Dear Editor, I do not think that I can be alone in seeing the publicity surrounding Archbishop Diarmuid Martin’s recent speech on the New Evangelisation in a New Ireland as being a missed opportunity. Whilst there is much of interest and value in the speech itself, drawing on the call of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict XVI to be outward-looking and positive in our proclamation of the Gospel, the accompanying press release from the Bishops’ Conference focused mainly on Archbishop Martin’s challenge to the Catholic press.
Did no one have the foresight to realise that the mainstream reporting of this would just reinforce the image of the Church as a nest of squabbling factions? Whose interest does it serve when the mainstream media is gifted with the story of the Archbishop of Dublin seeming to take potshots at Catholic journalists? How ironic that the value of this speech was undermined by a negative and short-sighted presentation!
It is also regrettable that Archbishop Martin’s remarks about the ‘growing and worrying phenomenon of blogs’ wasn’t balanced by an acknowledgement of the many decent Catholics laity and clergy who do so much to share their faith in an informative and positive manner on-line. Perhaps it is time for our bishops to look more closely at how some of their confrères abroad, and especially in the United States, have been engaging with their flocks and the world via their blogs and Twitter accounts.
Rev. Bernard Healy CC,
St John’s Parish Centre,