Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Irish Church faces unprecedented crisis: Archbishop of Dublin

Catholic World News - December 14, 2011

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has warned that the Chuch in Ireland’s capital city is facing “the most challenging years that the diocese has had to face since Catholic Emancipation.”

Responding to a report that showed a steep drop in Mass attendance in recent years, Archbishop Martin predicted “enormous” changes for Dublin’s Catholics. The report found that only 14% of Dublin’s Catholics attend Mass on a given Sunday. Contributions to the Church have also plummeted, and with the clergy population aging rapidly, a shortage of priests looms in the near future.

The archbishop said that Irish Catholicism is “undergoing a far-reaching transformation.” After decades of dominance in the nation’s culture, the faith has lost its hold on the public, and “the reality of God is slowly being eclipsed and men and women live their lives as if God does not exist.” The Church now faces an “uncharted” future, Archbishop Martin said.

While calling for a renewed commitment among the faithful, the archbishop said that those who have abandoned the faith should be honest enough to acknowledge that. Commenting on families that come to church only for special occasions such as weddings and baptisms, he suggested that they should be consistent enough to leave the Church. Archbishop Martin said: “It requires maturity on those people who want their children to become members of the church community and maturity on those people who say 'I don't believe in God and I really shouldn't be hanging on to the vestiges of faith when I don't really believe in it.’”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Wolf of Gubbio - Dec. 15, 2011 12:02 PM ET USA

    I suggest the Archbishop ask his priests to have the maturity preach the Catholic faith, not secular humanism, or else to leave the Church rather than pretend they are Catholic and destroy the faith of the people in their care. It's not all the lapsed, cultural Catholic's fault. Decades of pastoral neglect meant that they were never told what Catholicism really was.

  • Posted by: gop - Dec. 14, 2011 7:52 PM ET USA

    Something seems to be wrong here. A bishop should encourage lapsed Catholics to be more fervent in their faith not to drive them away. Even if they just come for special occasions that may yet be better than not to come at all. At least, there remains a glimmer of hope from their attendance, maybe it is the thread that God can use to deliver grace to them and bring them back to the fold at the end of their lives.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle 18 hours ago
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed 19 hours ago
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 23 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities December 17
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17