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Dublin archbishop sees sacred cows in the new Ireland

Religion is not the only source of fundamentalism in Ireland, according to Dublin Archbishop Dr Diarmuid Martin, who sees a range of liberal and progressive fundamentalists, alongside the conservative and economic ones.

Addressing the theme 'Orthodoxies and Heresies: The New Ireland and its Sacred Cows' at the Merriman Summer School, Archbishop Martin said that when he returned to Ireland last year after 35 years abroad, he expected to hear less about orthodoxies and heresies.

The Irish Independent reports that he said various fundamentalisms revolve around the individual and the community, concerned in different ways with "rights and responsibilities, personal enrichment and solidarity, market driven responses and the common good".

The Archbishop said the tension between the individual and community is to be found in such areas as marriage and economics.

In marriage, he said, it is today far harder "to balance the 'for better or for worse' that is an essential part of the marriage covenant of love and the relationship that is established". On the economy, he said the individual and the community lay at the root of tensions in Ireland. "A market-based economy requires enhancing personal capacity and initiative. That is what makes the market work so well.

"But the market does not necessarily guarantee equity and solidarity, much less the financial resources which social solidarity may require," he said.

Archbishop Martin also condemned treatment of old people by New Ireland. One of his nightmares was that the country may now be creating large institutions in which to park the elderly, with little community to support them when they become dependent.

New Ireland 'sports range of competing fundamentalisms' (Irish Independeent 23/8/04)

Cumann Merriman | Summer School 2004
Irish prelate sounds ecological alarm (Catholic World News 23/8/04)

24 Aug 2004