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Ireland has opportunity for 'new embracing culture in togetherness'

01 April 2016


Weekend commemorations: the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, lays a wreath at the Stone Breakers' Yard in Kilmainham Gaol, where 14 rebels were executed for their part in the 1916 rising 

Weekend commemorations: the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins, lays a wreath at the Stone Breakers' Yard in Kilmainham Gaol, where 14 rebels w...

IRELAND could experience a new revolution of religious expansion by accommodating and learning from the traditions of others, the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Michael Jackson, said in his Easter Sermon.

He said on Easter Day that, in an Ireland that was becoming increasingly diverse, there was an opportunity to create a new embracing culture in togetherness.

Referring to the centenary celebrations of the Easter Rising in 1916, he said. “Revolution always created displacement, and regularly required violence — as witnessed in Brussels this week — while security regularly bred indifference, but could also engender a carefulness of others and ecology.

“Some years back, the West had convinced itself that the Arab Spring brought in a silent and seamless revolution in a Western-leaning direction. It surely now seems more like a delusion and an illusion than anything else.

“People today across ‘the Arab world’ suffer unspeakable cruelty and indignity, and flee and suffer again and again abroad in the hope of fresh security. They are sure only of one thing: the absence of any belonging.

“People in 1916 were battling exploitation, social exclusion, poverty, squalor, indignity, and colonialism; they, too, in their day, were offered the Revolution with all of its ambiguities and selectivities, its idealisms and its integrities, its hopes of freedom and its power-grabs. Most especially, they were offered the hope of something new, something independent, something of the future.”

The future also held the need for an ethic of altruism, he said. “This can be a new type of revolution in 2016. It requires all of us to pull together and to draw together and to hold together revolution and stability, as Isaiah suggested. It requires also of us the interchange of knowledge and understanding, such as we find between Mary and Jesus.

“It requires a resurrection of expectation of ourselves, and of others, as we celebrate Easter and the risen Jesus Christ for us and for others, for our well-being and for our flourishing — and especially for theirs.”

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