Monday, March 30, 2015

Irish clergy refuse to defend Marriage (1/2)

'The language of the 'No' camp (against Same-sex marriage) is not just intemperate but obnoxious, insulting and unchristian in regard to gay and lesbian people...There can be an ethic of equality, which is an ethic of recognising and respecting difference...," he said.

Dr (Diarmuid) Martin suggested that a pluralist society could be creative in finding ways in which people of same-sex orientation had their rights and their loving and caring relationships recognised and cherished in a culture of difference.

"I'm not saying that gay and lesbian people are unloving or that their love is somehow deficient compared to others, I am talking about a uniqueness in the male-female relationship," he said.

- Irish Independent 20/03/15

They are not just homophobic if they do that (oppose homosexuality) , they are actually God-phobic because God loves every one of those people. We have to learn a new way in Ireland to live with our differences and for all of us to live with respect for one another'.
- Diarmuid Martin 15/02/14

Not content with having turned away the majority of Irish people from the Catholic faith, the Association of Catholic Priests and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin have now set themselves a new task, endorsing state sanctioned same-sex 'marriage' the most sinister kind of public indifference. While the country slides towards an inevitable 'Yes' vote in May, men who claim to carry the cross of the Son of God, have issued nothing but petrified pleas for 'civil debate'. 'Civil debate' being a euphemism in ecumenical circles for not caring less about a particular issue.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Not only has Dr. Martin repeatedly positioned himself as a timid traitor against the faith (the kindest words that I can think of in this regard) but he has been a willing collaborator in the Catholic Church's self-loathing retreat from active participation in the public life of Irish people. It is not merely the case that the Church has been subject to reasonable demands in accordance with the proportion of those who (nominally at least) present themselves as Catholics, we now have rabid sectarian attacks from those of every denomination and none. There are countless petty examples that you could choose from, cutting down a cross atop Caurantoohill mountain or the controversy over a crucifix in Kerry County Council being two examples of the pathetic nature of some of these secularists, but the most apt example would be of the kind evident in former Minister Alan Shatter's corrupt attacks against  the faith. This man's pathological hatred for Catholicism  included banning military from religious services, trying to make the confessional seal a crime and most laughably of all banning a crib display from the Department of Defence in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

In this climate, the Church needs all of the help and bold-faced bravery that it can get. Cowering and asking to be left alone has been tried for 50 years and just does not work. Not that the Archbishop gets this. If the Church's worst enemies were to pick a leader to place in charge, they could not ask for one to abandon, dismay and disorientate Catholics as much as he has done.

A bit harsh?

In the time since he has become Archbishop and the public face of Catholicism in Ireland, the numbers identifying (a loose term) has fallen to around  80%. Given that these numbers are buoyed by the large influx of Polish immigrants, even that number is inflated. The numbers of those who describe themselves as atheist of irreligious has increased four fold  in the past two decades, to a figure now in the region of 300,000. Since Archbishop Martin took office, there's been a 44% increase in those with no religion in Ireland.

Surely even a non-Catholic would recognise that the real health of the faith is in the most dire of circumstances? Not the Archbishop. Instead of conversion, instead of doubling down and keeping the faith with those little numbers who actually attend Mass each week, Diarmuid Martin has taken the option of choosing to praise secularism, castigating opponents of same-sex 'marriage' and lambasting young seminarians who are not liberal enough.

These past few weeks, his comment on the same-sex 'marriage' referendum have been the actions of a man who wants to make life as easy as possible on himself when the legislation inevitably passes (with his help).  The essential theme of his reign as Archbishop has been compromise and deference towards a society which thinks that he and his Church, traditional and liberal members alike, are pieces of dirt to be despised, mocked and persecuted.  He is a master of ambiguities, with the intention of presenting himself as the kind modern face of a Church supposedly rigid with self-righteous antagonism towards the general population.

% of weekly church attendance among Irish Catholics 

1972-1973 (91%)
1981 (87%)
1988-1989 (87.6%)

2004 (Diarmuid Martin becomes Archbishop of Dublin)

2006 (56%) 
2007-2008 (44%)
2010 (45.2%)
2011 (30%)

                                    [The springtime of Vatican II above]

His stance on homosexuality is particularly unnerving.  Of the very small percentage of young people who  have some engagement with the Church in the sense of fulfilling their Sunday obligation by attending mass, or participating in a youth group or a gospel choir, even most of those hold it as fact that the Church's teaching on sexuality is merely about control and power. Because they are unaware of the eternal teachings of the faith? Partly. But, another aspect is the half-heartedness with which Diarmuid Martin blushes at difficult questions and colludes with those who seek to paint the Church's opposition to homosexuality as cruel, unnecessary and disproportionate. His aforementioned comments about homophobia, equating it to being against God Himself, is as unhelpful as anything even Alan Shatter could have dreamed up. It was not isolated however, his track record has offered much encouragement to those who want to destroy the sacrament of marriage. In response to Bishop Doran condemning the farcical assertion that the word 'family' should apply to two homosexual men who pay a vulnerable women to give birth to a child for them to purchase, Diarmuid Martin joined in with those who were howling out that Doran's comments were examples of hate speech, stating:

 “I believe certain types of language are inappropriate. I hope that people were not offended by it...There are very many, many definitions. I think that we should look on that variety of situations in a way that is more positive. We shouldn’t use phrases that may offend people.”

