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Irish establishment figures are ‘determined to eliminate’ Catholicism from public sphere, says bishop

Bishop William Crean said Catholics must respond positively to hostility from politicians and the media

An Irish bishop has said Ireland’s political and media classes are trying to “eliminate" the Church from public life..

During his homily at the ordination to the diaconate of nine seminarians at the national seminary in Maynooth last Sunday, Bishop William Crean of Cloyne addressed an ordinand from his diocese, saying: “As deacon and in time, God willing, as priest, yours is a prophetic call with all that entails by way of potential vilification and rejection.

“At this point Ireland through its political and media establishments seem determined to eliminate the engagement of the Catholic Church in the public sphere. This will prove to be a huge challenge for which you need to be prepared.

“There are many in these systems who have developed a gratuitous cynicism towards the Catholic Church and desire its destruction, believing that it stands between the people and Ireland becoming a progressive society. Our response ought always to be positive."

Referring to Pope Francis’s reflection on the Family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Bishop Crean spoke of the “fragmentation of family life due to economic and other pressures". The Mass should be a place of welcome. “In your ministry make hospitality your special care."

Elsewhere, at a Corpus Christi Mass in Co Galway, Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam said Ireland’s greatest challenge was not so much atheism as the idolatrous worship of false gods.

“The Church is no longer the dominant intellectual influence in society, can no longer count on cultural or political support and is frequently dismissed and disregarded," Archbishop Neary said. “Not surprisingly, in this situation greed overcomes gratitude while selfishness frequently displaces compassion".

The archbishop said there was a “huge temptation to assimilate, to accept and conform to the dominant values which are at variance so often with our faith."


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