'Judgmentalism' of Irish Catholics is causing people to reject faith, Archbishop Martin says

18 April 2017 | by Sarah Mac Donald

Easter Message: 'We can be so judgemental and hurtful towards those whom we decide have failed'

The harsh exclusion and “judgmentalism” by some in the church of single mothers, orphans, and gays and lesbians has been strongly criticised by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin over Easter.

In his Easter reflection he blamed the scandals within Catholicism as well as “judgmentalism” for causing people to reject faith. “We can be so judgemental and hurtful towards those whom we decide have failed and those who drift outside our self-made ideas of respectability,” he said. He questioned how a Church and its institutions could have “treated broken people who were entrusted to its care with such harshness”.

His criticism follows the recent revelations about the Tuam Mother and Baby home. The Primate of Ireland prayed that the Church would be cleansed of judgmentalism and instead realise the power of mercy.

In his Easter Sunday homily, he hit out against those behind the drugs trade holding people in addiction and those who sexually exploit women. “How can we be insensitive to hunger and yet spend millions on a false culture of the body,” he asked.

A strong supporter of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, the President of the World Meeting of Families 2018 warned that for many, Christianity had been turned into “a faith of prohibitions”.

Certain theologies had created a religion of fear, and there were so many rules that many were left with a sense of scrupulosity which left them trapped and oppressed by guilt and doubts. He stressed that sin is not a failure to observe rules and norms: is it a failure to love.

Meanwhile, Bishop Donal McKeown has said that Irish society needs to undergo a lot of truth-telling and a lot of alternative facts need to be debunked.

In his Easter homily, the Bishop of Derry said, “The gilded narratives of 100 per cent saintly church or 100 per cent self-sacrificing heroes need to be debunked if we are to cease being prisoners of the past. Only in this way can many people experience the possibility of resurrection.”

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