Pope’s visit will prompt examination of Church failings - Archbishop

Diarmuid Martin says renewal and reform in the Church not just about structural changesbut something more radical

The Pope’s visit would “strengthen and comfort” families, Archbishop Martin predicted. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

The Pope’s visit would “strengthen and comfort” families, Archbishop Martin predicted. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

 

The announcement by Pope Francis that he will visit Ireland this year has prompted an examination of the failings of the Catholic Church here, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.

In his homily at Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral today, Archbishop Martin said homelessness; domestic violence; infidelity; unemployment; lack of social support and forced migration were all things that “degrade” families.

“The announcement of the visit of Pope Francis to the World Meeting of Families inevitably has brought with it an examination of the failings of the Irish Church,” he said.

The Pope’s visit would “strengthen and comfort” families, Archbishop Martin predicted.

“He comes to challenge us all to be with those families that struggle and fail. He comes to challenge those families that believe that success in an empty bourgeois life-style, or in a narrow piety of certainty, makes them somehow the better class of family.”

Archbishop Martin said the Catholic Church must be a Church that is “counter cultural to many dimensions of today’s society”.

He said the Church failed Jesus Christ when it became caught up in its own structures or in the ways of the world.

“The Church regains its soul not then by repeated words of regret and apology. These are just human words and human sentiments. The Church truly apologies when it return to the truth and the love of Jesus himself.”

He said renewal and reform in the Church were not just about structural changes.

“Structural changes will remain fruitless if they remain simply human words. Reform of the Church requires something more radical. It requires moving beyond human categories. It requires that we too seek to understand how the challenge of Jesus will always be one that rejects human power.”