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Dogma won't solve Church's problems - Diarmuid Martin

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From left: Hjun-June Lee, Jae-wook Lee, Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, and Shane Daly at the ordination ceremony in Milltown Park yesterday. Photo: Fergal Phillips.

From left: Hjun-June Lee, Jae-wook Lee, Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, and Shane Daly at the ordination ceremony in Milltown Park yesterday. Photo: Fergal Phillips.

Fergal Phillips

From left: Hjun-June Lee, Jae-wook Lee, Dr Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, and Shane Daly at the ordination ceremony in Milltown Park yesterday. Photo: Fergal Phillips.

The Catholic Church in Ireland is living in "a challenging moment" but renewal won't be achieved "by throwing books of dogma" at people, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has warned.

He made his comments at the ordination of three new Jesuit deacons at Milltown in Dublin on Sunday.

Two of the deacons, Jae-wook Lee and Hjun-june Lee are South Korean, while Shane Daly is from Co Kildare.

The Archbishop, who ordained the three, told the congregation that the Church has to find a new way of communicating with the realities of today's Ireland.

All that throwing books of dogma achieved was to shout at people in a language that they had yet to learn, he criticised.

Dr Martin recalled that one bishop at the Synod in Rome last October said that the Church was not so much a field hospital for the wounded but often resembled the office of the State Pathologist, analysing all the ways in which things go wrong.

He said missionaries must have a special antenna which identified where the wounded are in the world and what the specific wounds of our times are.

In a plea for a more pluralist approach, the Archbishop said that the "missionary disciple's journey must be one of respect and encountering cultures which we may not always like," and not imposing views on others.

Speaking after the ceremony, 41-year-old Rev Shane Daly from Kildare told the Irish Independent that he had been a special education teacher before he joined the order.

"Despite finding a lot of contentment and joy in the schoolwork, I still found that something was missing and I began to re-engage in prayer and that developed to reflecting on the possibility of entering religious life."

He joined the Jesuits when he was 35.

His path to ordination was fast-tracked as he had already studied theology and philosophy when he had previously been a seminarian in Maynooth.

Surrounded by his mother and two sisters, he said that he would return to Toronto in Canada to finish his studies in theology before returning home to serve in Ireland.

According to Fr Tom Layden, Jesuit provincial, Rev Shane will probably be ordained to the priesthood in Ireland by December this year, while the two Korean deacons will be ordained in South Korea after they complete their studies in Milltown.

Sadly, tragedy struck for Deacon Hjun-june Lee, whose mother died in Korea on the morning of his ordination, and so his fellow deacon Jae-wook Lee (38) said he would have to return home immediately for the funeral.

Irish Independent