‘People might be isolated but they are not alone’ in coronavirus crisis, says Archbishop Eamon









Archbishop Eamon Martin was moved to tears by the response to bringing the Blessed Sacrament through Armagh amid the coronavirus lockdown


27 March, 2020 01:00

Armagh clergy, including Archbishop Eamon Martin, carried a Monstrance through the parish when public worship was suspended because of Covid-19

WITH the faithful no longer able to leave their homes to attend church because of the coronavirus restrictions, Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin decided to bring the sacrament to the people in a deeply symbolic act of spiritual solidarity.

On Tuesday, the first day of the latest lockdown arrangements, Dr Martin used his officially sanctioned once-a-day opportunity to exercise to carry a Monstrance through an Armagh estate.

“It was a profoundly moving experience not only for the residents but also for the Archbishop himself.”I found myself in tears as I was doing it,” he said. “People were emotional, and I received an avalanche of texts afterwards thanking me for coming out.”Top of Form

Dr Martin’s walk is a particularly vivid example of how clergy from Churches of all traditions are rising to the challenge of maintaining connections with their flocks at a time when people are craving spiritual support and solace amid isolation, illness and anxiety.

Parishes and congregations all over Ireland have been quick to make imaginative use of digital means of communication, gathering church families together on YouTube, Facebook, Zoom and a multitude of other platforms as well as their own websites.

Dr Martin’s walk, however, spoke to something deep in the psyche of Catholic Ireland that pre-dates the digital.

Archbishop Eamon Martin used his official ‘exercise opportunity’ on Tuesday to bless the people of Armagh; the shape of the Monstrance is echoed in the Celtic cross behind him

“We have a very strong devotion to Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament – the Real Presence of Christ – and to the idea that Jesus walks among his people in the presence of that Blessed Sacrament,” he explained.

In that sense, bearing the Monstrance – a sacred instrument which holds the consecrated host – as he walked through Armagh’s streets was a way of “bringing the sacrament to the people and letting them know that Jesus is still walking with them”.

The Armagh parish clergy started to bring the Monstrance to the city’s streets last week when Covid-19 restrictions had already banned public worship – a way, said Dr Martin, of “bringing the Lord to the people as they could no longer come to the church and gather”.

People came out of their houses as the Monstrance passed, with many kneeling in the street.

When the further tightening of movement was announced on Monday evening, the Archbishop had yet to visit the Windmill Lane area.

“I decided to use my one opportunity to walk on Tuesday, not just as a physical exercise but also as a spiritual exercise,” said Dr Martin.

“So I walked on my own with the Monstrance through the estate, practically in the middle of the road because there were so few cars.

“People could see me from their houses. They were coming to the window and blessing themselves. One man came to his door in a wheelchair, for example.”

The positive and heartfelt response he received confirmed that it was the correct thing to do at this time of crisis.

“We need to know that Jesus is accompanying people, he is walking with his people, he is out among them in their homes and places where they are isolated; Jesus comes and walks among you,” he said.

“One man called out of his window, ‘Thank you for visiting us’. People might be isolated, but they are not alone.”

Also this week, Archbishop Martin joined with other clergy to consecrate “the people of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for strength and protection from Covid-19”.

“It’s very much part of Catholic spiritual tradition to turn to Our Lady at times of difficulty,” he explained.

“Even so, I couldn’t believe it. I think every bishop went to their cathedral on Wednesday and simultaneously we joined in a prayer of consecration.

“There was a palpable sense of a spiritually linked cry to heaven for God’s strength and protection for all of the people of Ireland at this very difficult time.”


I am often embarrassed and made to cringe when I see clergy, of high and low station, coming out with childish and overly pious responses to very serious things.

Covid 19 is a great threat to everyone.

Those of us who believe and pray should strengthen our faith and increase our prayers.

But handing out indulgences and having street processions are not the core answer to C 19.

Our prayers MUST be accompanied by practical actions.

Pope Francis gave 30 respirators to Roman hospitals this week. With his money he could have done a lot more.

No Irish bishop has yet followed example.

GENTLEMEN – if you want us to regard your prayers and utterances as sincere – GET OUT YOUR CHEQUE BOOKS!


