YOUNG people in Ireland who have had to emigrate in search of work "have a right to be angry", Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has said.
Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday following the re-opening of Rathfarnham Catholic Parish Church, the archbishop expressed concern over the level of youth unemployment in Ireland and across Europe.
He urged the Government to tackle the issue.
"The future of society and the hope of society is in its young people. You can understand how many young Irish people who have had to emigrate to find work are angry, and they have a right to be angry. All of us invested in those young people," he said.
"We have a situation in Europe where youth unemployment is extremely high and that is an indication that something has gone wrong with the system and this has to be addressed."
However, he suggested that it was not governments that create jobs but enterprise, though he said a government's role was to create the framework in which jobs could be created.
The archbishop also hit back at the conservative American commentator, Rush Limbaugh, who recently dismissed Pope Francis's latest exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, as "pure Marxism" and hypocritical for criticising capitalism.
The Primate of Ireland responded to the US radio talk show host comments saying: "I think that is offensive.
"You have to remember that the Pope comes from a background where he has experienced and seen where the market system has broken down.
"Pope John Paul, who actually espoused the market in quite a strong way, always said that there are certain goods that don't belong in the marketplace – which can't be bought and sold – they are the fundamental goods of people's lives."
He urged Irish society to rediscover an "Advent spirit" of not being caught up with "elegance and extravagance and comfort".
"Many people will spend so much money at Christmas and will come out of it not particularly happier in the long term," he warned, as he urged people to rediscover the true values of Christmas.
"I don't want to be a spoilsport. Christmas is a time when people should enjoy themselves but they should enjoy themselves in the things that are important such as being together and caring for each other."