The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, has condemned racism and called for more tolerance towards immigrants. Archbishop Martin made the comments while delivering his homily in the Church of Saint Therese, Mount Merrion, as the Catholic Church celebrated the World Day of Prayer for Peace on Wednesday 1 January.

The archbishop said racism and intolerance are dangerous explosives that we play around with at our own peril. He said a lack of respect for difference can undermine even peaceful societies and that fear of the immigrant can be exploited in terms that support narrow populism.

Referring to Pope Francis’ message for World Day of Peace 2020, Archbishop Martin noted that the Pope places the idea of ecological conversion at the centre of the endeavour for peace.

“Ecological conversion is about an integrated understanding of human dignity, the unity of the human family and care for the creation given to us in trust by God as our common home. Such conversion can generate new and different relationships between people.”

He added that young people understand this in a way that the older generation have failed to do.

Archbishop Martin went on to suggest that a culture of encounter between peoples and of encounter with creation shatters the culture of conflict. He said, “The Pope urges Christians to seek the gift of the Spirit to prompt us in ways of thinking and speaking that can make us artisans of justice and peace. For believers that culture of dialogue and harmony is a mirror of the unconditional love of God.”

Archbishop Martin went on to give thanks for the peacemakers of today and commended those who are working to consolidate “Europe as a place of peace and welcome”.

Paying tribute to the Defence Forces and to the GardaÍ, he said, “We give thanks for the work of our Defence Forces in places of conflict around the world. We give thanks for our Gardaí who are servants of peace for us all. We give thanks for those who write and dream of peace and who without fear challenge our innate prejudices.”

The archbishop was celebrating the World Day of Peace Mass in Mount Merrion, which was the former parish of Father Tony Coote who passed away in 2019. He spoke about Fr Coote saying, “What struck all of us about Tony in his dramatic illness, is that even in the face of the inevitability of death he never abandoned hope. If anything he gave others hope. The more his physical abilities faded, the stronger his witness became. Hope is the virtue of the strong.

“Hope is not a pipe dream. Hope is realism. It is a journey that reaches out and touches hearts. It aims at reducing the tensions and the intolerance and the misunderstandings that give rise to thoughts of vengeance.”

Read the homily in full on www.dublindiocese.ie.

ENDS