Thursday 19 July 2018

Archbishop launches astonishing attack on Josepha Madigan after culture minister led prayers when priest was a no-show

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has launched an astonishing attack on Culture Minister Josepha Madigan, accusing her of being “deeply disrespectful” to her parishioners.

Ms Madigan stepped up to lead her local congregation in prayer on Saturday evening after no priest showed up to say Mass at south Dublin church.

The incident sparked a debate about the place of women in the Catholic Church and the need for more involvement from lay people.

Ms Madigan, who led Fine Gael’s campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, had told Independent.ie it was “sad reflection of the times we live” that there are so few preists.

She later said that she hoped to raise the place of women in the Church with Pope Francis when he visited Ireland in August.

However, Archbishop Martin has this evening issued a stern rebuke, claiming the Minister has upset people in her Mount Merrion parish.

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan led prayer at the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan led prayer at the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion, Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

He accused her of trying “to push a particular agenda”.

“Comments by Minister Josepha Madigan yesterday arising from a situation that arose in the Parish of Mount Merrion at the weekend have caused parishioners in Mount Merrion and further afield considerable distress.

“Many have contacted my offices to express their hurt and upset at the Minister’s comments, as reported in the media,” Mr Martin said.

He added that there are “no shortage of priests” in the Archdiocese, explaining that the situation on Saturday evening arose “due to a misunderstanding”.

“It is in no way correct to say that the Minister ‘said Mass’. It is regrettable that that Minister Madigan used this occasion to push a particular agenda.

“Her expressed view that a mix up in a Dublin parish on one particular Saturday evening should lead to the Universal Church changing core teachings is bizarre,” Dr Martin’s statement said.

He suggest she might “consider listening to the voices of those people who disagree with her public comments”.

And he added that she should “consider the hurt she has caused to parishioners who deem her actions deeply disrespectful

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