Thursday 21 November 2019

Martin: cold-blooded murder on the streets of our capital must end

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin taking part in The Way of the Cross in the Phoenix Park. Photo: Damien Eagers
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin taking part in The Way of the Cross in the Phoenix Park. Photo: Damien Eagers

Sam Griffin

Christians need to stand up to violence and the "cold-blooded murder on the streets of Dublin" to prevent further bloodshed and heartbreak, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said in a special Easter message.

The Archbishop of Dublin made the plea as part of the Catholic Church's 'Way of the Cross' procession through the Phoenix Park yesterday, where he also made reference to the brutal, ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and around the world.

He said much of the recent violence had been carried out in the "name of God" and that it is now on an unprecedented scale.

"Violence is never the answer. We have to stand up as a community and say to men of violence, whoever they are, 'no more of this,'" Dr Martin said.

"The cold-blooded murders on the streets of Dublin solve nothing but only provoke revenge and more and more violence, and more and more hearts broken.

"And our world is seeing senseless violence on a scale we have not seen for decades, sadly in some cases perpetrated in the name of God."

He also spoke out about other abuses and violence, including the drug trade, and said Christians needed to follow the example set by Jesus to overcome such "darkness".

"There is the violence of human trafficking; there is the violence of sexual abuse; there is the violence of extortion," Dr Martin said yesterday.

"There is the violence of a drug trade which destroys lives, very often fragile young lives, for sordid profit, which will bring its perpetrators as much happiness as the 30 pieces of silver did for Judas."

He said "darkness" was present in human hearts and human communities and men and women needed to heed the words of Christ, adding: "Pray that we may not come into the time of trial."

The Archbishop was reflecting on the trial and crucifixion of Jesus and their relevance in overcoming modern-day challenges.

In another reflection, he explained the difference between authority and power and stressed the need for "men and women of integrity" in the church to ensure a just society, unlike the one that called for Jesus's death.

He said that Christians should not be afraid to speak out to defend the church.

"Our church needs men and women who know how to witness to silence, not that empty silence which could be cowardice, but the silence of never becoming compromised with the corrupt, never compromising truth and integrity in order to defend individuals or the institution."

Asking that God watch over the church, he concluded: "Let us not be weakened by ... the uncaring, by the slanderous and the gossip and tittle-tattle of our world."

Irish Independent

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