The Church too is in need of conversion, insisted Archbishop Eamon Martin in a wide-ranging Zoom presentation to ACI on Thursday February 16th, 2023.
Dealing with ‘sin’ as the whole range of human failings that harm our relationships Archbishop Eamon insisted that this in turn harms our relationship with God, the unfailing source of the health and healing that the church and society need.
Racism, sexism, denial of forgiveness, bullying, judgmentalism, consumerism, misuse of drugs, human trafficking – or simply being silent when injustice happens – all of these are a failure to love our neighbour as we should, and all contribute to the deterioration of relationships that harm the wider society.
Asked if the past practice of secrecy in the church – so harmful to relationships – was an offence against God by leaving families and children unprotected against clerical abuse, Archbishop Eamon quoted from the Irish presentation at the European Assembly for the continental stage of the universal synod. This had referred to contributions made during the 2022 synodality process by those who had experienced abuse within the church:
“Women and men courageously came forward to speak about the sexual, institutional, emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual abuse by members of the Church in Ireland. Their voice went to the very heart of what is needed for our Church: conversion.’
The archbishop reinforced this need for conversion in the church, referring to ‘sin in the hearts of people in the church, including leaders in the church, that blinded them to the suffering of the most innocent (which) is still in need of healing‘.
To listen to an audio recording of the presentation and subsequent discussion click here.