Protection of children is “pro-life”, the Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has said.
“It is about a fundamental vision of the
Christian life, about a Jesus who reminded all of us that children are a
sign of the kingdom of God and that therefore our attitude to children
tells us a lot about our understanding of the kingdom of God,” he said.
at Clonliffe College on Saturday to the Dublin archdiocese’s new child
safeguarding committee, he called on them “to be brutally honest and
uncompromising” in their work.
He said he needed to learn from their
vision and, where necessary, “I need to hear your criticisms of where I
make mistakes. In the past deference may have seemed the correct tone.
We have seen the results which have left thousands of lives broken in
this diocese alone.”
safeguarding was “not yesterday’s issue but one which belongs to our
today and to our tomorrow. It is not just about the negative shadows
which have darkened and damaged our church. It is really about how we as
Catholic Christians respect the lives of the youngest and the most
vulnerable. Child safeguarding is a truly pro-life witness,” he said.
on Saturday, at a Mass held to mark the 200th anniversary of the
arrival of Christian and Presentation Brothers’ founder Edmund Rice to
Dublin, he said: “It would not be honest of me not to mention that I
have also listened to stories of children whose experience in schools
and institutions run by the Brothers saddened me.”
added, “it would be even less honest of me not to remember the many
stories that I have heard which were precisely the opposite.”
so many men who “if asked what was the most significant factor that
influenced their education . . . would say it was ‘Brother A’, someone
who they feel was simply there with every fibre of his being to ensure
that young people got on in life and . . . went into the world contented
and with success”.