84 replies on “‘People might be isolated but they are not alone’ in coronavirus crisis, says Archbishop Eamon”

There is something biblically heretical in what Eamon Martin did: a denial of Jesus’ teaching that the God of creation dwells within every human heart.

Bringing the Eucharist in a monstrance to those people was telling them that Jesus was being brought to them by their archbishop as a ‘real’ presence. But the real presence of Christ was there all the time.

Roman Catholic teaching on the Eucharist is denying Catholics the truth about Jesus’ presence and making them dependent emotionally on having him brought to them by self-promoting clergy. And in all of that unnecessary clerical attire, Eamon Martin was surely promoting himself, not Jesus.

Liked by 2 people

With respect, it is an irresponsible exaggeration to say that Covid-19 is ‘a great threat to everyone’. It most certainly is not.

Liked by 1 person

Yes, +Pat — absolutely.

But may I respectfully ask you, “Who are our brothers and sisters?”.

The deaths and suffering in these never-ending wars — that have been engineered by the Wets’s Big Business interests — is something I feel very strongly about.
It has to be crying to Heaven for vengeance.
My very earliest childhood memory is of being in an air-raid, and nearly all my early childhood memories are war-related. And also I met a great many Muslims in their own lands during my army-service; and I’ve worked with Muslims, had Muslim friends, we’ve Muslims living next-door, and so on.


6.33: We know which planet Magna lives on – make believe. This idiot thinks that the CORONAVIRUS is a normal flu virus. His ignorance is astonishing. I suspect he is just being the usual provocative irritant. Magna, please read the actual truth instead of deliberately distorting facts.



You have greater reason, and need, than I to inform yourself of the truth. You have (deliberately?) misrepresented my understanding and comments on Coronavirus: I never said that it was a ‘normal flu virus’, but that it belonged to the same family of viruses. And no, I am not being ‘the usual provocative irritant’… unless you consider truth provocative.


“I received an avalanche of texts afterwards thanking me for ‘coming out’.”

About bloody time too.


Is this a joke ? Has it been made up ? Surely ?

What the hell is this man doing walking through the streets with a monstrance in some display of self-need and ‘look, see me’ ! He is breaking every convention of the current requirement and restrictions. Who does he think he is to just ignore official advice from people who are trying to protect the health of the population ?

This is just more of the exceptionalism and arrogance that inhabits the clerical culture and mindset. Rules apply to everyone else, but not to me. I am not accountable. I can do what I want. I am special. I am a priest / bishop. What a f**kwit !

And as for all the emotional stuff about tears to eyes, and being so touched…..well, touched in the head is this man and his ilk. Really

I would be very interested to know the real truth about how people reacted. I don’t think it will be according to the narrative of + Amy of Armagh himself.


Amy cries easily, Bp Pat, broke down, so she did, when she got back, and cried for a persistently long time like this.


Pat, PooecFrancus’s Urbi et Orbi message and prayer today was watched by over 11,000000 people. The world needs His presence calling us back to GOD and one another, inviting us to truly care for the earth, our common home, and it’s inhabitants. I hope all priests, including you Pat, will find words of hope for masses tomorrow. We are in very painful times and none of us should minimise this crisis. God be with all who are prone to depression or who are anxious.


Archbishop Martin and the Bishops conference also need to respond with practical measures to support the effort against Covid-19. War time measures have been
introduced to fight a silent enemy, in a silent war.
Bishops please, stand up to the plate with practical actions as well as spiritual supports.


A go on. Poor auld Eamon responded in the only way he knew how. He was brought up with the notion of cause and effect. The Host reminds us God feeds his people. Jesus left bread for a reason to feed people and not just be a showpiece in monstrance. ( I fully respect the practice of Eucharistic adoration) Right folks just like Moses this is an exodus from selfishness and stupidity Shoes on foots yall hi


Maybe it is not immediately relevant, but I have just spent an hour listening to hymns on Youtube. I would class myself nowadays as an atheist, but one who retains a deep affection for the Catholic church and my growing up in that context. I listened to “the priests”. I know they are not popular on this blog, but their work is superb. I listened to Ag Criost An Siol and several others. Delightful.


