McGuinness: Archbishop Martin is providing a way forward..

Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness looks to Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to lead the catholic church out of the grip of child abuse scandals. Mr Mc Guinness has spoken for the first time since Cardinal Sean Brady said he is not quitting.

Northern Ireland’s deputy First Minister has thrown his weight behind the Archbishop of Dublin as the row over child abuse by some priests rages on.

When the story broke in March that Cardinal Sean Brady committed two of Fr Brendan Smyth’s young victims to a vow of silence Martin Mc Guinness who was in America at the time said “Cardinal Brady should consider his position.”

Last Friday Dr Brady confirmed he is not stepping down as the leader of Irish Catholics. So what does the deputy First Minister think now?

“Cardinal Brady has reflected on his position. He has made his position clear. I note that with considerable interest but I also note with interest there appears to be a tussle going on in the hierarchy of the church, a church I give allegiance to and want to see come out of this stronger than ever before.

“Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has been leading the charge in terms of the need for reform and support for victims. All of us have a responsibility to support someone who is showing himself to be fearless and very anxious to do good and to see the church strengthened as a result of this.

“I am not making any judgement on Cardinal Brady or any other bishop within the church except to say I am impressed by the way Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has set about confronting what he sees to be wrong within the church.

“I think the speeches and statements and interviews that have been given by Archbishop Martin have clearly shown him to be someone who is greatly agonising and pained by the way the church appears to be at sea.

He has shown himself in Dublin to be very pro-active in terms of safeguarding children and I think the fact that he has been prepared to come out very publicly himself, very forthrightly in terms of what he thinks needs to be done.

“He certainly has my admiration and my support. And I say that as someone who is pained as anybody else about the difficulties the Catholic church is going through at this time.

“I try to be the best Catholic that I can. My allegiance is to the Catholic Church. I am also very broad-minded about other religions but it is a source of great agony and discomfort to see the church going through these trials and tribulations.

“What I am looking for is for someone who is clearly identifying where the problem lies and clearly identifying a route to the resolution of that.”

The question is then, should Cardinal Brady have resigned? Mr Mc Guinness added:

“Cardinal Brady has made his decision. That is the end of it. It’s really a matter for Sean Brady and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.

“What I am speaking about is my absolute admiration for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and the very determined approach he appears to be taking to see a clearway forward for the ‘church’ which deals with issues of child abuse, deals with history of all that but places the Church on a sound footing for moving forward.

“The vast majority of Catholics now want to see a resolution to these difficulties and are greatly pained by what are now weekly stories and headlines which do no credit whatsoever.”

So what is the downside to the status quo obtaining with Cardinal Brady staying on as the leader of the church on the island of Ireland? “Even Cardinal Brady has said the status quo is not acceptable. He has come out in his own way very strongly in favour of the safeguarding of children and I welcome that.” said the deputy First Minister.  But he added:

“I think given that now because of the public articulation of different views within the church over the course of recent times, many catholics will be making judgements as to who is providing a way forward which will see the ‘church” emerge stronger from the difficulties it is facing. An awful lot of catholics that I speak to are full of admiration for Archbishop Martin and the stand that he has taken”

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  • Alias

    I’m sure that the Catholic church will be delighted to learn that has the endorsement of someone with the ‘moral authority’ of the Bogside [text removed – mods].

  • pilgrim505

    How can McGuinness comment on child abuse and Paedophilia.

    Penetrating children bodies with shards of metal and glass and tearing them limb from limb is surely the worst possible kind of Paedophilia.

  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Setting aside the inevitable comments above, I find McGuinness reaction to the abuse scandal rather interesting.

    The Catholic church’s representatives in Ireland may not have actually murdered Irish citizens, but there is absolutely no doubt that many treated the most vulnerable in Irish society not only in a depraved and perverse manner, but compounded that crime with a wall of silence, cover-up and constant lies.

    McGuinness words above are carefully chosen and fall well short of condeming Brady or calling on him to resign, an action which would almost certainly be a step on the road to healing for the church.

    The question is what could McGuinness be afraid of? Is he merely echoing the thoughts of many of his constituents who despite the ultimate provocation, remain true to their church and have no stomach for such a revolt? Or is he, by lavishing praise on Diarmuid Martin, attempting to shame Brady without direct condemnation?

    As a professing Catholic, McGuinness must know that the continuing perceived arrogance from much of the church hierarchy causes ongoing damage. Rather than this unaccustomed fence-sitting, would McGuinness not be better using his influence to persaude the old discredited hierarchy to go?

