Bishops: “There must be justice for all. People who come to Ireland for refuge cannot be abandoned.”

19 Jun, 2024 | Bishops, Church, News

At their 2024 Summer General Meeting held in Maynooth, bishops discussed the plight of migrants and refugees in Ireland as well as writing a pastoral letter on immigration.

Bishops again prayed for all immigrants and refugees and all who are forced to seek asylum due to wars, persecution or economic necessity.  During the meeting, bishops heard reports from various Councils and Agencies of the Bishops’ Conference, whose members are engaged with newcomers to Ireland.  These reports highlighted the important part that a great many are playing in the life of the country and in the life of the Church, north and south.  Bishops have decided to write a Pastoral Letter on this pressing subject.

Bishops said, “this is one of the most compelling issues of our time and it is critical that we as a people create and sustain a pathway for the future of migrants in Ireland.  As a society we need to equip newcomers and thereby support them to contribute positively to our country in a way that promotes responsibility, encounter and integration.  We are already seeing positive realities of this in our Catholic schools and in every parish across the island.  Notwithstanding the pressures and challenges that Ireland faces in terms of housing, public services and infrastructural deficits, there must be a welcome for all.  There must be justice for all.  People who come to Ireland for refuge cannot be abandoned.”

Bishops noted that the presence of so many people from other nations and cultures in Ireland also raises the need for greater dialogue at both inter-Church and inter-faith levels.  To that end, bishops welcomed the recent publication of a handbook entitled From Every Nation? by the Irish Council of Churches and the Irish Inter-Church Meeting.  This resource is aimed at encouraging and guiding parishes and congregations to engage in conversations about race and racism, and invites them to embrace a more wholesome approach to increasing the participation of people from other nations and cultures in the life of the Church.  It encourages a move from simply welcoming people to making them truly belong.   The handbook is available to download via Churches & Belonging – Irish Council of Churches and Irish Inter Church Meeting (

Picture Caption: Pope Francis with Angels Unawares after its installation in Saint Peter’s Square, 2019.




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