Comments on their rendition range from, “Lovely stuff” to “The song the old cow died of!!!!!!!!”


Spare us in this time of need, please….. ! We most definitely don’t need the ministrations of The Priests. Oxygen thieves. Water of space.


Consecration of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for protection from the Coronavirus

Hello again, +PAT .
Reading through that news-report I can see why you speak of being ‘embarrassed and made to cringe’.
“bearing the Monstrance – a sacred instrument which holds the consecrated host”.
And “Archbishop Martin joined with other clergy to consecrate the people of Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”.
Doesn’t Eamon Martin realise the offence that he’ll have given to non-Catholics, particularly by their purported involuntary consecration to the IMH?

“And when He drew near and saw the city, he wept over it” – Luke 19:41


Closed stable doors and bolted horses come to mind here.

Why do these men wait for a ‘crisis’ to make such a consecration, if this is what they must do to appear useful?


The RCC is not going to regain its reputation through consecrations and blessings. Doing very positive practical things like providing equipment to the NHS will help with the devastated reputation.


Its reputation is too bad to be improved, even in Scotland, Bp Pat, especially after KOB was shamed and disgraced and exiled for the rest of his days.


Bishop P. at 10.01

I wonder how many respirators/ventilators even one of Noel Treanor’s very expensive door handles could provide?


11:40 am

Those knobs and door handles will be there for posterity.
He’s doing what he can on his ‘watch’. His successor along with successors to come will appreciate all those knobs. He’s getting priorities right. Don’t you not know!


When any Catholic bishop or priest engages spiritually with congregations or parishioners, they are seeking to spiritually connect with them. In the secular world such gestures seem anachronistic and strange. I personally would not walk through streets carrying a monstrance, however, I would not mock, jeer or ridicule any priest/bishop who might do so. There are many ways by which we can connect with parishioners: websites and webcam facilities. I am using such each day to provide spiritual nourishment for parishioners. This is a moment for engaging creatively and imaginatively with others. The relentless putting down of Catholic clergy and prayerful, spiritual initiatives is unfortunate. It is unnecessary in these days when ALL of us feel slightly more fragile, anxious and uncertain in these days. Surely any offering of hope, comfort and light must be welcomed, however uncomfortable for some. I just wish that, like our government, medical and health care staff that we would all unite in a common expression of goodness, support, encouragement and inspiring words. Yesterday, four parishioners, over 70’s, phoned me in great distress, worried about everything but what astonished me most was their absolute concern.for me – assuring me of their prayers and advising me about minding myself. Aren’t these the kind of Christ-like gestures we need right now, not tearing down by cynicism, hurtful commentary and using this deathly virus to “kill” our inner soul and spirit by negative and demeaning words. We should suspend the lethal weapon of destructive commentary – for today at least, the Lord’s Day. maybe today we could share reflective thoughts and prayers.



Legitimate criticism here is not mockery, much less relentless ‘putting down of Catholic clergy’.

Eamon Martin explained his visitation in this way: that he was ‘bringing the Lord to the people’. This is heresy. It implies that once Martin is gone, so too is the Lord.

That is not a cleric’s spiritually engaging with people, but his taking food (spiritual truth) right out of their hungry, trembling mouths.


10:01 & 9:32

Pat, don’t forget the HSE! It is not an either/or but an and/both situation:
spiritual support plus practical action. What’s the last judgement all about?
Matt 25:31-46.


Couldn’t agree more. These are the questions we will be asked at our judgement:

Nothing at all about consecrations, processions, indulgences, holy water, Catholic or Protestant.


Is this a joke ? Has it been made up ? Surely ?

What the hell is this man doing walking through the streets with a monstrance in some display of self-need and ‘look, see me’ ! He is breaking every convention of the current requirement and restrictions. Who does he think he is to just ignore official advice from people who are trying to protect the health of the population ?

This is just more of the exceptionalism and arrogance that inhabits the clerical culture and mindset. Rules apply to everyone else, but not to me. I am not accountable. I can do what I want. I am special. I am a priest / bishop. What a nutwit !

