His comments in the last few weeks have angered a large number of lay people (he says he has received a lot of phone calls about his earlier comments) and forced him lament peoples' misunderstanding of what he said.
People understand very well what he means.
He is all in favour of the legalisation of Gay Unions, but he wants to support it by use of dog whistles and ambiguous phrases. What he consistently refuses to do, is to say, in union with the Catholic Church - that homosexual acts are immoral and that he is opposed to the legalisation of civil unions. He just has to say this and all mis-understandings are wiped away immediately.
We read today that he has spend almost half a million during up the Archbishop's Palace for himself, and that he's been out of the Diocese for 53 days since August.
That old joke about 'St Martin de Tours' appears to be correct after all.
But the most important issue is the Archbishop's attempt to undermine the Catholic position on marriage, the very fine defense of marriage by Cardinal Sean Brady.
For this alone - I think it's time for Diarmuid to be promoted by the Vatican to a position where he can do less damage that at present.
In Mid December, Archbishop Martin had the following letter in The Irish Catholic:
I am surprised at the comments of your columnist, Mr David Quinn, (Dec 4) on my remarks at a Press Conference at the conclusion of the Winter meeting of the Irish Episcopal Conference and in my subsequent letter to the Irish Times.
On both occasions I clearly indicated that I was [sic] "was supportive of the basic content of Cardinal Brady's position on the Bill and of his comments made at the recent Ceifin conference", yet Mr Quinn continues to insinuate that in my comments I was placing my myself at odds with those of Cardinal Brady.
I spoke of the contribution of "the family based on marriage, that is, on the mutual and exclusive love of husband and wife" as "unique and irreplaceable". I fail to understand how Mr Quinn could interpret as being "remarkably conciliatory" to any Government which would propose to accord rights belonging to marriage to civil unions.
The debate about civil unions is precisely about a situation in which the mutuality of the sexes is no longer seen as something anthropologically unique and irreplaceable, but simply a cultural construct which can be adapted and changed. That is the central issue which the Church should be addressing in her catechesis and in her witness towards society.
Poor Diarmuid, always seems to be mis-understood doesn't he.
Here's another occasion, asked was missing Sunday Mass a mortal sin, Martin refused to say yes or not, but gives a definition of a mortal sin instead.
Thursday March 03 2005
Sir - The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, wishes to express his disappointment at the manner in which a recent newspaper interview was taken up in a subsequent article in your paper under the heading 'Missing Sunday Mass is not a mortal sin, says Archbishop'.
In the original interview with another paper, Archbishop Martin addressed the situation of people who had drifted from Church practice, but who still maintained bonds with the Church through prayer and occasional Church attendance. The Archbishop would not be drawn into answering questions about the subjective dispositions of conscience of individuals. In no place did he challenge or deny the current norms of Church teaching and discipline on Mass attendance, as some have interpreted the headline in the Irish Independent.
Indeed the Archbishop clearly recalled the centrality of active membership of the Eucharistic community and attendance at Mass each Sunday.
This matter again indicates the difficulty the Archbishop increasingly encounters in attempting to address questions of Church life, which are complex in their nature and require to be examined in a sensitive manner. The Archbishop sincerely feels a mature debate on Church life is not served when genuine attempts to address these issues in a receptive manner are responded to with superficial newspaper headlines. Archbishop Martin remains genuinely committed to fostering such a debate.
Annette O Donnell,
Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Dublin
A response to article in The Irish Independent entitled:
Missing Sunday Mass is not a mortal sin, says Archbishop
By David Quinn Religious Correspondent
Wednesday February 23 2005
'NOT going to Mass every week isn't necessarily a mortal sin, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, has said.
Archbishop Martin said there are many people who don't practise "but who may be of deep faith", and that an action is only a mortal sin if a person knows what they are doing is gravely wrong. He said this would rarely be the case "with many of the people who don't go to Mass".
Dr Martin said in a newspaper interview that although Mass and the Eucharist are still central aspects of the faith for Catholics, a new model of the Irish Church was emerging which would see regular, occasional and very sporadic church attendance. He said: "There are many, many instances of people who don't practise, but who may be of deep faith."
He also said it is not necessarily a mortal sin not to go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days.
Dr Martin said: "I don't go judging individual people - a mortal sin is always a conscious decision on the part of somebody to do something which is seriously wrong.
"And I don't think that is the case with many of those who don't go to Mass."
Reacting to Archbishop Martin's comments, several priests stressed that although they agreed with him that Mass attendance can be over-emphasised, it was still very important to go in order to remain a part of the wider Catholic community.'