THE new Bishop of Cloyne, Dr William Crean, has pleaded for Irish and international banks to ease the burden on suffering families.
Dr Crean (61) said children were being sent to school hungry nationwide because their parents could not afford food.
He also used his ordination address to devote his ministry to "healing and reconciliation" in the sprawling Cork diocese that has been rocked by a decade of clerical child abuse revelations.
But it could take years to repair the damage caused to victims and their families, he warned.
More than 1,200 people, including 15 archbishops and bishops as well as 140 priests, packed St Colman's Cathedral in Cobh, Co Cork, for the ceremony performed by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown.
Hundreds who couldn't gain entry to the cathedral braved icy temperatures and rain outside to wish Dr Crean well.
The new bishop, a native of Tralee, Co Kerry, said he was "deeply humbled" by his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI.
His seven brothers and sisters John, Tom, Tim, Margaret, Marie, James and Pat, were all in attendance.
Dr Crean used his address to plead for "a calm from the storm" that has rocked Ireland's society since 2008.
"There are children hungry coming to school. The reality is that people don't have the money. These are people who work hard and are very dutiful. I am no economist but the institutions are part responsible for the burden on people. They too must now carry some of the burden," he said.
"The discipline and demands of the troika weigh heavily on us. Jesus was critical of those who placed excessive burdens on people's shoulders."
The bishop, who was ordained as a priest in 1976, also said the church would help those hurt by the abuse scandals.
"I renew my commitment to continue the work of healing and reconciliation that is necessary for all. This work will take time, understanding and patience," he said.
Dr Crean's new diocese has 46 parishes, 107 churches and a population of over 150,000.
Cloyne has faced multiple compensation settlements for abuse victims and is still reeling from the revelations in Judge Yvonne Murphy's Cloyne Report, published two years ago.
Cloyne had been without a bishop for almost four years after Dr John Magee, a private secretary to three popes, first stepped aside and then resigned over the controversy.
Dr Crean is regarded by church insiders as "a safe pair of hands" who is also very media savvy, given that he was a founding director of Radio Kerry.