Misinéirí radacacha

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Tá an Eaglais Chaitliceach in Éirinn i ngéarchéim gan amhras.

Tá lion na ndaoine atá ag freastal ar an Aifreann ag titim. ‘Siúlann an fear óg chun an Aifrinn ach ritheann an seanfhear’: is minic nach dtéann ceachtar acu anois. Chaill mórán daoine a gcreideamh mar gheall ar scannal na sagart phéidifileacha, drochíde i ndílleachtlanna, agus scéalta faoi na neachtlanna Mhaigdiléana. Caithfimid na daoine sin a cháineadh: lig siad síós iad féin, lig siad síos na daoine a bhí faoina gcúram, agus lig siad síos na milliúin duine a bhí ag iarraidh bealach na Críotaíóchta a leanúint. Tá a lán dochair déanta agus beidh sé an-deacair an damáiste a dheisiú. Ach de ghnáth ní chluineann tú ach scéalta a bhaineann le taobh dorcha na hEaglaise. Agus cluineann tu fíór-bheagán faoi dhea-obair na sagart sa bhaile agus thar sáile - ag cuidiú le daoine , ag tabhairt sóláis, agus ag iarraidh pobail a cruthú agus a chaomhnú.Bhí athchraoladh ar TG4 an tseachtain seo caite den mhionsraith ‘Misinéirí Radacacha’ faoi mhisinéirí Éireannacha - fir agus mná- a bhí ag obair sa tSalvadóir sna 80í. Bhí cogadh cathartha fuilteach ar siúl sa tír ag an am. Maraíoh thart fá 75,000 duine sa choimhlint. Mharaigh arm an rialtais níos mó ná mile duine i sráidbhaile amháin. Thug an rialtas Marxach ar na sagairt, na mná rialta agus na múinteoirí a sheas ina éadan. Maraíodh cuid mhaith acu- an tArdeaspag Romero ina measc: scaoileadh é nuair a bhí sé ag léamh an Aifrinn san Ardeaglais. Thaispeáin píósa scannáin an t- arm ag scaoileadh ar léirsitheoirí ar chéimeanna na hArdeaglaise. Tugadh seans do na misinéirí filleadh ar Éirinn ach d’fhán siad sa tSalvadóir, ag obair agus ag iarraidh daoine a chosaint. Seo sampla amháin den obair a dhéanann an Eaglais sa Tríú Domhan. Ach níl scéalta mar sin le feiceáil sna ceannlínte anseo go minic.

There is no doubt that the Catholic Church in Ireland is in crisis.

The number of people attending Mass is falling,‘ The young man walks to Mass, but the old man runs.’ Often neither of them goes nowadays.

Many people have lost their faith because of the scandal of the paedophile priests, abuse in orphanages and stories about the Magdalene Laundries.

These people must be condemned: they let themselves down, they let down people in their care, and they let down millions of people who were trying to follow the Christian way of life.

A lot of harm has been done and it will be very difficult to repair the damage.

But you usually only hear stories about the dark side of the Church.

And you hear very little about the good work of priests at home and abroad, helping people, bringing comfort, and trying to create and preserve communities.

There was a repeat broadcast on TG4 last week of the mini-series ‘Radical Missionaries’, about Irish missionaries-men and women- who were working in El Salvador in the 1980’s.

There was a bloody civil war in the country at the time.Around 75,000 people were killed in the conflict. The army killed more than 1,000 people in one village alone.

Priests, nuns and teachers who opposed the government were labelled Marxist. Many of them were killed including Archbishop Romero: he was shot while saying Mass in the Cathedral.

Some clips showed the army firing on demonstrators on the steps of the Cathedral.

The missionaries were given the chance to return home to Ireland, but they stayed on in El Salvador working and trying to protect the people. This is one example of the work that the church does in the Third World.