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Catholic Primate Martin tells of being trolled online


Mocked: Eamon Martin

Mocked: Eamon Martin

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Mocked: Eamon Martin

The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland has spoken about his experience of being trolled on social media.

Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin said he has been criticised and mocked online.

He also speaks of his "shame" at the abuse scandals that have rocked the Church.

He was speaking in an interview published today in the Belfast Telegraph's What I Believe series.

Archbishop Martin states: "The harshest criticism and mockery tends to come in social media, often from people or trolls who have never met me.

"I try to have a broad back for criticism. Much of it can be merited, and provide an opportunity for reflection, conversion and growth.

"I ask myself: 'What are these critics really saying or searching for?'.

"When I visited Iraq back in late 2018 I became much more conscious of our Christian brothers and sisters who are the modern martyrs worldwide and who have to endure real persecution, oppression and violence for the faith."

In his interview the archbishop, one of a family of six boys and six girls brought up in Londonderry, speaks of the role his parents played in his life. He added: "My late parents John James and Catherine were my first teachers and best examples of the faith, which is everything to me.

"I am never angry with God, though I am sometimes frustrated that He always seems to be wanting more from me. And then God comforts me by giving me all I need to fulfil His will."

The archbishop also speaks about his pain at the abuse scandals that emerged involving members of the Catholic Church.

He added: "The awful crimes and sins of abuse in the Catholic Church continue to cause me shame, and I have met many victims and survivors of that abuse who were shockingly violated and left traumatised. As Pope Benedict XVI put it, such abuse has 'obscured the light of the Gospel'."

Belfast Telegraph