Most Rev. William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne.
The horror of war has revisited us in the current military assault by Russia on Ukraine. Its savagery has shocked us. Technology has allowed us to witness destruction and death with an immediacy like never before. It is pitched as a war between dictatorship and democracy. We are rightly anxious and fearful about its potential consequences for the world economy, for civil society and the future of humanity.
The tragedy and scandal of this war is that it is being waged by Christians on one another. We in Ireland know the cost of war and price of peace. It has given us a profound sensitivity to the suffering of the innocent victims of war which has been reflected in the extraordinary and most generous response of our people to the plight of refugees from Ukraine.
Jesus, the crucified Christ, the Risen Lord and Prince of Peace, entrusts the stranger to our care “When I was a stranger you made me welcome” (Matt. 25:31-40). It is a powerful witness to giving and the goodness that flows from the heart of Christ. While there is joy in giving it also has its cost and demand. We do not know how great that demand may be due to the scale of the conflict.
These Easter days have, through marking the Passion of Christ, given us a deep awareness of the suffering of the innocent. However, his self-giving and sacrifice has won the victory of all that is good over death and the evil forces of the world. Again, we are called to pray for the cause of peace, that those in political and military leadership will see the folly of war and seek a path of respect and dignity.
We give thanks to God for the goodness and generosity of our people. May we be patient and resilient in the demands that lie ahead for one another.
Wishing you and yours the blessings of Easter Joy and Peace.
+ Wm. Crean