By Sarah Mac Donald - 03 September, 2019
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has expressed concern over the growing inequality in Irish society and the emergence of new forms of marginalisation.
In his homily at a Mass to remember deceased members of the women’s forum in the Archdiocese of Dublin, the Archbishop highlighted the failure of a wealthy society like Ireland to address the challenge of homelessness, especially the high number of children who are currently homeless.
He also highlighted the lack of special education services for many young people who require them in order to enable them to realise their talents.
“We live in a society in which people appropriate for themselves gargantuan levels of wealth, at times taking advantage of the very little that the poor possess and need. Misuse of the goods of creation and the selfish use of those goods damage what is the common home and the common property of all and at times threaten the livelihood and indeed the life of others,” the Archbishop criticised.
Referring to the global Church’s celebration of the Day of Prayer for Creation, he said the Church’s fundamental message on creation is that the goods of the earth are given for the benefit of all.
“Our wealthy society has in its midst so many condemned to sit on the margins of what that wealth might be able to achieve. The poor are left to eke out survival, only through what is left over after we thrive. Indeed, while the poor hunger, our wealthy society throws away huge amounts of food. Our wealthy society is a society marked by waste.”
One aspect of the Christian witness must be to foster a lifestyle where the poor and the troubled and the disadvantaged are able to feel that their intrinsic worth is recognised and embraced and enhanced by all and where resources are shared, he said.
Elsewhere in his homily, Archbishop Martin hit out at the traffic in drugs as “a horrific example of the exploitation of the vulnerable.
“We witness the cold and unscrupulous exploitation and the violence of the leaders of this traffic of death but we too rarely set out in black and white the horrors of that traffic of death especially among young people.”
He said that while we decry the murders among drug gangs, their numbers are tiny in comparison with the deaths their trade causes among young and vulnerable people.
“Young people gather for entertainment and never return home because they are tempted into a network of unscrupulous suppliers of extremely dangerous drugs.”
The Mass was held to remember those women who were associated with the Dublin Diocesan Women’s Forum and who have died in recent years.
The Women’s Forum, despite the generosity and commitment of its members, did not attain the role that was envisaged by Cardinal Connell when he launched it, Archbishop Martin acknowledged.
Though this was not to say that there has not been progress in the active presence of women in church structures and church life, Dr Martin said, “I must take my level of responsibility in not bringing sufficient new vigour to the aims of the Forum.”
He also proposed that members of the Forum would come together with him and take a renewed look at the ways in which women can contribute effectively to the renewal of the Church today, especially in being a Church alongside the poor.