In his first Sunday homily since becoming Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Dermot Farrell condemned the growing problem of knife crime in Dublin. He delivered this homily in the Church of the Holy Spirit, Ballymun, Dublin.

At the outset of his homily, Archbishop Farrell expressed his sympathy for the family of teenager Josh Dunne RIP, a recent victim of knife crime in Dublin. Referring to the Dunne family, the Archbishop of Dublin said, “Suddenly, darkness has descended upon them, their neighbours, and their friends. I share in the grief of the family of Josh Dunne, and pray that they may experience consolation, healing, and reconciliation through God’s grace.”

Archbishop Farrell went on to express his views on knife crime. He said, “Carrying a knife does not ensure your security. You do not leave your home carrying a knife with you for the sole purpose of peeling an apple. Rather, when you carry a knife you are travelling down a dangerous road full of risks. Sooner or later, it will be used in a malicious way which puts yourself and others in the way of serious injury or death. This is not the way to construct a world that is safe—safe for ourselves, safe for each other, safe for our children, and safe for the vulnerable—be they old or young, friend or stranger. Violence is not the way of the strong; in the end, violence is the way of those who see no other way. Regaining hope is the way we must work together to build a culture of non-violence in our city.”

The Primate of Ireland then emphasised three ways Catholics can challenge the problem of knife crime from a spiritual perspective. He said, “First, human life is sacred, and we need to address the threat to life posed by knife violence with the full strength of our Catholic faith. Knife crime and violence, which is self-destructive, must always be condemned. Let us not forget that our Lord knew first-hand what violence could do—and never succumbed to it himself.

“Secondly, we have become desensitised to knife violence and the resulting tragic deaths. People of peace remain shocked by all manifestations of violence. Violence—on the street or in the home—is never “the way things are.” While laws and regulations may help, we need a different way of thinking which turns such a dominant and destructive culture on its head. We need to come to the realisation that in wielding a knife, everything can be lost, and nothing gained.

“Thirdly, there is a spiritual issue in that there is a loss of empathy towards other human beings. The truth of who we are—and of what we are—is at stake. Genuine empathy is the entry point into the commandment to love your neighbour and to live in peace. If the problem of violence in our country is to be overcome, we need a spiritual and moral conversion. We need to recover how we truly are—what it means to be a neighbour, what it means to be a sister or a brother, friend and neighbour.”

To read this homily in full, click here.

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