Irish bishops release documents on racism

 The Irish Commission for Justice and Peace (a commission of the Irish Episcopal Conference) has just published the papers from its February 2001 "Responding to Racism" conference, which was held in the Gort Muire Conference Centre in Dublin. The publication: "Responding to Racism - A Challenge and a Task for the Irish Catholic Community" includes a foreword from Most Rev Raymond Field, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin and President of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace: "It is "'inconceivable", said Pope Paul VI, in his 1978 address to the Diplomatic Corps, for those who accept the Gospel message to deny fundamental human equality in the name of the alleged superiority of a race or ethnic group. Yet racism persists among many Christians. Few if any of us can say honestly to ourselves that we are absolutely free of it. This is why we have to keep reminding ourselves that "racial discrimination is evil, no matter how it is practised, no matter who does it or why" (ib). "Racism can take many different forms. It can be blatant, but also insidious and implicit. Given the different guises it can assume, a continuing formation of conscience is needed, for example in the wake of frequent failures to respect the rights and dignity of Travellers. Today the Catholic community needs increasingly to reflect on the new situation confronting Irish society in the face of growing numbers of immigrant workers and of asylum seekers. "As President of the Irish Commission for Justice and Peace I wish to thank once more all those who participated in the conference and to offer this publication as a resource to the Irish Church at large, in the hope that it will contribute, however modestly, to raising awareness of the evil of racism." Subjects covered are as follows: "Racism - a matter touching the heart of our faith" - Most Rev Sean Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. "Solidarity in a Single Human Family - The Church and the Challenge of Racism" - Rev Kevin Doran (a priest of the Dublin Diocese and National Director of Vocations for the Irish Episcopal Conference.) "There is no Distinction - Inclusion in St. Paul"- Kieran O'Mahony (an Augustinian Friar and scripture scholar.) Also included in the publication is a set of questions for reflection and group discussion on each of the featured texts. Copies of the publication are available from: The Irish Commission for Justice and Peace, 169 Booterstown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin. Tel: + 353 (0) 1 2885021/2883866 Fax: + 353 (0)1 2834161 Email:

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