And as for all the emotional stuff about tears to eyes, and being so touched…..well, touched in the head is that this man and his ilk are. Really

I would be very interested to know the real truth about how people reacted. I don’t think it will be according to the narrative of + Amy of Armagh himself.


Well said Anon@10:29.
As you and Magna have put it, it’s all about “Me, Me, Me” inasmuch as it’s “Look everybody, I have the power to bring you this great succour in your time of need”
Aye, and only I and my band of ontologically changed priestly fountains of grace can bring you such relief, and…..and…….yawn, yawn.
It’s actually worrying to think of such a weak insipid individual wielding power and authority, and moreover thinks he is entitled so to do.


The Abp explained, “I decided to use my one opportunity to walk on Tuesday, not just as a physical exercise but also as a spiritual exercise.” People could see him from their houses, and one man even came to his door in a wheelchair, and that’s when he started sobbing. For example:


Of course, I never saw him, but someone said he looked as though he was being pulled along by the scrotum.


11.33: What an utter moron. Is this your response to our crisis? When you are struck by it I hope you’ll find comfort…this kind of nonsense belittles all who are ill with this virus. Shame.


I have been searching adound for blogs re: thoughts and reflection on our CORONAVIRUS challenge. I have found some very thought provoking articles, poetry, essays, suitable music, prayers.. All very commendable and inspiring. Can I suggest the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY WEBSITE: it has appropriate articles about how we can cope with the mental and emotional strain placed upon us. I am saddened that this blog is still facilitating very unfair, distorted and nasty commentary against Catholic clergy. Those of us in the ground are deeply saddened for the sick, housebound and elderly whom we cannot pastorally visit. Officiating at funerals have new levels of grief, with families not allowed to be surrounded by relatives, friends and neighbours. It pains me to witness this grief at 4 funerals in the past week. I have been approached by a family for advice about an elderly loved one who is sick with the virus and do not expect her to survive. It is an awful dilemma for all of us. I have spoken with many colleagues and all of us are facing the same challenges. Our country needs reassurance through words that enable us to have hope, words that bring us to light, to have trust, to inspire. We need, those of us who are CHRISTIANS prayer and spiritual comfort. Let us not sneer at those who try to give this to those who are searching and requiring our presence in “good words”.


If I was you I would not be calling myself a CHRISTIAN in bold capitals. Its for others to decide if our behaviour and deeds make us Christian in their eyes. And in the end it is God who will decide if your life was Christian. You sound like the Pharisee standing at the front of the temple boasting your good works to God. You comment does lead me to think you are the real thing at all!


2.09: Sad Pat that you can’t acceppt the genuine sentiments of poster at 1.11. I think it’s an over stretched comparison to say he is like the Pharisees. I don’t detect any such hypocrisy. I think the priest is simply concerned like most of us are at this time. What can we do in these times? Reading some comments on your blog recently certainly were very nasty and vicious against clergy. I am glad you are moderating this nastiness. I watched maass live streamed from our Church today and I found it spiritually comforting. I miss the lovely opportunity of daily mass and the cup of tea in our parish centre. Christians are looking for spiritual comfort and I hope our priests will continue to live stream mass and praters each day as they have been doing. I wish you well.


2.08: Pat, I did not intend any judgment on anyone by typing the word Christian in large letters: just did so as we are, as a group, often sneered at. I work in a parish with a huge elderly population, where funerals are very frequent. I am genuinely concerned about the awful grief because of restrictions. Like you, we can be affected by these moments of grief. I can assure you, I am no saint: I am struggling to understand this time of great pain, suffering and trial. But it does help when others express solidarity by kind words and gestures of good will. I am very disillusioned that our Church leaders in all the Churches have not expressed in unison any promise of practical support or shared prayers of hope or comfort for all who seek these. They may individually say something but I e-mailed the two AB’s Martins to express my annoyance.



You have no idea of the depth of grief some of us survivors of clerical abuse, crime and cover up, had to endure for years. Now I’m not going to say anymore on that issue for now and will park it. Just bear in mind Ireland, is considered the ‘ground zero’ of clerical abuse world wide.

