Thursday 27th July 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Ireland’s Archbishop Eamon Martin . . . “We Are Concerned About The Border And Return To Conflict”

March 15, 2017 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FEDERICO CENCI

ROME (ZENIT) — The Most Rev. Eamon Martin, archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland, was recently received by Pope Francis for his ad limina visit. Archbishop Martin and the other bishops of Ireland spoke with the Pope about the many challenges their island nation faces today.
In this interview with ZENIT, dated March 6, Archbishop Martin spoke in defense of the Eighth Amendment of Article 40 of Ireland’s Constitution, which sanctions the right to life of the unborn child.
ZENIT published the text of this interview. All rights reserved.

+ + +

“We are really worried,” said Archbishop Martin. Almost 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which sanctioned the end of the armed struggle, the dark clouds of conflict and division once again hover over the Irish Island.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, archbishop of Armagh and Primate of Ireland since 2014, was born and grew up in the difficult city of Derry, where in 1972 the infamous Bloody Sunday took place. He does not hide the fact that the Island’s social atmosphere today is anything but serene.
While Archbishop Martin was giving this interview to ZENIT, the polls opened in Northern Ireland to elect new members of the Belfast Parliament.
In that election, Sinn Fein, the Irish nationalist party, surged, and just missed becoming the largest party in elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly. Results announced on March 3 declared that the Democratic Unionist Party led with 28 seats, only one more than Sinn Fein’s total.
Among the first issues on the table after the elections will be Brexit. Up to today there are no blockades between the two Irelands; the passage from Dublin to Belfast is free of interruptions.
However, when London leaves the European Union, the border issue will be a knot that the British government will have to untangle.
The border in the Island does not exist for the Catholic Church. There is one episcopal conference and Pope Francis received its members in the Vatican last January 20 during their ad limina visit.
Archbishop Martin said to ZENIT that they spoke with the Pontiff about the delicate situation of sexual abuses and the pastoral challenges in an ever more secularized society troubled by the political crisis.

