Monday, February 28, 2011

World Day of Prayer

You are invited to join our friends in the Church of Ireland, Rathcoole to celebrate the World Day of Prayer. Venue: Church of Ireland, Rathcoole
Date: Friday 4th March
Time: 8.30
(Note: Eucharistic Adoration has been slightly moved and will take place from 7.15 to 8.15 - why not join us for some quiet prayer for making the short trip across the road to prayer in common)


For more information click here.

The WDP Committee in Chile sees the theme question, "How Many Loaves Have You?", as an invitation to enter a process that draws us into the Bible, into the context of Chile, and into the real situations of our lives and communities. This year's Bible studies come from 1 Kings 17: 8-16 and Mark 6: 30-44.

The widow of Zarephath story in 1 Kings 17, when a woman's tiny amount of oil and flour do not run out even during a severe famine, has special meaning for Chile and its history scarred by times of extreme exploitation. In four stories told in the service, the women describe critical devastating times when people chose to resist evil by forming community. Feel encouraged to consider times in your country or community when evil was overcome by people acting together for the common good.

We are ready now to turn to the Gospel of Mark 6:30-44, where the crowds listening to Jesus are hungry. The disciples advise Jesus to “send them away … so that they may … buy something for themselves to eat.” Jesus responds by telling the disciples, “You give them something to eat.” It would seem to the disciples that Jesus does not fully understand the situation. Even if they had the day’s wages of 200 men, they could not buy enough bread for this crowd. Nonetheless, Jesus maintains his position that they give them something to eat. “How many loaves have you? Go and see.” The search uncovers five loaves of bread and two fish. This amount among so many people is as meager as the flour and oil available to the widow of Zarephath.

It is important for us to seek out a deeper level of understanding by reflecting on the mystery of the widow's oil and flour that did not run out and the mystery of the feeding of the five thousand. During this year's service, we are asked to form small groups and to answer the question: How many loaves have you? What are your gifts? What can you share?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Crisis to Hope

As you are aware, the General Election will be held soon. The critical importance of this particular election cannot be overstated. We would encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote and do so in a considered and thoughtful manner.

To provide some food for thought, the Irish Bishops wish to share their vision. Click here to read more. It is offered not as a manifesto but as a resource.

To read the reflections on the current economic, social and political transformations of Pope Benedict, click here.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Liturgy of Lament and Repentance - Three Silences

There are moments where silence and listening are more important than words and what we say.

What can I say to you who are victims of sexual abuse by priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin or by religious? I would not be honest and sincere if I were to say that I know what you have suffered. I may try to understand, but that suffering is yours ...

Someone once reminded me of the difference between on the one hand apologising or saying sorry and on the other hand asking forgiveness. I can bump into someone on the street and say “Sorry”. It can be meaningful or just an empty formula. When I say sorry I am in charge. When I ask forgiveness however I am no longer in charge, I am in the hands of the others. Only you can forgive me; only God can forgive me.

I, as Archbishop of Dublin and as Diarmuid Martin, stand here in this silence and I ask forgiveness of God and I ask for the first steps of forgiveness from of all the survivors of abuse.

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There is a time for silence. But there is also another silence: a silence which is a sign of not wanting to respond, a silence which is a failure of courage and truth.

There are men and women in this Cathedral today to whom we must express our immense gratitude for the fact that they did not remain silent. Despite the hurt it cost them they had the courage to speak out, to speak out, to speak out and to speak out again and again, courageously and with determination even in the face of unbelief and rejection.

The first step towards any form of healing is to allow the truth to come out. The truth will set us free, but not in a simplistic way. The truth hurts. The truth cleanses not with designer soap but with a fire that burns and hurts and lances.

Again the Church in this Archdiocese thanks you for your courage. I in my own name apologise for the insensitivity and even hurtful and nasty reactions that you may have encountered. I appeal to you to continue to speak out. There is still a long path to journey in honesty before we can truly merit forgiveness.

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There is a third level of silence in our midst this afternoon. It is the silence of the cross ... We gather before the cross of Jesus which presides over us and judges us. It is the Cross of Jesus that judges whether our words and our hearts are sincere ...

The silence of Jesus on the cross is again interrupted by his prayer of abandonment: “My God why have you forsaken me?” It is the prayer that so many survivors must have made their own as they journeyed with the torment of hurt which for many years they could not share and which haunted them day after day, from their childhood and into adult life.

But Jesus faces that abandonment and finally hands himself over to the Father bringing his self-giving love to the utmost moment of giving his own life in love. That opened the door to newness of life. We gather under the sign of the cross which judges us but which ultimately liberates us.
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From the speaking notes of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Liturgy of Lament and Repentance

On next Sunday 20th February at 3pm a Liturgy of Lament and Repentance for the sexual abuse of children by priests and religious will be held in St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, within the framework of the Apostolic Visitation of the Archdiocese of Dublin.
The liturgy will ask the forgiveness of God and of all survivors for the failure of those Church leaders and many others in the family of the Church to respond with love, integrity, honesty, understanding and compassion to the pain and distress of survivors.
During the liturgy which has been prepared principally by survivors, Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will wash the feet of a group of people who have suffered in various ways through abuse.