Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff has called for Catholics to challenge “the structures of injustice” in society.
At an installation Mass at Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral, the former Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster said that “one of the greatest Christian virtues is hope… a living faith that even in turmoil and confusion there is a meaning and a purpose to existence which cannot be fully explained in the here and now, a conviction that nothing is wasted in the sight of God.”
The archbishop gave a summary of his homily in Welsh, which was received with loud applause by the congregation.
He also echoed Archbishop Vincent Nichols’s call for a renewed commitment to the “common good” and for Catholics to work harder to get their message across in the society at large.
“Pope Benedict XVI gave us an inspirational example in his speech at Westminster Hall when he explored the essential partnership between faith and reason.” he said. “He set out a path to help us navigate the social, economic and financial crises being faced by the western world. Whilst continuing to care for those who are poor in any way, and the support of the alienated and dispossessed, we must also have the courage to challenge those structures of injustice which deprive people of the ‘tools for conviviality’ which are essential if every person is to make a proper contribution to a civilised society.
“Perhaps we do not articulate our passion and compassion for the Common Good as well as we could. Perhaps we are misunderstood when we seek to contribute to the public discourse to the ‘civilisation of love’ spoken of by Pope Paul VI. Perhaps the role of faith in re-forming our varied communities is sometimes distorted or deliberately misunderstood.”
The seventh Archbishop of Cardiff was born in Cork in 1946 and attended school in north London, and was ordained in 1972. In 1990 he was appointed vicar general for Clergy in Westminster Diocese. He was responsible for pastoral care in Hertfordshire and in education.
He said at the installation that living in St Albans he was inspired by the third century martyr after whom it was named.
Pointing out that martyr means witness, he added: “Bearing witness to something greater than ourselves has always been a challenge. It is a demanding, challenging and difficult thing to do both personally and also as a community of faith which is the Church. We seek to bear witness to the truth about the human person, the truth about life, the truth about love.”