Wednesday 7 December 2016

Martin highlights the role of priests in the Rising

Sarah MacDonald

Published 01/04/2016 | 02:30

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Photo: Damien Eagers

The role played by ordinary Dublin priests in the 1916 Rising is one of "extraordinary courage and impartiality", Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said.

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Dr Martin said the historical archives show that many priests carried out acts of great courage and human sensitivity and were motivated by humanitarian and pastoral care of those caught up the events.

He made his comments as he launched 'The Church and the Rising' a new publication by the 'Irish Catholic'. The book's editor Greg Daly said it was aimed at providing a more balanced understanding of the role of faith in the Rising.

Archbishop Martin paid tribute to the book for not attempting to hide the general condemnation of the Rising by most of the Catholic bishops at the time and the leaders of the other Churches. But one hundred years on, the Archbishop said it is not enough to commemorate and celebrate an historical event.

"We have to ask how those who fought in 1916 for Irish Independence would judge us and our society today. Theirs was a dream for very different Ireland."

He added that the successful realisation of that dream could not be measured through parades and celebrations, dramas and books and television documentaries rather in terms of the kind of society we have. The Catholic Church in Ireland, he said, is called to carry out an honest appraisal of its place in Irish society in the future.

Irish Independent

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