Fermanagh Bishops call for community unity this Christmas

THE BISHOPS of the two Clogher dioceses have called for unity in the community this Christmas, in the face of the continued challenges of Covid.
In their joint seasonal message of hope Catholic Bishop of Clogher Larry Duffy and Church of Ireland Bishop Ian Ellis wished all the people across the Diocese of Clogher the blessings of Christmas, and called on everyone to respect and trust each other in these difficult times.
Bishops Duffy and Ellis spoke of how over 2,000 years ago a young couple set out on difficult journey for “in answer to a political order.” 
They said Mary and Joseph had relied on the generosity of others, and the first to visit the newborn king had been the shepherds, “vulnerable people from the margins of society.”
“At one level, the political order was bringing people together for the purposes of power, but God came amongst his people in a lowly stable, to bring love and peace, without boundaries or
divisions,” said the bishops.
“As we celebrate the feast of Christmas 2021, we journey together amidst the continuing restrictions and challenges imposed on us individually and as a community by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite all the progress so far, we still feel vulnerable.
“This virus has shown us, in a most tangible way, our vulnerability and fragility.
“There is a danger too that it can foster divisions among people.”
They added: “These past 21 months have shown us the importance and value of solidarity in our world.
“In times of trial and fear, in times when we ponder future possibilities, people seek and deserve hope-filled and
inspired leadership, something that unites, something that seeks to erase the division between those who have and those who have not, between people of different nations and faiths, between different political outlooks.
“This continues to challenge those of us in church and civic leadership.”
The bishops went on to say God was with us, and that Jesus had come to show His solidarity with us through love – love that continues to this day and which they said inspires us “to respect others, to dialogue and to trust, even in the most
difficult situations.”

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