Joint Christmas Message from the Bishops of Cork:
the Most Reverend Dr John Buckley
and the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton
“Our celebrations of Christmas each year draw stark attention to the suffering of those in great need, especially people who are homeless, hungry, poor, or feeling isolated and vulnerable. Recent tragedies in Cork and in Dublin among homeless people have especially upset many people this year and prompted a compassionate response.
Our concern and care for our fellow-human beings in need should not, however, be confined to seasonal times, when Christmas instincts of goodwill and charity are much in our minds. Our practical caring and support should to be an all-year-round effort and preoccupation, and well grounded also in the advice and experience of those who have special expertise in working in these areas of need.
The birth of the baby at Christmas – the Incarnation of the Word of God – altered the course of human history and has been a force for change in society, as well as in the lives of people, in every age and place.
The message of the angels at that first Christmas of ‘Glory to God’ and ‘Peace on earth’ is not meant solely to be a promise of better things in some other distant time and place. God invites Christians, in our time, to share with him, to be partners in that work of change for good, here and now, in our society and in the world as a whole.
We do also encourage people, at this time of year especially, to visit family members, or friends who may be in hospital or nursing homes, and to reach out to those who may be alone. We recall the words of Jesus: ‘I was sick and you visited me.’
We wish you and yours, those at home and away from home, and Cork people everywhere, joy and peace this Christmas and every blessing for the New Year of 2015.”
John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross
Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross