Diarmuid Martin says Benedict's leaving a 'sad day' for the church


The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said he would like Pope Benedict XVI’s successor to have a “strong pastoral sense” and the ability to address “administrative problems” that have emerged at the Vatican.

“This pope did try to reform sections of the Curia, he tried to bring various offices together. It didn’t work out, there was a resistance to it. I believe maybe now is the chance to look at that again: a smaller Curia, a tighter one, not one that tries to run the entire church,” he said

The archbishop was speaking to media at the opening of a mental health facility in Dublin’s Grangegorman yesterday.

He said it was “a sad day” for the Catholic Church, but added that he respected the pope’s decision. “ He was a very reserved person. I think a lot of the externals were quite hard on him and now he’ll be on his own and that’s a big change.

“I think his explanation is pretty coherent and in line with himself that he feels simply he’s physically and spiritually it’s just too much for him.”

Speaking at a Mass for the ministry of Pope Benedict in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral last night, Archbishop Martin recalled “a reserved, kind and thoughtful man, a scholarly, perceptive and contemplative theologian, a truly holy man and a mystic who loved the church and who served the church with total dedication.”

He said the publicity that surrounded the pope’s life “was not an easy thing for him. But he responded to this challenge, which went against his natural tendency through recognising it as a self-giving for Christ’s sake.”