Archbishop Martin does not expect women priests in his lifetime

women priests

Women priests are unlikely to become a reality in the Catholic Church during his lifetime, says retired Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin.

Martin (78) also discussed clergy sexual abuse and policies of the Church, including the ban on condoms during the AIDS crisis.

“I’d be very worried about consultations, which lead to frustrated expectations which don’t take place. People’s faith is damaged by a church which doesn’t respect women’s dignity,” Martin said.

Martin also criticised Pope John Paul II’s ban on condoms during the AIDS crisis, describing it as “bad theology.”

“I think that it was bad theology.

“It’s this idea of an extraordinary narrow dogmatic understanding of bringing principles and not looking at the broad circumstances in which the situation is taking place and the struggles that people have to face.

“It was one of the problems with the church in Ireland.

“We learned the rules before we learned who Jesus Christ was.”

He stressed the need for a more compassionate and contextual approach to such issues.

“We learned the rules

before we learned

who Jesus Christ was.”

Diarmuid Martin

Women weren’t listened to

While discussing the clerical child sexual abuse scandals, Archbishop Martin highlighted the understanding of ordinary Dublin women who recognised the harm caused by paedophilia but often found their concerns dismissed by bishops.

“They (the women) saw the mess that their child got into, they saw in some cases how their child took their own life, and they went to bishops and they weren’t listened to.”

When asked what he would say to God on arrival at the pearly gates, Martin said:

“The only phrase I have is, when you’ve got that weighing scale there, take the 80,000 files I gave and that might bring me the right way.”

His comment was a reference to the number of documents he handed the Murphy Commission when it was investigating how the archdiocese had dealt with allegations of clerical child sexual abuse.

Martin was speaking to Joe Duffy in The Meaning of Life programme.


The Irish Times

CathNews New Zealand


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