Archbishop Martin: Church needs 'wake-up call'
The country's leading Catholic bishop has said the Church must free itself from control of schools and institutions.
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin addressed the debate over the Church's role in education and patronage, warning that the Church must change.
At a Mass for the deaf community at the deaf village in Cabra, Dublub, yesterday, Dr Martin said that the Church was slow to change.
"Inertia may seem to mean that things can go on as they were and are; but the opposite is the case," he said.
"The Church must free itself and become unencumbered, even from positions which may in the past have been positive and useful to both Church and society, including in the control of schools and institutions."
Recalling his remark in the wake of the outcome of the marriage referendum, where he said the Church needed a "reality check", yesterday he suggested it needed a "wake-up call".
The archbishop, who is patron of over 90pc of primary schools in the Dublin area, referred to the institution's history in running residential institutions as "marked over the years also by dark moments in which the cry of children was not heard".
Explaining why the Church must change, he said it was not to go along with or to opt out of society, but to find the best space possible to be free to bring its challenging message to society. In the past, the archbishop has criticised the slowness of the divesting process from Catholic to alternate patrons.