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Archbishop Martin: gratuitous love, unity with Pope will witness to Church’s social doctrine

Catholic World News - September 05, 2012

Speaking to the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE), Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said that the European financial crisis points to the failure of the Church to inculcate its social doctrine.

“There are questions about poverty and equity, about privilege and under-privilege, about opportunity and exclusion, about simple honesty, about greed and corruption and about generous commitment in society which the Church should have been addressing more coherently in the context of the common good of Europe,” he said.

Noting that “every Christian enjoys legitimate autonomy and indeed also responsibility and obligation to grapple with how those basic principles of the social teaching can best be applied in their daily commitment in society,” Archbishop Martin said that

the credibility of the Church comes in a special way through the witness of those of its members who bring to the world that concept of gratuitousness which is the opposite of market consumerism, where everything has its price tag and you only get what you pay for. This sense of gratuitousness is not just about doing something over and above what one does daily. It is a call for a different way of living and forming society which is inspired by the life and teaching and mission of Jesus himself, who revealed the gratuitousness and the superabundance which are the marks of God’s love.

Archbishop Martin also spoke of the ill effects of attacks on the Pope from within the Church.

“While respecting legitimate autonomy of expression, it must be said that divisiveness within the Church damages the Church,” he said. “As someone who has been fortunate to have a broad experience of the Church around the world, I am surprised and stunned by attempts by some to subtly undermine authority and status of Pope Benedict XVI. I believe that we should all be more forceful in rejecting a negative climate which I believe has been deliberately injurious to the Pope and thus to the Church.”

“A divided squabbling Church will not attract young people but only alienate them.”

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