Archbishop Martin accused of being ‘very negative’ about Church

‘No reconciliation’ with Dublin priests following his response to 2009 Murphy report

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has been accused of holding negative views towards the Church. Photograph: The Irish Times

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has been accused of holding negative views towards the Church. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has been criticised for what a Dublin parish priest has called his negativity towards the Catholic Church in Ireland.

“It’s quite plain really,” said Fr Gregory O’Brien.

“He publishes statistics about 2 per cent (Sunday) Mass attendance when there are 1,000 people at Mass here and 1.2 million in the whole country. I don’t think it helps the morale of priests or people particularly”.

Fr O’Brien is parish priest at St Jude the Apostle in Willington, south Co Dublin. Archbishop Martin, he said, was “very negative, overly negative.”

In a letter to The Irish Times on Friday, the priest referred to Archbishop Martin as “not known for his positive take on things relating to the Catholic Church.”

He has been critical of the archbishop in previous letters to this newspaper.

Expanding on his views to The Irish Times, Fr O’Brien was dismissive of the Council of Priests in the archdiocese, as it “does what he tells them.”

He believed tensions in the archdiocese since publication of the Murphy report in November 2009 had never been resolved.

The report was a damning indictment of the handling of clerical child sex abuse allegations in the Dublin archdiocese.