Archbishop Martin reproaches government minister who led service

Minister Madigan who advocates abort and led a church service

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Surprise has been expressed that a Government Minister in Ireland, who was prominent in campaigning for a “Yes” vote in the recent abortion referendum, led a church service at her local parish last weekend.

Minister for Culture, Josepha Madigan, stepped in when it became apparent that no priest was available to celebrate 6pm Mass on Saturday evening in the Parish of St Therese in Mount Merrion, Dublin.

Speaking to RTE Radio Minister Madigan said she had offered to lead a prayer service for the packed church and that a Minister for the Eucharist had distributed Communion.She said that the Gospel was not read and no attempt was made to consecrate the bread and wine.

The Minister is a member of the parish team’s Ministry for the Word. Ms Madigan said she saw no contradiction between her stance in support of abortion and the fact that one of the church’s core teachings is on the protection of human life.

“I would be of the view that God gave us free will. I believe it is for everybody to make their own choice notwithstanding the fact that abortion is not something that I would choose.”

She said the bigger issue was that the Church “should be ordaining women and it should be optional for priests to marry. It is something that I will say to Pope Francis if I get an opportunity in August.”

After being informed of what happened at the service, and of Ms Madigan’s later comments on the radio, the Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin issued a statement severely reproaching the minister.

“Comments by Minister Josepha Madigan arising from a situation that arose in the Parish of Mount Merrion have caused parishioners in Mount Merrion and further afield considerable distress. Many have contacted my offices to express their hurt and upset at the Minister’s comments, as reported in the media,” Archbishop Martin said.

“There is no shortage of priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin for the celebration of Sunday Mass. Due to a misunderstanding, the priest assigned to Mass in the parish of Mount Merrion on Saturday evening, failed to turn up. It is in no way correct to say that the Minister ‘said Mass’.”

He went on: “It is regrettable that that Minister Madigan used this occasion to push a particular agenda. Her expressed view that a mix up in a Dublin parish on one particular Saturday evening should lead to the Universal Church changing core teachings is bizarre.

“Minister Madigan might consider listening to the voices of those people who disagree with her public comments, she might consider the hurt she has caused to parishioners who deem her actions deeply disrespectful.”