Only last year, he warned that the Church contained many people who were homophobic. Anyone clued in to the average priest is far from likely to be deemed homophobic, in fact, the opposite is more likely to be true. When he says, in that anxious, self-pitying tone, that “To many the language of the Church appears to be a disincarnated language of telling people what to do'', he is really telling people that he agrees with their loathing of Our Lord, it is a tacit admission that such pseudo-victimhood is justified on behalf of homosexuals and liberals.

 On morals, he has some serious questions to answer regarding whether or not he actually believes that such as external truths can be differentiated from our own interpretations of them. Fulton Sheen once said that if you do not live as you believe, you will eventually come to believe in what you live. Dogma should dictate actions, not vice versa. Pope Francis does not think in the black and white categories that we tend to. He sees that most of us live in the grey areas of life where compromise may often be almost inevitable. Inevitable! How many saints have been martyred because compromise was offensive, repulsive even. And now we have the new morality, compromise or else! The liberals in the Church are averse to using the word 'sacrament' for marriage, the logical conclusion of being averse to the idea of the Eucharist being a sacrament requiring an individual being in a sufficient state of grace to be deemed worthy of participation.

Surely Archbishop Martin's knowledge of the gospels would hinder him  from espousing  the idea of compromise, after all he who endures to the end shall be saved. Martin instead chooses to make up his own gospel, where The Sandal Wearer of Nazareth says not repent and sin no more but, and I quote when I say that the Fish Multiplier was a man who never criticised those with whom he may have disagreed about their morals, except with those who were hypocritical and all too often the hypocrites in Jesus’s judgment, it is clear in the gospels, were the religious leaders. Cos it's not like He ever said this Every one that divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and he that marries her that is put away from her husband, commits adultery.

When he made a whip (a whip for goodness sake!) and kicked out the money lenders in the temple. When he told the young rich man to give up everything that he had to come and follow Him. When He said 'woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born.' And when he said whosoever shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea.  None of these were examples of criticism!

John the Baptist and his 'offensive' language, dividing and hurting the family of poor Herod and Salome like that!

                        The patron Saint of Intemperate Language and hurting a family's feelings and stuff

A declining organisational entity that needs to exercise damage limitation rather than performing the duties owed to the regal Mystical Body of Christ. Such lofty language is anathema in post-Vatican II Ireland, where men like Tony Flannery and Brian Darcy rule D4 media approved debates that permit a member of the clergy to speak. Regarding the faith as base, they debase the Church in turn to a mere community centre to get married in, have a lovely funeral with a bitta music or to baptise your kids so they get acceptance to a primary or secondary school of your choosing.
Martin's iconoclasm in regards to education has been particularly apocalyptic. He is desperate to give the government as many Catholic schools as they wish, forgetting that Catholic patronage is the only possible means of education in matters of the faith that they will get in a world of single parents and divorced irreligious.

All of this should, in theory, make him a figure of admiration for the liberals in the Church. But liberals in the Church, for all of their empty, self-righteous, shallow babbling about going to the margins have nothing but absolute contempt and vitriol to return to anyone who displays an iota of defiance against their own disheveled dissent. Tony Flannery amongst others has lambasted him for just not being liberal enough, even calling him 'nasty'. He is regularly ridiculed on the Association of Catholic Priests website for having sufficient liberal credentials, presumably they want him to lap dance while smoking some spliffs or something. Their criticism mainly centers around Martin being an archetype of a cruel throwback to pre-Vatican II days where Bishops were figures of foreboding and violence, in a similar vein to how Martin bashed Pope Pius XII when he recalled the early 60s,'After the severe and austere figure of Pope Pius XII... this rather corpulent and jovial new pope seemed to me anything but ‘pope-like’'. This stereotype has been perpetuated against him in return, a writer on the ACP website recently stating I am forced to the conclusion that God may be permitting the total collapse of the Irish Catholic clerical system because he has had more than enough of the fear rather than faith that still controls too many of its appointed leaders. This is the man who hailed secularisation by stating that Irish society and the Church in Ireland have changed and it must be said that the change has in great part been good. The same Diarmuid Martin, criticised as a bastion of clericalism, has turned on traditionalists.

Pope Pius XII 'austere and severe' according to Martin

Not only does he want less children to be educated in schools that uphold the faith, he wants less clergy rather than having clergy who adhere to teachings of the last 2,000 years. Mocking them, he referred to the faith of these young men, who chose to sign up in spite of the poison and self-loathing spread by his peers by laughing at their  “very conformist and closed Catholicism''.

Is this the way that a Catholic Archbishop should behave in the face of an intense spiritual and moral crisis? We should think not. But he is not alone. Inertia and apathy seem to be pre-requisites for the post-Vatican II clergy.

Read part 2, about the Association of Catholic Priests REFUSING to defend Marriage here

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