+ + +

Q. Archbishop Martin, how was the meeting with the Pope?
A. The ad limina meeting in January of the bishops of Ireland with Pope Francis was quite extraordinary. For many of the bishops, myself included, this was our first ad limina visit. Pope Francis was very welcoming and eager to hear about our pastoral experiences as bishops in Ireland.
Q. What are the main pastoral commitments in Ireland? Were there subjects in particular upon which you reflected further?
A. So much has changed for us in the ten years since the last ad limina visit of the Irish bishops with Pope Benedict XVI so there was a lot to discuss. We discussed with Pope Francis the ongoing determined efforts being made to safeguard children and vulnerable people from abuse.
During our visit, Sir Anthony Hart’s report into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland was published in Belfast and it served as a reminder that much work remains to be undertaken in this regard.
We also spoke to Pope Francis about vocations in Ireland and the well-being and ministry of our priests and religious. We are aware of declining numbers of priests and the toll their increased workload can take. We are thankful for their resilience, dedication, and generosity, and for the ongoing kindness and support of the faithful.
It was clear to us that the Church in Ireland is in a period of transition and that it is time for us to move out of a maintenance mode and into a “missionary key.” This will mean a “letting go” in some senses by priests and bishops of a clerical mentality and an openness to calling forth and embracing the gifts and charisms of the lay faithful, including the particular gifts of women.
We thank God for the many shoots of new growth, and renewal, that are emerging in parishes and dioceses all over the country, especially in catechesis, lay involvement, and pastoral outreach to the marginalized.
Of course, we also discussed with the Holy Father the upcoming World Meeting of Families which will take place in Dublin in August 2018, and repeated our invitation to Pope Francis to join us for the occasion.
The pastoral care of families remains a priority for us. For Ireland, the World Meeting of Families is much more than a “once-off” event. We look to it, rather, as a graced opportunity, a process by which we can celebrate and explore further the riches of the Church’s “Gospel of the Family.”
Q. Before the elections in Northern Ireland, you bishops prepared a document for the voters. Why?
A. As bishops, we have an obligation to serve the faithful and to preach the Gospel. This is a critical time for our society. Recent months have brought into the open the reality that the principles of the Good Friday Agreement, which was agreed in 1998, are perhaps not as deeply embedded as we might have hoped.
There has been a return to the language of division and difference and it is important that everyone in the community gets behind our newly elected representatives and urges them not to unravel the tremendous progress that has been made over the past twenty years.
We all have responsibilities in this regard including the churches, the business community, as well as the British and Irish governments as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and peace process.
We must all avoid the use of harsh or angry language or the temptation to play the “blame game” rather than accepting our collective responsibility for the past, present, and future. Our politicians have a precious vocation to work for the common good and exercise their leadership through the careful practice of compromise and agreement.
Q. In the last 20 years, the situation in Northern Ireland has changed greatly. What did the Good Friday Agreement represent for you, Primate of Ireland born in Derry?
A. Much has changed in this part of Ireland in the last twenty years, most notably with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. I grew up during troubled times and in a troubled and divided city. It was a difficult time for Ireland and for Derry.
However, we have shown that it is possible to find common ground and to build a peaceful and shared future in many ways. Now other troubled parts of the world look to us in the North of Ireland as a beacon of hope that peace can be achieved.
One cannot underestimate the importance of the Good Friday Agreement. People around the world look to Northern Ireland as an example of people sorting out their differences. There is a whole new generation that has now grown up without cultural experience of violence.
I would be terribly disappointed if a new generation of young people would be manipulated into violence. As a society we have hardly yet begun to tackle the terrible legacy of trauma that the years of violence left behind.
Q. Might the Brexit have an impact on Ireland?
A. Ireland, North and South, is in a state of uncertainty because of Brexit. We do not know the impact Brexit might have socially, culturally, politically, and indeed economically. In many ways being part of Europe together helped us to see our problems in a less insular way. We looked to Europe and saw where former enemies are now cooperating, working side by side, and that was an inspiration for us to see beyond borders and barriers.
Despite the assurances of British Prime Minister Theresa May and from the Taoiseach Enda Kenny, many people have begun talking, once again, about borders between the North and South of Ireland and about restrictions on the movement of goods. There is even a fear of restrictions on the movement of people.
This kind of nervousness, combined with uncertainty and lack of confidence in the institution of government in Northern Ireland, can make for a dangerous cocktail.
Sadly, of course — as in all conflict situations — it will be the poor, the marginalized, the socially and economically deprived, who will suffer most and may even end up getting manipulated and drawn into violence and hopelessness. We must avoid that at all costs.
Q. Therefore, the return of the border issue and violence in Ireland are sources of concrete preoccupation?
A. We are genuinely concerned at the prospect of a return to a hard border between North and South. The Catholic Church, and indeed Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans, are organized on an all-island basis. The Irish Catholic Bishops Conference, for example, is an all-Ireland decision-making forum which serves the faithful throughout the island of Ireland, North and South.
There is no distinction between northern dioceses and southern dioceses. Armagh, which is my archdiocese, consists of about 60 percent of people situated in Northern Ireland, and the remaining 40 percent live in the Republic.
Of course the more difficult and dangerous borders can exist in our minds, where we develop attitudes of exclusion towards migrants, refugees, people of other political persuasions. Northern Ireland is a small place. It exists in relationship — with the Republic to the South, with Britain to the East, and further beyond with mainland Europe.
However, the past has shown, that although small, violence in Northern Ireland can have a destabilizing impact way beyond its own borders. I therefore feel that Europe, Britain, and Ireland can have an important shared responsibility, and contribution, to help find a unique solution for the future place of Northern Ireland within this consortium of relationships.

Mother And Child

Q. The possibility is being discussed in Ireland to modify the Eighth Amendment of Article 40 of the Constitution, which sanctions the right to life of the unborn child. What is the atmosphere of the debate? In regard to topics such as abortion and homosexual marriage, it seems that the Protestant parties of Northern Ireland hold positions that are closer to those of the Catholic Church than the historical parties that represent the Catholic community….
A. In our submission to the Citizens’ Assembly, Two Lives, One Love, we affirm our belief that human life is sacred from conception until natural death and that the right to life is a fundamental personal right. There is no such thing as a human life without value. The deletion or amendment of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland would serve no purpose other than to withdraw the right to life from some categories of unborn children.
To do so would radically change the principle, for all unborn children and indeed for all of us, that the right to life is a fundamental human right.
Pope Francis speaks about a “revolution of tenderness.” For me Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland tenderly holds together the right to life of a mother and her child. Two Lives. One Love. Equality at its most fundamental and foundational moment — the beginning of new life.
Supporting and sustaining a culture of life is in the interests of every woman and every generation and it defines us as a society. We have an obligation to be at our most compassionate, our most merciful, if and when the expectant mother and father and their unborn child require support during a crisis pregnancy.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Bishops to Trump: Don’t abandon young people to deportation

Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2017 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Undocumented young people brought to the U.S. by their parents contribute to American society and deserve continued protections from the Trump administration, said the U.S. Catholic bishops this week. “These…Continue Reading

