ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin called on Christians in Ireland to take a courageous stand against the "culture of vendetta and killing" which is seeing people "being mowed down on our streets".
Addressing a packed Pro- Cathedral in Dublin for Easter Sunday Mass, he told the congregation that violence is continuing to raise its "ugly head".
He pleaded with Christians to become "driving forces" which oppose this "culture of vendetta and killing". "If resurrection liberates, the culture of violence devastates," he said.
He said the church and Christian community must be 'Pro-Life' in the fullest sense of the term. "We have to defend the right to life," he said.
Speaking after Mass to the Irish Independent, Dr Martin said he made no differentiation between political or criminal violence.
"I am thinking of people being mowed down on our streets, and I don't like to say criminal violence or political violence as if one is different to the other.
"I have constantly said violence is a dead end and it will just provoke other violence."
He also hit out that the empty legacy the "years of prosperity" left the young people of Ireland with, giving them little hope and frustrating them with a lack of opportunity.
"Their hopes are frustrated by cynicism and corruption which make them ask if solidarity and a sense of common purpose can really work."
He urged Christians to act as driving forces for a society based on truth, integrity and honesty, and not corruption.
Dr Martin said Christians could counter the culture of widespread individualism and act in solidarity with all those who suffer any form of handicap and disadvantage.
Addressing the change he believes is necessary to renew the Catholic Church in Ireland, he said a tired and disillusioned church will never produce "newness and life".
He said current structures must be examined to see if they serve the needs of the church, and if necessary make way for "a looser organisation than we have".