By Sean Ryan - 29 December, 2015
The Bishop of Cloyne, Dr William Crean, has criticised the Government’s treatment of the poor, describing homelessness as a scandal and last month’s budget an insult to the poor.
In his festive message, Bishop Crean said that Ireland “cannot claim to be a progressive society if we choose to leave so many in poverty”.
“The level of homelessness being experienced by so many families is a scandal that cries out for an urgent and immediate response. For many Irish families the recession is certainly not over. Many of the increases in the Budget for 2016 are paltry and an insult to the poorest among us,” the Bishop of Cloyne said.
Dr Crean, who is Chairman of Trócaire, the overseas aid agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland, also pleaded for generosity and compassion to victims of the conflict in the Middle East, despite the migrant issue taking “a different twist” since the attacks in Paris.
“All has changed utterly in 2015,” he said. “Our common humanity begs us to respond with generosity and compassion despite these horrific events.”
In his message, distributed and read out at all Masses in the diocese of Cloyne over Christmas period, Bishop Crean said “the scale of the migration left many people anxious and fearful”.
Bishop Crean, who has previously described the death of Syrian migrants as similar to the death of Irish migrants on board “Coffin Ships” during the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s said, “While the diversity of culture and belief can bring its richness, equally it can be the source of tension and even conflict.”
He added, “Still, in faith, following the example of Jesus, we trust that what at first seems like a burden, in time will bring great blessing. We need to be generous in the face of great hardship and, in time, our goodness will be rewarded.”