Saturday 16 December 2017

Archbishop wants younger cleric to pick up the reins

Sarah Mac Donald

THE new pope would benefit from having age on his side and good administrative abilities, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said.

Speaking to the Irish Independent after a special mass in thanksgiving for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI at Dublin's Pro Cathedral, the archbishop said Pope Benedict himself had admitted that some of his efforts to reform the Vatican hadn't worked out.

"He began by trying to amalgamate some offices but that didn't work out," Dr Martin explained, suggesting the next pope would tackle these issues.

In his homily, Dr Martin said scandals, corrupt clergy and discord in the church pained Pope Benedict XVI deeply during his eight-year ministry.

He also recalled the Pope Emeritus' "abhorrence" at the clerical abuse scandals that engulfed the Irish church and "his revulsion at what had happened to the victims".

Referring to the presence of scandals at various levels in the church, a reference possibly to not just the abuse scandals but also Vatileaks and concerns over the Vatican Bank and a Vatican curia torn asunder by rivalry and careerism, Dr Martin said the former pope had shocked many by openly speaking about encountering troubled waters and hostile head winds in his statement that "even in the net of Peter we find bad fish".

During the mass, which was concelebrated at Dublin's Pro Cathedral with the papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, Dr Martin recalled his own personal memories of Benedict as a "reserved, kind and thoughtful man, a scholarly, perceptive and contemplative theologian, a truly holy man and a mystic who loved the church and who served the church with total dedication."

"Serving and loving the church was the leitmotif of his ministry as a priest and theologian, as a bishop and a cardinal in the Roman curia and as pope," he said.

Irish Independent

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