The inter-church ‘Church & Society Forum’ has stated their conviction that “The new political term brings considerable challenges for elected representatives in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland. “
The statement continues:
In Northern Ireland the new Programme for Government will define the key targets and priorities for the next four years as the Government attempts to chart a way out of the current crisis.
Members of the Church and Society Forum are learning first hand from ministers and priests working in parishes/communities of the struggle for individuals and families facing debt, unemployment, and falling incomes. For people of all ages each day is a desperate struggle in a seemingly hopeless situation. We urge our elected representatives and, in a particular way, the members of Government, not to lose sight of the human cost of this crisis which is threatening family life and the wellbeing of whole communities.
Addressing issues of social justice and protecting the most vulnerable in our society are not luxuries to be attended to in times of prosperity, but rather form essential elements of any strategy aimed at achieving a true and lasting recovery from the present crisis.
Indeed, the roots of this crisis lie in the way in which, during times of economic growth, we lost sight of core values such as solidarity and the common good, in the mistaken belief that wealth creation alone would make for a prosperous society.
These values should now be at the heart of any measures adopted by Government in order to ensure that our response to the crisis is just and sustainable, that we learn from our past mistakes, and that the suffering experienced by so many today is not repeated in generations to come.