Irish archbishop cautions against 'caricature' of religious influence
January 02, 2012
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has urged the people of Ireland to avoid a “cynical caricature of faith” in discussions of the role that religion should play in public life.
Acknowledging that the Catholic Church no longer exercises a dominant influence over Irish culture, the archbishop said that debate about religious influence is legitimate. But that debate, he said, must be based on an accurate perception of the Church’s role.
Archbishop Martin said that some Irish bishops have “overstepped the boundaries of their legitimate mandate,” and he cautioned against any attempt to impose religious beliefs on the public. “Yet the contribution of individual believers and of the Church as an institution to Ireland’s development and social culture has overall been positive,” the archbishop insisted.