Dark forces hiding truth over abuse, says Martin

Archbishop reveals he has ‘never felt so disheartened’

By John Cooney

Tuesday May 11 2010

AN emotional Diarmuid Martin claimed last night that “strong forces” in the Catholic Church wanted the truth about clerical sex abuse scandals to remain hidden.

The Archbishop of Dublin revealed he had never felt so disheartened and dejected since assuming the post six years ago.

His remarks could be interpreted as a broadside at the Vatican and Irish hierarchy.

In a deeply personal but sombre address, the 65-year-old church leader indirectly hit out at Cardinal Sean Brady and other bishops for failures to fully protect children from paedophile clerics.

Dr Martin was speaking at Ely Place in Dublin, the headquarters of the archly conservative church group the Knights of Columbanus, on ‘The Future of the Catholic Church in Ireland’.

Almost six months after the publication of the Murphy Report on abuse cover-ups in the Dublin diocese, Dr Martin revealed the most obvious reason for his discouragement was “the drip-by-drip never-ending revelation about child sexual abuse and the disastrous way it was handled”.

“There are still strong forces which would prefer that the truth did not emerge,” he said.

“On a purely personal level, as Diarmuid Martin, I have never, since becoming Archbishop of Dublin, felt so disheartened and discouraged.”

His comments will dismay those who see him as the man to restore the fortunes of the church in Ireland after it has been battered by cover-up scandals and the refusal of a number of bishops to quit.

And he explained that a second and deeper root of his discouragement was that he did not believe that people had a true sense of the crisis of faith that existed in Ireland.

He also spoke about his pain over “the level of willingness to really begin what is going to be a painful path of renewal and of what is involved in that renewal”.

In his address Dr Martin identified mixed signals in sociological data about the state of religion in today’s Ireland.

“Public opinion varies from those who would like the Catholic Church slowly, through its own implosion, to fade into the social irrelevance of private individual choice, to those who would like reform on their own terms, to those who would blindly stay with things as they are, to those who call for renewal through repentance,” he said.

Insisting that the church was a reality of faith, he said he could not be pessimistic about its future in Ireland.

“As a person of faith I know that the future of the church in Ireland is not in my hands, but that its future will be guided by the Lord, who is with his church at all times.”

In reconciling these differing trends, Dr Martin said he had no choice but to lay aside personal discouragement and continue day by day the search for personal conversion and Christian renewal.

“The future of the Catholic Church in Ireland will see a very different Catholic Church in Ireland,” he predicted.

“Renewal will only come through returning to the church, which we have received from the Lord.”

The archbishop also spoke of his anxiety about the level of religious knowledge in Ireland and of a widespread lack of understanding of Catholic Church teaching on sexual morality.

“There are fundamental fault lines within the current structure for Catholic schools that are not being addressed, and unattended fault lines inevitably generate destructive energies,” he said.

“Our system of religious education. . . bypasses our parishes, which should, together with the family, be the primary focal points for faith formation and membership of a worshipping community.”


He said that within the church and outside of it, discussion focused on challenges in the area of sexual morality, where the church’s teaching was either not understood or was simply rejected as out of tune with contemporary culture.

“There is, on the other hand, very little critical examination of some of the roots of that contemporary culture and its compatibility with the teaching of Jesus,” he insisted.

“The moral teaching of the church cannot simply be a blessing for, a toleration of, or an adaptation to the cultural climate of the day.

“The manner in which the moral teaching of the church is presented to believers is far too often not adequately situated within the overall context of the teaching of Jesus, which is both compassionate and demanding.”

– John Cooney

Irish Independent 11th May 2010

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  1. Andrew (first post here) said:-

    “It’s time that these ‘dark forces’ were removed from interaction with vulnerable communities, i.e. schools, hospitals and hospices.”

    You mean, like, get ROME out of Ireland altogther?

    Here’s a bit of advice: Start with educating, i.e., LOVING your own children.

    In other words, take responsibility for your own offspring – as in don’t hand over the rearing of your OWN kids to people who like wearing Fancy Frocks and Shiny Jewellery… as too many Irish generations did.

    Better to die, than to merely survive in perpetual fear. One is either alive or dead. Take your pick.

  2. According to John Cooney, the author of this article, Diarmuid Martin said:-

    “As a person of faith I know that the future of the church in Ireland is not in my hands, but that its future will be guided by the Lord, who is with his church at all times…

    … Renewal will only come through returning to the church, which we have received from the Lord.”

    LORD? So, who are the SERFS?

