The people in Ireland have been misled about the extent of abuse by priests and priests subject to unjustifiable wrongs, according to the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.
Dr Martin, speaking at Mass to celebrate the lives of the nine priests who had died in the diocese this year, said he had been thinking about the changes in the country over their careers.
Reflecting on the lives of these priests Martin said that Priests in Dublin face new challenges as numbers decrease and the workload grows and the general cultural climate changes.
“Priests in Dublin have faced really difficult times in the past years. With all of you, I am saddened and horrified to see the results of a recent survey which showed how misled people have been about the extent of abuse by priests. Some of those questioned for the survey imagined that over 20 per cent of priests had abused,” he said.
Dr Martin was referring to a survey commissioned by the conservative think tank, the Iona Institute, which found that 42 per cent of Irish people believed the number of priests guilty of child abuse was over 20 per cent.
“The horror we all experience at the dreadful reality of abuse in no way justifies such injustice to the entire body of priests in this diocese and in this country,” the archbishop said.
He said being a believer in Jesus Christ was not easy today for anyone.
“We should remember, however, that difficult times are never alien to the ministry and the life of the church. Faith is not easy. All of us will have experienced and will experience moments in which our faith in God will be stretched almost to breaking point.”
“Faith is not certainty. Finding Jesus in our lives is not given to us on a plate. Our faith has to engage with the hostilities of every generation. Our faith has to engage with the weakness and sinfulness of our own identity,” he said.
News category: World.