The Bishops, in a statement said they were concerned “about the rising number of incidents of racism, xenophobia, and religious intolerance in Ireland - carried out sometimes by those who consider themselves faithful Christians - and which can occur anonymously or otherwise on social media, in quiet conversations, by open verbal onslaughts or through physical violence.”
They stressed that some of those who come to Ireland “have escaped from very dangerous situations, including religious persecution.” The Bishops added that, “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.”
In the statement they appealed “for a new-found respect for every human person, without exception, and a complete avoidance of the use of offence language.”
In order to prevent bigotry, religious intolerance and racism, the Bishops encouraged the building of relationships at local level so that everyone can feel welcome.
“We especially ask parents, teachers, young people, youth leaders, priests and religious, journalists, politicians, employers and sports coaches to actively reject racism, intolerance and sectarianism.”
“Human dignity does not, the Bishops underlined, depend on the colour of a person’s skin, their nationality, accent, or their religious affiliation. Every person is created in the image of God and called into a relationship with Him.”