Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has slammed people who think of themselves as “faithful Christians” while espousing sinful racism views. He warned that “racism and intolerance should have no place in Irish society”.
In his homily at Our Lady Help of Christians church in Milford, Limerick to celebrate the centenary of Salesians in Ireland, Bishop Leahy said that the Salesians were people of joy and open to welcoming others and that everyone in society today needs to live that example.
“In a rapidly changing Ireland, we all have to work together to respect everyone and that means a complete avoidance of the use of offensive language. It means building up of relationships at local level so that everyone can feel welcome wherever we gather,” he said.
Bishop Leahy said that Catholics always have to “remember that some of those who come to Ireland have escaped from very dangerous situations, including religious persecution.
“On top of the trauma of losing their homes, their jobs and often their families, they now face the challenge of being strangers here, of starting again without a network, where language, the education system, customs and culture are quite different,” he said.
Bishop Leahy recalled how the hierarchy had recently spoken about “the rising number of incidents of racism and xenophobia carried out on social media, in quiet conversations or by open verbal onslaughts and sometimes by those who consider themselves faithful Christians”.