Yesterday, the Feast Day of Saint Vincent de Paul, the Northern Catholic bishops issued a statement in urgent concern about the challenges facing the most vulnerable in society. Multiple economic pressures have converged to create life threatening levels of deprivation and fear for individuals and businesses across the island of Ireland.
Bishops stressed, “For the poorest in our society, this is an emergency, not a crisis. We call on everyone, from public representatives to parishioners in our parishes, to come together in a spirit of solidarity and active concern for those who are in need among us at this time.”
Drawing attention to ongoing conversations on the possibility of a border poll, bishops emphasised, “Despite political differences about the Protocol and a future border poll, the most urgent duty on our local MLAs, of all parties, is to prioritise concrete actions that will address the life or death situation many people and businesses face now, and in the months ahead.”
Bishops also noted that in Northern Ireland, one in four children are living in poverty – one of the highest levels of child poverty of any population in Europe.
As a reminder to the whole of society, bishops said, “Psalm 34 reminds us that ‘The Lord hears the cry of the poor’. At a personal level, let us all be open to hearing and responding to ‘the cry of the poor’ in our midst – both at local and global level.”
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Bishop Noel Treanor
Bishop Donal McKeown
Bishop Larry Duffy
Bishop Michael Router
To read the full statement click here.