While dioceses in the United States are climbing aboard the “Catholics Come Home” bandwagon, at least one bishop in Ireland is saying “Go ahead. Leave. And don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”
The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has urged the country’s lapsed Catholics to have the maturity to leave the church.
Over the past two decades, rising numbers of ‘a la carte’ Catholics simply turn up at the altar for the sacraments like baptism, communion and marriage.But in a new documentary on the future of the church, priests reveal they will expect a firmer commitment from their flock in the future. It shows how church pews swell to almost full capacity for celebratory sacraments, while Sunday services have dwindling numbers.
Archbishop Martin urged non-believers to walk away from the church.
He said: “It requires maturity on those people who want their children to become members of the church community and maturity on those people who say ‘I don’t believe in God and I really shouldn’t be hanging on to the vestiges of faith when I don’t really believe in it’.”
Fr Michael Drumm, from the Catholic Schools Partnership, said the church would be getting firmer with parents looking to have their children baptised as a Catholic.