Wednesday 28 September 2016

'Reality check' needed for Church to connect with youth

Daniel McDonald

Published 23/05/2015 | 17:41

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin is calling for a 'reality check' within the Catholic Church as Ireland ratifies same-sex marriage by a landslide vote.

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Speaking to RTÉ, he agreed that the referendum was a 'social revolution', and said the Church has a long road ahead if it is to reconnect with the youth.

“I think it’s a social revolution. It’s a social revolution that didn’t begin today, it’s a social revolution that’s been going on, and perhaps people in the church have not been clear in their understanding of what that involves.

“It’s very clear that if this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people that the church has a huge challenge in front of it to find the language to be able to talk to and get its message across to young people, not just on this issue but in general.

Crowds gather for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle.
Pic:Mark Condren
23.5.2015
Crowds gather for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren 23.5.2015

“I think really the church needs to do a reality check right across the board, to look at the areas in which we’re doing well and see have we drifted away completely from young people.”

The Archbishop went on to describe the 'new language' which he believes will be necessary to build a Church that connects with young people.

Crowds gather for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle.
Pic:Mark Condren
23.5.2015
Crowds gather for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren 23.5.2015

He added: “We’re becoming a church of the like-minded, and a safe space for the like-minded, rather than the Church which Pope Francis is talking about which reaches out.

"Now that doesn’t mean that we renounce our fundamental teachings on marriage and the family, but nor does it mean that we really dig into the trenches.

Crowds gather for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle.
Pic:Mark Condren
23.5.2015
Crowds gather for the reults of same-sex marriage referendum at Dublin Castle. Pic:Mark Condren 23.5.2015

“We need to find as in so many areas, a new language, which is fundamentally ours but speaks to, is understood by and becomes appreciated by others."

Commenting on the referendum in general he said: “We appreciate how gay and lesbian men and women feel on this day and that they feel this is something which is enriching the way they live. I also appreciate the immense effort which went into the campaign, particularly on the no side, which I supported.”

The Archbishop had previously said that: “The referendum will come and go....But the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family and its relevance to social ethics will remain the same, no matter the referendum result.”

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