  • joeCanuck

    is he, by lavishing praise on Diarmuid Martin, attempting to shame Brady without direct condemnation?

    I think that that is fairly obvious. Maybe hoping that someone in the Vatican notices and promotes Martin.

  • Some churches are considered dodgy businesses with many secrets, freely told for the washing away of sins, to hide, but they never go away really, for where would they go. Disappear as if by magic, voodoo and what of those sinned against? Who washes them clean?

    Double standards guarantee Sub Prime Shenanigans #

    Posted Friday 21st May 2010 13:13 GMT

    “The bust was reportedly authorised by local magistrates over concerns the local chapter of Scientology was holding sensitive personal data (including information on health and sexual orientation) in violation of Italy’s privacy laws, the Daily Telegraph reports.”

    Does that mean that the Vatican will be raided for its confessional records which contain all of the above and so very much more ….. or is that to be different and stay covered up, for the good of the business which appears to be, as per Flying Spaghetti Monster, Richard 120 Posted Friday 21st May 2010 12:02 GMT, “just another way of gaining power and money from people less self assured than me. Another type of organised crime, it’s hardly surprising they have many enemies and feel the need to prepare for an offensive type of defence.?”

    An uncomfortable thought maybe, but hardly one which can be reasonably argued is not true and valid.

    God is a business and concept? Try interesting your bank manager in that as a franchise to launch with borrowed funds and he’ll probably think you’re certifiable and swiftly show you the door.

  • Martin McGuinness is right, so far the only senior member of the RCC hierarchy in Ireland to appear to be dealing properly with the accusations of child abuse is Dr Martin. To be sure he blotted his copy book at least once by falling back on the tried and tested ‘blame the Brits’ routine, but overall his hand wringing, abasement has appeared, to me, to be genuine.

    As far as I know Dr Martin has nothing in his past to connect him to the allegations. He appears to be a possibly worthwhile successor to Dr Brady.

    Having said that and bearing in mind outstanding allegations: Martin McGuinness did indeed have to be very careful where he put his feet; anything he says may yet come back to haunt him.

  • joan

    pathetic! not a word from mallie about liam adams and the double standards of the sf leadership. and before anyone claims otherwise the case is not sub judice. mallie is a disgrace!

  • Alias

    The interesting thing about the comments is the engineering of the Catholic nation to which the Bogside Butcher claims has “My allegiance.” The sheep are to be encouraged to likewise owe their allegiance to a Church and not to a state, thereby consolidating their position as a non-sovereign nation within the British state who do not assert any national rights which might challenge the legitimacy of the legitimised British state but now only religious rights.

  • Newt

    As a general comment I really think that some people should realign their moral compass. Some “paedophile” offences, a dozen jpegs on a hard drive, or a borderline age of consent violation, are really not the worst crimes out there, and not up there with murder. Of course the law of the land recognises this but the public doesn’t seem to. Jonathan King is not as much of a villain as Fred West.

    I await the hysterical mob to come and burn down my house…

    Of course a priest abusing a child has a particularly obscene aspect, a kind of blasphemy, but murder is way above even that.

    In that pilgrim505 has a point, even if it is expressed in a somewhat silly way.

  • Joan
    I have wondered why the little ‘love in’ appeared to be just that, and not an investigative, interview…


    If republicans continue the blind devotion to the RCC such devotion enhances the ‘devotion’ to the republican cause. I hope we are closer to freedom from both religious and political ideology than that implies…

  • Alias

    Pip, you’ve lost me there. I was just commenting on a political party professing “allegiance” to a church and not to a state. But the Shinners are a catholic party, and that sectarianism is part of the clique of the formerly oppressed catholic tribe now enjoying equal religious rights with other citizens of the legitimised British state due to the valiant efforts of said catholic party. The Catholics have been led to formally renounce their national rights and so the focus could be switching to religious rights, with the only important thing being for a catholic party that its supporters have equal religious rights and the renounced national rights being no barrier to that. At any rate, it isn’t necessary for the Catholics to immediately switch allegiance to the British state: just that they don’t have any such allegiance to the Irish state. Once they drop that then over time the void that is filled with the bridge of allegiance to a church can be filled by the emergence of allegiance to the British state wherein they now enjoy equal religious rights.

  • Alias

    Sorry perhaps I was a bit obscure. I meant that allegiance to the RCC enhanced the allegiance to the republican cause,

    No political party should espouse a particular religion, to do so implies a preference of one against another. In the past this has been a serious factor but I hope we have moved beyond that.