Facing outrage – Facebook unblocks Catholic pages

Dozens of Catholic Facebook pages have been blocked, according to several Catholic news organizations. UPDATE: Facebook has unblocked more than 20 Catholic-interest pages – blaming the issue on a technical glitch. “All Pages have now been restored,” a Facebook spokesperson…Continue Reading

Bishops stress hospitality for Camino de Santiago hosts

Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Jul 14, 2017 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Spain and France have published a new letter emphasizing the importance of hospitality for people who host pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, offering guidelines…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah wants ‘liturgical reconciliation’ between old and new forms of Mass

Sarah says phrase ‘reform of the reform’ should no longer be used but wants ordinary version of Mass to be more like the extraordinary form The Cardinal leading the Vatican’s divine worship office has called for a truce in the…Continue Reading

Video game store promotes graphic animated porn to 35 million child users

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2017 (NCOSE) – A mainstream online video game store, with an estimated 35 million users under the age of 18, is facilitating gamified sexual coercion and animated pornography featuring genitalia, ejaculation, to users of all ages. This…Continue Reading

Trump: ‘If We Do Not Have Strong Families and Strong Values…We Will Not Survive’

(CNSNews.com) – The values that bind America and Europe together – freedom, faith and family — are threatened from the outside by common enemies and from the inside by bureaucracy, President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of Poles in…Continue Reading

House Republican says health care bill in jeopardy over Planned Parenthood

Rep. Trent Franks said Wednesday that if Planned Parenthood funding is added to the GOP health care bill, numerous Republican senators will no longer support it. “I think a lot of us are ‘no’ votes,” the Arizona Republican said. “We can’t continue…Continue Reading

Müller has a clear criticism of Francis

Critical criticism of Pope Franziskus was voiced by the Kurien Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. He told the “Passauer Neuen Presse” (Thursday) that Pope Francis Francis had informed him of the decision not to extend his office as a prefect of the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals, has died aged 83

Former German Bishops’ Conference president and Archbishop of Cologne Cardinal Joachim Meisner has died at the age of 83. Cardinal Meisner served as Archbishop of Cologne for 25 years. A spokesman for the archdiocese said he died on Wednesday morning…Continue Reading

Vietnamese Catholic blogger sentenced to 10 years in prison

HANOI, Vietnam – A Vietnamese court sentenced a Catholic blogger to 10 years in prison for propaganda against the Communist government. Rights activists described the sentence as “heavy.” Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, 37, also known as “Mother Mushroom,” was tried…Continue Reading

‘It’s not all black and white’: New cardinal criticizes 4 cardinals asking Pope for clarity

ROME, June 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — One of Pope Francis’ newly appointed cardinals is already calling out fellow cardinals who are questioning the new direction in which the Pope is trying to move the Church. Archbishop Juan José Omella of…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Pell charged with sex abuse, vows to defend himself in Australia

Australian police on Thursday charged Cardinal George Pell, a top adviser to Pope Francis, with multiple historical sex crimes, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican. As Vatican economy minister, Pell is the highest-ranking Church official…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Today . . .

These Chicago Catholics have a game plan for evangelization

Chicago, Ill., Jul 26, 2017 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Taking its cue from the recent and massive Convocation of Catholic Leaders in the U.S., one Chicago-based organization is partnering with parishes to form missionary disciples. The convocation took place in Florida July 1-4, drawing several thousand participants. Aimed at equipping and invigorating Catholic leaders, the event addressed challenges that inhibit parishes from evangelization, especially the deflating attendance of parishioners in

Catholic nuns urge senators to oppose any bill repealing Obamacare, cutting Medicaid

More than 7,000 Catholic nuns are urging senators to oppose a motion to proceed to debate on a healthcare bill before the Senate this week, and called the GOP’s plan to repeal and replace parts of Obamacare “immoral and contrary to the teachings of our Catholic faith.” The letter, organized by the Catholic social justice organization NETWORK, was sent to senators Monday and signed by 7,150 Catholic sisters. The nuns are being led by Sister Simone…Continue Reading

Bishop Paprocki Responds to Fr. Martin

There has been quite a bit of consternation since I sent an internal communication to my clergy and staff last month that was unfortunately leaked to the public concerning my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” While the underlying doctrinal issues are not new, these norms were necessary to address situations in the pastoral context arising from the new reality in the law and in our culture, given that same-sex marriage is now recognized by…Continue Reading

Pastoral Guidelines for Implementing Amoris Laetitia | Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon – Archbishop Alexander K. Sample

The Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia completes the reflection on the family conducted by the Synods of Bishops of 2014 and 2015, a reflection that engaged the Church throughout the world. In issuing Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis once again calls the Church to renew and intensify the Christian missionary proclamation of God’s mercy, while presenting more persuasively the Church’s teaching about the nature of the family and the Sacrament of Matrimony. In all of this the

Could a California bill make Catholic conduct codes illegal?

