Tuesday 23 January 2018

We must create a more compassionate, caring society, urges archbishop

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gives the homily at the Easter Vigil Mass at the weekend. Photo: John McElroy
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin gives the homily at the Easter Vigil Mass at the weekend. Photo: John McElroy

Sarah MacDonald

The authors of the 1916 Proclamation were "men of faith who dreamed dreams of hope for Ireland", Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said.

As state events got underway to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin said: "Celebrating and commemorating should not consist just in looking back."

He urged the faithful to build a "more compassionate, caring and just society".

"Christians are called to build a society where hope can flourish," he said, adding: "This is a call especially in these days here in Ireland as we celebrate and commemorate the events of 1916."

The archbishop himself had three family members directly involved in the Easter Rising. After Mass he paid tribute to the part played by the Pro Cathedral and the priests.

He said St Mary's Pro Cathedral was "a place of refuge during 1916" which sheltered terrified civilians "shivering with fear".

"It is a place that belongs to the history of 1916; it belongs to the history of that care for all those who were involved in the Rising and those who were victims of the Rising."

Separately, at the vigil Mass in St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh on Saturday evening, Archbishop Eamon Martin recalled the tragedy in Buncrana and terror attacks in Brussels.

He appealed to the faithful to fill every moment with hope and joy to counter those who "plot to fill lives with fear and foreboding" and in a world where "families are wrenched apart by war and persecution, where homes are destroyed and human life is cheapened and taken away".

Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson's Easter Day Sermon was delivered in Sandford Parish Church.

"Some years back, the West had convinced itself that the Arab Spring brought in a silent and seamless revolution in a Western-leaning direction.

"It surely now seems more like a delusion and an illusion than anything else," he said. "People today across 'The Arab World' suffer unspeakable cruelty and indignity and flee and suffer again and again abroad in the hope of fresh security.

"People in 1916 were battling exploitation, social exclusion, poverty, squalor, indignity and colonialism; they too in their day were offered The Revolution with all of its ambiguities and selectivities, its idealisms and its integrities, its hopes of freedom and its power-grabs."

Irish Independent

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