    I feel somewhat sorry for Diarmuid Martin, but when grown adults use the internalised language of those who psychologically raped them as infants and young children – then I, personally, have little respect for people such as Diarmuid Martin.

    Its not that I hate such adults or anything, its just that I don’t have much faith (no pun intended) in emotionally-retarded adults.

    Martha x

  3. One of the more significant undertakings Judge Sean Ryan gave about his investigation involved the committal of the children by the courts, saying it was important

    “not to ignore the methods by which children came to be placed in institutions”.

    This issue of committal was never meant to be part of the Child Abuse Commission. It came far too close to the derelictions of the State than was comfortable. It had been precluded by Michael Woods (of the Indemnity Deal Infamy) when he steered through the original legislation setting up the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse.

    Judge Mary Laffoy covered it, but only in a detailed listing of the various legislative provisions by which children were committed. Since most of this this was already in the public domain, what Sean Ryan said was seen at the time to be an extension of what she had done. It has not proved to be so in the final report.

    Setting aside everything done to the children during their incarceration, nothing was as terrible or alarming as the events which led so many of them to lose their liberty by being placed in the hands of the gardai and taken away to what were child prisons, there to serve terms of up to 15 years and 364 days for no crime whatsoever.

    The children were not represented in the courts. No barrister or solicitor ever intervened on their behalf. Any interventions were solely to do with barristers exercising their egos.

    The childrens circumstances were not properly investigated – EVER. They were, as the founder of the Legion of Mary, Frank Duff, asserted in a letter to Archbishop John Charles McQuaid, “shovelled into the industrial schools” by a corrupt ISPCC.

    The crimes of the judiciary remains obscure and inadequately dealt with. Judge Ryan himself said that the importance of the issue was hard to exaggerate and that it would be unsatisfactory to ignore it.

    He was to seek an amendment in the Child Abuse Commission Act. It was blocked by Fianna Fail – and not a squeak of opposition from Fine Gael.

  4. Paddy makes a good point there. To a certain extent the uniformed representatives of that particular Middle Eastern cult have had their usual nonsense either challenged or simply had to go silent.

    Its the people in the shadows I want rooted out of Irish public life- the little traitors among the Knights of Colombanus, Opus Dei and so on who work in civil service positions and have the ability to ‘nudge’ investigations sideways.

    Over the history of the whole abuse scandal from the enforced silences of the 50s, 60s and 70’s there were people in positions of authority who actively conspired in the silencing of criticism of the church and its slaves.

    To the point where young decent Guards had to file reports quickly before the hairy-nostrilled Knights mob within the Gardai managed to bury an investigation.

    Its that old sector of the deeply failed 1950’s generation who need to be consigned to the rubbish bin of Irish social history.

    Traitors all of them who took oaths of allegiance to any organisation outside Ireland. May they die screaming for it.

  5. And there are many others who don’t wear collars, black suits or veils – they are the “Dark Forces”. Paddy.

  6. Charles O'Rourke

    On the other hand it is thanks to the Irish Christian Brothers that the issue of child abuse and clerical terror has been kept alive during the past decade in Ireland. They have used every trick possible to prevent the truth from seeing the light of day. When it did emerge through the Ryan Report then Europe was ready to shoulder their part of the struggle. A dark force indeed.

  7. Charles O'Rourke

    I can give you a name for these “Dark Forces” The Irish Christian Brothers”. They have shown themselves by their deeds to be indeed a dark force.

  8. Charles O'Rourke

    Give these “Dark Forces” a name, no smoke screen speak. These forces play a sinister role within the functioning of the State. They are not going to lie down or go away, they must be removed as they are a real threat to democracy. Behind heavy oak doors they scheme and plot and the demise of Martin is just now a top priority. The last thing they want to see is an empowered Martin leading a moral uprising assisted by survivors. Their counter attack will soon come.

  9. I think we all know who or what these “dark forces” are. They have not just infiltrated the church, they’ve also infiltrated government and call many of the shots when it comes to dealing with finding the truth about the abuse of children. It appears that the Archbishop of Dublin knows who these “dark forces” are. Bring this information to the Gardaí (Police) and let the law take it’s course…………assuming of course that these “dark forces” haven’t infiltrated the judicial system as well. Nah! They would never do that…………would they? Paddy.

  10. I would like to remind Archbishop Diarmuid Martin that the drips and drabs also applies to the way victims are trying to get justice from their abusers. The victims are the plaintiffs not the defendants. Dr.Martin would do well to hand over the reports to the court of human rights if he feels the truth is not coming out fast enough.

  11. It’s time that these ‘dark forces’ were removed from interaction with vulnerable communities, i.e. schools, hospitals and hospices.

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