Last Sunday 5 February, Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne and Chairman of Trócaire, celebrated Mass in Saint Colman’s Cathedral, Diocese of Cloyne, as part of the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the establishment of Trócaire by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in 1973.
During his Homily, Bishop Crean said, “The establishment of Trócaire came out of a new consciousness of the division across the world between rich and poor, between nations and within nations. That division was destined to grow wider unless structured efforts were put in place to enable nations to develop and prosper. Trócaire in its foundation document puts words on this vision: “The earth and its good things belongs to all the people of the earth and no nation has the right to build its own prosperity upon the misery of others. It is our Christian duty to share our wealth and to help our needy brothers and sister” (ref: the Bishops of Ireland on Development, 2 February 1973).
The Bishop of Cloyne continued, “What has been accomplished over the decades was made possible by your sustained generosity across the decades. The people in the pew heard the cry of the poor, through the appeal of Trócaire not just in the Lenten Appeal but on several occasions across the years in response to particular tragedies and disasters e.g. the recent Appeal for those affected by Climate Change in East Africa and the recent Appeal for the victims of war in the Ukraine.”
Bishop Crean said in conclusion, “There is a memorable line in the Bishops letter of 2 February 1973 which has served as a guiding principle for Trócaire ever since “These duties (toward peoples in need) are no longer a matter of charity but of simple justice” (No.18).
“The Bishops concluding remarks are an aspiration in prayer form
‘We pray the all-merciful God to grant
us all a share in his mercy. We pray him
to keep our hearts always open to those
in hunger and in need. We pray above all
that he will never let us grow accustomed
to the injustice and inequality that exist
in this world or grow weary in the work
of setting it right’ (ibid No. 20)
Together for a Just World.”