Jesus preached the Gospel in both words and deeds.

Bishops, if you intend giving practical support during this historical pandemic, buildings won’t sprout legs and run off! So don’t worry!


2.36: How do you know that i have no idea of what abuse has done to others? You haven’t a clue. I shared sometime ago my story of abuse by a neighbour at 14 years of age – an abuse which went on for a year or more. Thank God I recovered well by escaping his clutches. It was only in later years with other traumas that it surfaced as a huge issue. So, I do understand. It’s ignorant to continually infer that all priests haven’t a clue or don’t care. When I officiate at funerals these days I am witnessing huge grief, almost inexplicable. Of 6 funerals in the past ten days, one was a personal tragedy, another died of cancer, ages 58 and 64 respectively. Do you think for a moment that I am unmoved by tragedy or grief? There is a palpable sense of fear moving through our country: we are all affected. I have two nieces who work in healthcare, one a microbiologist, the other a theatre nurse. Their stories are heart wrenching, not just about their colleagues but about what they are witnessing in hospitals. It is very regrettable that a narrative of hate filled sentiment is flowing freely on this blog.


What is very regrettable is the narrative from good priests, constantly twisting to suit their narrative and the narrative of the church.
I’m talking about abuse from clergy which has the added dimension of spiritual abuse.
Now if you want to bang on about abuse, buddy, I’ll bang on about it as well. No bother. Before I’m finished I’ll put my story public through this blog thereby causing huge embarrassment to bishops and moral cowardly clergy, most of whom are still in ministry. And I won’t give a damn about legal consequences. I’m sick of duplicity.



Most of the comments deleted today were from so called “good Catholics” calling me names. These comments do not worry me in the least. In fact I laugh at some of them. But their unrestrained anger proves that I am drilling in the right spot 🙂


I think you are right + Pat. You hit them where it hurts. And they fight back. But, keep it up because without people like you much of what they don’t want us to see and know would be unseen and unknown. They have brought this on themselves by hundreds of years of creating a culture that made them special and unaccountable. That is over now. They need to adjust and change. It will be a painful process for them. They know that and are kicking back in frustration and anger. I say to even the holiest and gentlest of priests: Bear this in mind – remember, you are holding up and supporting an institution that is sinful and corrupt and has done so much harm to the innocent, and held men and women in a captivity of guilt and sin and unhappiness. So, no matter how good you think you are, you are complicit in the crimes of your brother clergy and bishops. Is it not time for you to do the right thing, and speak out, distance yourself, challenge, go elsewhere, minister differently, be priest in a different way and different culture ? Think about it, please !


Anon@5:14: While what you say is good and necessary ( about genuinely compassionate pastorally inclined priests leaving the corrupt RCC ), I’m very conscious of their potential practical problems, and how their own awareness of that can inhibit any movement. In practical terms, what can a 60+ yr old priest do to support himself after 30+ yrs as a cleric?
Is there any organisation or network available to help them make the break?


5:14 pm

The clergy and hierarchy have been ‘knocked off their high horses’.
Problem is, many of them are still on the way down, not having yet landed on their respective arses. Some might use Covid-19 to give us a rendition of the clerical corona blues.
Stay tuned.


Headlines: 29/03/2020.

1.One-worlders exploit coronavirus demanding one united global government to fight pandemic
2.Vatican releases pope’s pandemic-influenced plan for Holy Week, Easter
3.Coffins fill up Italy’s churches and halls as the army wearing protective hazmat suits is brought in to move bodies out of the country’s worst affected region after the death toll soars by 969 in a single day.
4.Trump releases massive supply of HCQ (Chloroquinine) )for immediate use in New York


Pat. Please can you remove this Facebook link for me please? Someone had hacked my account it leads to my identity. Sorry to bother you. Thanks


Goodness me, we’re only into a couple of weeks of the crisis! What will it be like in six-months time? I wonder.


Bp Pat, I am so glad you are not censoring any comments on Amy Turtle, they are just too funny. She’ll be desperate to strut her stuff again soon. Many people in Brighton like to mince up and down the high street like that.


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