Tuesday 20 August 2019

'I’d like a much stronger female presence in the Church' - Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Payu Tiwari

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has said he would like to see 'a much stronger female presence in the Church', speaking in light of recent comments made by Mary McAleese calling the Catholic Church “the primary global carrier of the virus of misogyny.”

In an interview with Miriam O'Callaghan on RTÉ Radio 1, the Archbishop said he believes that a stronger female presence in the Church is achievable, even with a male priesthood. “But it depends on the ability of the male priesthood,” he said.

“Misogynism is obviously present in the Church. It is a sign of human immaturity,” he said. “If there are priests that are misogynists, it means they are not mature in themselves and they’ve either never had healthy relations with women or they don’t understand that.”

In Ms McAleese's speech, delivered at the Rome headquarters of Francis’ Jesuit order earlier this month she said: “The Catholic Church has long since been a primary global carrier of the toxic virus of misogyny.

“Its leadership has never sought a cure for that virus though the cure is freely available.

“Its name is equality.”

Speaking about young people losing confidence in the Church, the Archbishop stated that “there are more members of the Cabinet under 45 than I have priests under 45. What does that say?”

He also addressed the issue of St. Colman's College in Newry and the claims of abuse suffered by young boys at the hand of Fr. Malachy Finnegan. “Why are all these stories only coming out now?” he said.

“I don’t know if people were covered up, or were afraid to talk. Let the truth come out. The truth will make you free, even if it’s unpleasant.”

Speaking about the Pope’s upcoming visit to Ireland, he described the Pope as a “complex figure,” who’s “nobody’s fool.”

The Archbishop said he worries that some of the protocol issues during his visit might take more time than “meeting with the poor.”

He added he would like Pope Francis to address struggling families and victims of clerical abuse.

“There’s no way Pope can’t address that,” he said.

During the interview, Archbishop Martin also became upset while describing an interaction between him and the Pope on the subject of babies being uncovered around Mother and Baby homes.

“I hope that people around him, and even people in Ireland, allow him to say what he wants to say,” he said, referring to the Pope.

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