Homily Notes of Bishop William Crean
on the 5th Sunday of Easter C – May 19th, 2019
St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh
Reflection on the political process in the light of Polling Day on May 24th.
Within the week we are asked to register our votes in a combination of elections and a Referendum. Local County and European elections and the Referendum on reducing the waiting time for divorce from four to two years.
The candidates have been on the hustings for weeks now endeavouring to convince us of the correctness of their policies and political vision. As a group, politician are often maligned as solely out for their own gain – if they are fulltime, they must live too. As a group, society owes them a debt of gratitude for their public service. Without them society would be the poorer.
However, once they are in public life it comes with the slings and arrows of criticism. It is worth noting that politicians are much criticised for their parochial concerns to the detriment of the wider picture of the direction and vision for the future. It is a real dilemma, because many an excellent parliamentarian was rejected at the ballot box for their focus on the political vision for the future.
Whatever our view it is important that we exercise our vote.
You might well ask what has these political concerns to do with the 5th Sunday of Easter. Directly, not a lot it seems. Yet politics is about people, society, education, care for the vulnerable, housing and so much else. So much that every need and concern of the human person is the subject of political choices based on a political philosophy and vision.
There are many urgent issues that require political attention and resources – none more so than that of mental health. The frenetic pace of change and personal demands are generating high levels of anxiety and depression in people’s lives. These are the result of political choices also. The perpetual focus on the economy, growth, technological asphyxiation of the attention of new generation, poses serious questions about the nature of the society we are creating.
We are not robots we are thinking, feeling relational beings that need time and space to function in society and live gracefully.
Nationally, there are very few politicians who are individual, creative and inspiring thinkers. We seem to have morphed into a politically correct political establishment that has no time to present anything other than a liberal social agenda built on personal freedom and licence, without regard for, or understanding of, its implications in the long-term future of society in its structures and institutions.
A society that seeks to privatize all ethical/moral, spiritual/sacred, psychological and emotional dimensions of life is destined to fracture through alienation and exclusion. So, our elections are our opportunity to give voice to a vision which helps people to live in a well-integrated and wholesome society.