The Catholic Church in Ireland is dying. Denial only serves to further delay any chance of recovery. This death has been taking place for quite a while but now quickens apace. To some extent we are to blame for our own demise. We have failed the Lord and the wider Church. Is there any hope for us as an Irish Church? If this hope exists at all it is a very fragile flower indeed. It remains to be seen as to whether we can implement reform never mind renewal. The signs that this might happen are not good. Some of the so called ‘signs of life’ have little substance and there is much internal division and dissipated energy. Much of what is going on in the Church is a form of rust, ecclesial rust. Unnoticed, unnamed this silently eats away at the structure of the Church, corroding it towards collapse.
Fr Joe McDonald is passionately interested in communication and the thing he is most passionate about communicating is a knowledge, understanding and love of Jesus of Nazareth. He has been a teacher, a religious and, for the past 10 years, a priest of the Dublin diocese. Over the past few years he has been a regular guest on The Late Debate, Tonight with Vincent Browne and Claire Byrne Live. A native of West Belfast, he is currently parish priest of St Matthew’s in Ballyfermot, Dublin.