Ahead of the G8 Summit meeting on June 17–18 at the Lough Erne resort, the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Ireland have extended their welcome to the world leaders and their officials who will be visiting.
They commend the work of civic government as a calling which can lead to blessing, stating that ‘the equitable management of economic affairs has the potential to bring many benefits to a de–moralised world’.
The bishops also recognise that journalists from across the world will gather to cover the summit and both welcome and wish them well in the difficult task they perform, saying ‘The demands of insightful reporting and making fair comment are very great as is the responsibility that goes with their vocation.’
In praying for a fruitful series of meetings, the bishops call for a renewed ethical focus on economic life across the globe and, echoing the collective voice of the General Synod in May, express wholehearted support for the IF Campaign which proposes practical ways towards achieving equity in food availability worldwide. They say: ‘It is an unequivocal good that fewer people should have to go to bed each night hungry. We would urge the leaders of the G8 to make this fundamental goal into a reality.’
Concerning Ireland, north and south, the bishops state that ‘ordinary people from both jurisdictions have felt the heavy weight of austerity economics, and are in desperate need of a positive vision to guide them into a secure future’.
Specifically regarding Northern Ireland they say, ‘It is beyond doubt that wholesome economic life (and especially useful investment) requires social stability, a regard for the rule of law, and good community relations. Much has been achieved in these areas in recent years and again it is our prayer that the fruits of this work will be clear for all our visitors to see.’
Relating especially but not exclusively to the Republic of Ireland, the bishops call for ‘very open dialogue with both commercial and personal customers’ by the Financial Sector which, in having received special rescue measures, owes to people ‘complementary special responsibilities’. The Archbishops and Bishops also call for a dynamic focus on providing special measures to remedy youth unemployment, as a ‘means to develop both the good of society and the capacity of the individual’.
In closing their statement, the bishops express their support for the PSNI and those involved in the policing operation at the G8 summit and urge practical cooperation and support from all.
The full statement can be downloaded here.