  • Mick Murphy

    McGuinness is just being sychophantic to the “mother church”.There should ALWAYS be a separation of church and state .

  • Henry94

    I don’t know how you could call that fence-sitting. By endorsing Martin McGuinness is effectively recognising him as the real leader of Irish Catholics. Which he is. A lot of the running on the abuse scandals is made by those who would happily see the Church destroyed and that’s fair enough. But those who remain faithful are no less angry and the Cardinal will I hope come to understand that his legalistic defence is not going to cut it.

  • Diarmuid Martin is Ireland’s answer to the late lamented “Red Dean of Canterbury” the Rev Hewlett Johnson who denounced the evils of his own society while supporting barbarism in the Soviet Union. I have a long section on Martin on my website The following is the introduction:

    Diarmuid Martin was consecrated Archbishop of Dublin in April 2004 – about the same time that John Cooney was appointed Religious Affairs correspondent for the Irish Independent. He seems never to have made any comment on Cooney’s allegation that Martin great predecessor John Charles McQuaid was a homosexual paedophile. In fact the two seem to have a very friendly relationship – based on the Archbishop’s efforts to tackle the issue of child sex abuse by Catholic clergy. The Archbishop’s method seems to be to accept ANY allegation at face value and treat a priest as guilty until proven innocent.

    Shortly after he became Archbishop, Diarmuid Martin held a two- hour meeting with Kathy O’Beirne who told of rapes, beatings and torture she said she had witnessed some 30 years before in a Magdalene Laundry. After the meeting she told the Irish Independent that she and the other girls in care were subject to regular abuse at the hands of religious members and lay people in the laundries. She herself was regularly beaten. One night, she said she watched in horror as a 14-year-old friend was repeatedly raped by five men. However she was now confident that, with the help of Archbishop Martin, the truth will be told. “When I saw him on Wednesday, a feeling of great relief came over me. I could see the compassion and pain on his face,” she said.

    Kathy O’Beirne was never in any Magdalene institution. The Archbishop’s “compassion” for a false accuser is the obverse of his complete lack of concern for his falsely accused priests.

    The most egregious example is the Archbishop’s treatment of retired auxiliary Bishop Dermot O’Mahony. The Archbishop removed Bishop O’Mahony from his position as director of the archdiocese’s pilgrimage to Lourdes on the basis that “I regret that you did not express any public clarification or remorse or apology” (letter dated 2 December 2009). However Bishop O’Mahony had sent a statement to the Archbishop’s Director of Communications Annette O’Donnell on 27 October 2009 which concluded : “I profoundly regret that any action or inaction of mine should have contributed to the suffering of even a single child. I want to apologise for my failures from the bottom of my heart”. The statement was not published by the Communications Office but Annette O’Donnell confirmed that the Archbishop had seen it. He made no apology to Dermot O’Mahony and indeed continued to criticise him.

    In November 2009 the Archbishop invited the Bishop of Galway Martin Drennan who had previously been an auxiliary Bishop of Dublin to “consider his position” after the publication of the Murphy Report. While the Report mentions Bishop Drennan, it makes no criticism whatsoever of his conduct! In order to consolidate his status as a media hero, does the Archbishop want to hand the media as many heads as possible on a platter?

    However an article by John Cooney in the Irish Independent on 20 June 2009 may point to the shape of things to come. Cooney quotes Martin as acknowledging that, when he was a young seminarian in the 1960s, he knew about physical abuse in Artane and asks “Why was good guy Martin silent so long”. Perhaps John Cooney who slandered Martin’s great predecessor John Charles McQuaid, will decide that the current Archbishop has served his purpose as a media stooge?

  • AND FINALLY I added the following today:

    …. on Easter Sunday 4 April 2010, the Archbishop was confronted and heckled by former residents of institutions run by religious when he arrived to say Mass at the Pro-Cathedral. About a dozen protested outside the cathedral after having draped its railings in pairs of infants’ shoes, with black ribbons attached. John Ayers, who “was beaten every day to make me a Catholic”, told the Archbishop: “Your church is not welcome in my country any more. It is a Nazi religion. I want it to leave my country, I want you to leave my country.” In May Mr Ayres went on to hold a hunger strike outside the Archbishops house in Drumcondra and lined the road outside with children’s shoes to symbolise the victims of institutional abuse.

    It looks likely that the Archbishop will be devoured by the demons he released with his combination of indiscriminate apologies and his failure to defend the innocent.