Archbishop calls on Dubliners to stand up to violence in the city
Prelate addresses hundreds in ecumencial gathering
The Way of the Cross ceremony in Phoenix Park led by the archbishop of Dublin Rev Diarmuid Martin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has called on the people of Dublin to stand up to men of violence in the city and demand an end to it.
“We have to stand up as a community and say to men of violence, whoever they are, ‘no more of this’,” he said. “The cold-blooded murders on the streets of Dublin solve nothing, but only provoke revenge and more and more violence, and more and more hearts broken. And our world is seeing senseless violence on a scale we have not seen for decades, sadly in some cases perpetrated in the name of God.
“There are other forms of violence. There is the violence of human trafficking; there is the violence of sexual abuse; there is the violence of extortion. There is the violence of a drug trade which destroys lives, very often fragile young lives, for sordid profit which will bring its perpetrators as much happiness as the 30 pieces of silver did for Judas.”
On Good Friday evening, Dublin’s two archbishops led an ecumenical walk through the city streets for the fourth year in succession. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin and Glendalough Michael Jackson carried a Taizé cross from Christ Church Cathedral to the Pro-Cathedral accompanied by pilgrims from various denominations. The event began with a brief service in Christ Church and concluded with an ecumenical service at the Pro Cathedral.
Separately, at 12pm in the quiet confines of the Unitarian Church on St Stephen’s Green in Dublin, Eileen Delaney approached the pulpit and began to read the names of those killed in the Troubles.
Anthony Abbott, a British army soldier shot dead in 1976, was the first name, followed by Alexander Abercrombie, Colin Abernethy and Kieran Abram. More than three hours later, the last name on the list of more than 3,600 people was William Younger, who, at 87, was one of the oldest victims of the Troubles. He and his daughter Letitia were shot and stabbed to death in their Belfast home in August 1980.
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Meanwhile, the Catholic Primate, Archbishop Eamon Martin, has been challenged over his claim in a Holy Thursday sermon that Christians faced persecution for expressing their beliefs. “Daring to witness openly to our sincerely held Christian convictions can bring upon us ridicule, condemnation or even persecution,” Dr Martin said.
In a statement, the Faith in Marriage Equality (FiME) group said it “respectfully disagrees” with the Primate.
“To make such a claim, especially on the eve of Good Friday, does a disservice to Christians who are genuinely persecuted in other parts of the world,” said Dr Richard O’Leary, of FiME. “I was also saddened that my fellow Christian, the archbishop, showed no awareness of the painful history of criminalisation under the civil law and discrimination by the Church suffered by gay people in Ireland.”