Archbishop Martin condemns 'emptiness of culture of drink'


EVENTS AT the Swedish House Mafia concert in Dublin’s Phoenix Park last Saturday week arose from a “culture of violence and . . . the emptiness of a culture of drink”, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has said.

Such a culture had “left its mark on society in Dublin in these days, hurting the weak and the vulnerable”, he said yesterday.

In a homily at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral, he added: “The church in Ireland today has perhaps again become too timid in bringing its liberating voice to the ‘demons’ of Irish society. Scandals within the church and perhaps a lack of real faith have made us all too timid in bringing the voice of Jesus and his church to the basic issues of Irish society. We are tempted to succumb to the widespread opinion that Christianity is really something private and personal for our own devotion and inspiration.”

The life “of many Christians and of, indeed, the church community has in many ways become fearful and timid regarding faith”, he said.

“Today we often encounter a kind of ‘political correctness’ which would seem to say that we should not interfere with what others believe . . . Many Christians . . . think that once people are good then they will be saved, so why attempt to impose belief on them? Just as there are men and women who have been baptised and who live good lives and who today ask: ‘Why do I need a church to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?’,” he said.

It was not for him, he said, “to judge the personal situation of men and women who may have been wounded or hurt within the church community or who have not experienced in the church the love of God which should be the driving force of the Christian life”.

However, those who drifted “away from regular contact with the gospel and from a community which attempts to live the gospel will inevitably end up by making their own definition not just of what it is to be a Christian but their own definition of who Jesus is”, he said.

Christian belief “has and will always have its contribution to bring to the formation of society. It is not that Christians want to impose their views on others. It is a more challenging question for believers to find ways of presenting and witnessing to the Christian vision in terms which can win over and be respected by those alongside whom we work.”

This manner “of the presence in society of the Christian faith and of the Christian community will in many ways be different to what we have seen and practised in the past. We must have no doubt, however, about the fact that the message of Jesus Christ has relevance in our society today,” he said.