend to be believers and abuse the Sacraments becomes in the Irish Times an urging of "lapsed Catholics to have the maturity to leave the church". I agree with Fr. Hassett, a parish moderator, who believes the situation is more complex than a mere 'social Catholicism'. We have generations of poorly catechised and evangelised Catholics who are rejecting what they do not understand. Some have been badly hurt by clergy, religious or over-enthusiastic laity. For many it may be simply that it's easier to live in the halfway house of being culturally Catholic without committing to the faith in a real way. These people believe at some level but not enough to make a deeper, more public commitment. But what do we expect after all these years of liberalism and neglect? What do we expect when Confession is not promoted or when the Church's teaching is so often questioned evenly her own clergy? What we have are theists not Christians. There is belief in God 'somewhere way up there' but He is no longer so judgmental or authoritarian. Instead He has become rather soft. He has become a sort of Santa writ large but not much more real. The long road back from such a state will be long and hard indeed.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Protect the Pope have a short article on some comments by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin drawing on reports in the Irish papers. Broadcast last night as part of RTE's 'Would you Believe?' series the Archbishop was interviewed by Mick Peelo.
Posted by Br. Tom Forde OFM Cap at 1:04 PM
Labels: Archbishop of Dublin; Diarmuid Martin, Would you believe?; faith in Ireland; Irish Catholicism;