Tuesday 12 December 2017

Clergy 'must show more enthusiasm' to restore faith

Fiona Ellis

ARCHBISHOP Diarmuid Martin yesterday warned priests they must bring more enthusiasm to their job in order to combat the crisis of faith in the country.

"We need to get back to the early church where people came together, were enthusiastic and spread the word of God," he said.

"At the moment, the fundamental crisis is a crisis of faith.

"We need to loosen ourselves from institutionalisation and before many of the other reforms come, we have to address that fundamental crisis of faith and see why it is that we are not adequately presenting the Christian message to the next generation."

The archbishop was speaking at the launch of Catholic charity and social care agency Crosscare's annual appeal at one of its homeless facilities in Amiens Street, Dublin. He praised the enthusiasm shown by the charity organisers.

"We have to really get that type of enthusiasm that is shown here," he said.

"Crosscare isn't driven just by the money it receives, it is driven by the motivation and that motivation is a classic example of what the Christian faith should be about."

Crosscare provides support, food and advice for poor people in the city. Demand for its services has increased by 40pc in the last year. Charity director Conor Hickey said cuts in government funding and increased demand made it fearful it would not be able to maintain crucial services.

Meanwhile, the Residential Institutions Redress Board, which offers compensation to abused former residents of 139 state-run institutions, was wound down for good yesterday.

Since its establishment in 2002, the board has received over 15,210 applications.

The average value of awards to date is €62,878, the largest award being €300,500.

Irish Independent

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