independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Archbishop: Be Christian neighbours

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin called on people to be Christian neighbours and restore community spirit

The Archbishop of Dublin has urged massgoers to rediscover the simplicity of Christmas.

Diarmuid Martin also called on people to be Christian neighbours and restore community spirit during the economic downturn.

In his homily at Christmas Midnight Mass in St Mary's Pro Cathedral the archbishop said: "We have to rediscover the simplicity of Christmas not just to turn away from excess and exaggeration. We have to rediscover the simplicity of Christmas so that we can leave aside attitudes which focus on ourselves and rediscover what living for each other means."

He said while Christmas is a feast for children, it is a feast for adults who learn from the simplicity of children.

"Unfortunately there are many ways in which our prosperity has led us to rob the simplicity of children through a false sophistication, which is not rarely only a sort of self-gratification," he said. "The Christmases I remember best are the ones when the gifts I received captured the simplicity and the imagination of my childhood."

Archbishop Martin said during economic hardship it is important look for the political and economic measures which are most likely to foster inclusion, and to identify and expose those factors which leave men and women in a situation of precariousness or exclusion.

"But it is not a question of simply pointing to what government can and should do," he continued.

"We have to rediscover a sense of Christian neighbourliness of the every day. We have to rebuild stronger relationships with neighbours, particularly the elderly and most vulnerable, in an effort to restore true community spirit. We have to break down some of the barriers of personal privacy which we rightly treasure, to allow all of us to realise the fundamental need of solidarity, support and of good neighbourliness."

Archbishop Martin also thanked those who give their lives in service in the city and throughout the world, while criticising those inflicting violence. He added: Humility is a different road to that of the haughtiness of the corrupt which has led to so much hardship in our country

"Humility is a different road to that of the arrogance which has given rise to a horrible cycle of criminal violence which tarnishes our city. Humility is a different road to that of the indifference and lack of caring which leads to hopelessness."

Press Association

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