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Cardinal Brady thanks Germans for economic solidarity

By Sarah Mac Donald - 01 September, 2013

St Oliver Plunkett honoured in Diocese of Hildesheim.

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The Primate of All Ireland has thanked the German people and government for their solidarity with Ireland in the recent global economic crisis.  
 
At celebrations in honour of St Oliver Plunkett in Lamspring Abbey in the Diocese of Hildesheim, Cardinal Sean Brady said he was speaking “As a citizen of Ireland, recalling today the hospitality and respect shown by the people of this part of Germany to a great Irish artisan of reconciliation and peace between peoples, St Oliver Plunkett.”
 
As with many other countries of Europe at this time, Ireland owed Germany “a great debt of gratitude for your commitment to the principle of solidarity in a dramatic moment of economic crisis,” the Cardinal said. 
 
He also acknowledged “Isolation and self-interest alone could so easily have become the dominant motives in decisions taken” by Germany but that fortunately, this did not happen.
 
In his address on Saturday, which followed an invitation from Bishop Norbert Trelle to come to Hildesheim for the annual celebrations in honour of St Oliver Plunkett, Cardinal Brady warned that the world community was “at a defining moment” in its search for a more just, sustainable and person-centred global economy.  
 
There was no other way to a better future than the path of “deeper solidarity, sympathy and mutual commitment to each other’s development in the global economic, political and cultural sphere,” he said.  
 
This is certainly the path to which our feet are directed by the example of such a new world order, based on unity, peace and solidarity as the great Europeans: St Columbanus, St Benedict and the early missionary saints of Ireland, Cardinal Brady told those attending the celebration in Lamspring. 
 
Referring to the historical foundation of Lamspring in 847AD, the Cardinal also cited the links of faith which unite Germany and Ireland through St Kilian – a native of Mullagh in Ireland, who became Bishop of Wurzburg and died a martyr’s death in 689. Each year pilgrimages go back and forth, from Germany to Ireland and from Ireland to Germany to commemorate his memory and celebrate his life. 
 
Today (Sunday) Cardinal Brady will celebrate Mass in the Basilica of St Gotthard in Hildesheim. “I note that Gotthard spent some time in Salzburg before coming to Hildesheim. Virgilius, an Irish monk became Bishop of Salzburg in the 8th century and died there around 784 AD,”the Cardinal recalled. 
 
St Oliver Plunkett was at first buried in the churchyard of St Giles, near Newgate prison in Britain. In prison he had met a priest called Dom Maurus Corker. A convert to the faith from Yorkshire, he had become a Benedictine in the Abbey of Lamspring.  Dom Corker was arrested on his return to England, and sentenced for alleged involvement in the Papish plot.
 
Eventually he was reprieved and released from prison in 1683. He then had the body of St Oliver exhumed and he brought all the relics to the Benedictine monastery at Lamspring. 
 
They rested there for more than two centuries in a special shrine erected in the abbey church. In 1883 the relics were transferred to Downside Abbey in England.
 
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank you – the bishop and people of this Diocese of Hildesheim for giving hospitality to the mortal remains of St Oliver Plunkett.  In life, Oliver had visited Germany on his way back to Ireland from Rome,” Cardinal Brady acknowledged. 
 
He continued, “He passed through Munich, Augsburg, Nurnberg, Wurzburg, and Cologne. He sailed down the Rhine to Holland; from there he went to Belgium and Ghent where he was ordained bishop. I wish to thank you for keeping the memory of St Oliver Plunkett fresh and vivid.”
 
Referring to the incredible hospitality and care for the martyred remains and for the memory of St Oliver which the Benedictine monks in Lamspring had given, the Primate of All Ireland said, “let us also be inspired together by the great act of solidarity and friendship shown by Dom Corker to reach out to those who in our time suffer persecution for their Christian faith across the world, particularly today in Syria and in other parts of the Middle East.”
 
He said the recent global economic crisis had put before the global community a stark choice about how to structure the world economy for the future in a way that places the dignity of every person and the global common good at the centre of a new global economic model.  
 
In the most dramatic moments of the recent economic crisis, fundamental choices about solidarity versus national isolation had to be made.
 
This happened not least in the context of the European commitment to the principle of economic union and the search for greater solidarity as the basis for a more just, sustainable and peaceful Europe, he commented. 
 
The Cardinal was accompanied on his visit to Germany by Tommy Burns, Chairman of the St Oliver Plunkett for Peace and Reconciliation crusade. He is based in Drogheda where the National Shrine of St Oliver is located.

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