Sacramento, Calif., Jul 21, 2017 / 12:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pro-abortion groups are lobbying for a California law that Catholic leaders warn would open employers like Catholic schools to lawsuits for asking teachers to follow their codes of conduct. “The bill unmistakably targets religious organization employers in the state, and goes further, inviting expensive litigation that could take years to sort out,” the California Catholic Conference said July 14, adding that it “sets a dangerous…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Romero At 100 . . . The Background Of A Modern Catholic Icon

By RAY CAVANAUGH When hearing of Blessed Oscar Romero, one tends to think of his assassination and martyrdom. With good reason, the former Salvadoran archbishop’s violent 1980 death has received thorough coverage. Neglected by comparison, however, has been the earlier part of his life, which began 100 years ago this August 15. Óscar Arnulfo Romero…Continue Reading

New Research Says… Shroud Of Turin Bears Blood Of A Torture Victim

TURIN, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) — New research indicates that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a torture victim, and undermines arguments that the reputed burial shroud of Jesus Christ was painted. Very small particles attached to the linen fibers of the shroud “have recorded a scenario of great suffering, whose victim was…Continue Reading

The Voters Rejected You?… Push Them Aside And Push To Deliver The Agenda

By DEXTER DUGGAN SAN DIEGO — Including six color photos, this area’s largest newspaper co-celebrated the annual “Pride Parade,” positioned as its Sunday lead story, with about half the news space on page one and about three-quarters of an inside page, marching to the activist theme of “Allied in Action, United for Justice.” The San…Continue Reading

A Word About Useful Tools

By MOST REV. CHARLES J. CHAPUT, OFM Cap. (Editor’s Note: Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia posted this commentary on July 18 at CatholicPhilly.com. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia granted reprint permission to The Wanderer; all rights reserved.) + + + History is full of great quotations that people never said. One of the…Continue Reading

Wellington Mara… A Pro-Life Giant

By DONALD DeMARCO An unexpected gift arrived in the mail some time ago — a copy of Judie Brown’s autobiography, courtesy of Wellington Mara, co-owner of the New York Football Giants. It was on the basis of my friendship with Mrs. Brown and the fact that I was seen as “a co-worker in her mission…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Respectful, If Unsolicited, Advice To The Bishop Of Burlington, Vt.

By DEACON JAMES H. TONER (Editor’s Note: Deacon Toner is professor emeritus of leadership and ethics at the U.S. Air War College, and author of Morals Under the Gun and other books. He has also taught at the U.S. Air Force Academy and Holy Apostles College & Seminary. (Below is his open letter to the Most Rev. Christopher Coyne, bishop…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Benedict XVI: “Resist The Dictatorship Of The Spirit Of The Age”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK What did Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI mean by his metaphor of the Church as a boat taking on so much water that it is “in danger of capsizing”? The questions are coming thick and fast as a result of the reaction to this passage in Pope Benedict’s eulogy for Joachim Cardinal Meisner, delivered by Archbishop…Continue Reading

The Church Of Jesus Christ . . . The Church Is The Bride Of Christ

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Jesus promulgated the Church on the day of Pentecost. It was the Church’s formal birthday. I remember my smile when, on Pentecost Day, a priest in New Zealand said to the people, “Happy Birthday!” The people were a bit puzzled and did not know what to think, and then the priest explained that…Continue Reading

The Sacramental Seal Of Confession

By DON FIER Only bishops and priests, as we saw last week, are valid ministers of the Sacrament of Penance. Just as Christ works through His ordained ministers in the Eucharist to transform bread and wine into His Body and Blood, so too He works through bishops and priests to forgive the sins of repentant sinners. The Vicar of Christ…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I never hear our priest talk about the Apostolic Pardon. Please explain this blessing to me and why I don’t hear much about it. — M.G., Alabama. A. Once the Sacrament of Penance has been given to a dying person, says the document Pastoral Care of the Sick (n. 201), “the priest may give the Apostolic Pardon for the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many lay saints throughout the history of the Church from all different walks of life. There is the peasant girl, St. Maria Goretti, patron of young women. St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, comes to mind when thinking of putting God before government. There are the many lay martyrs, especially in the first few centuries…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bonaventure

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many saints who have been called saints long before the formal process for canonization was put in place. Some of the names by which we know them may not be the names they were given at birth, but indicate their special gifts. For example, St. Veronica, known from the sixth station of the cross, may…Continue Reading