2013-09-18 Vatican Radio
Ireland is one of the European Union countries suffering the most from the economic downturn, having sought an international bailout in 2010 after its banking crisis, which led to a massive injection of government money. It is currently facing an over 13% unemployment rate.
“I believe the Church should be speaking…about the symptoms and the causes of the economic crisis throughout Europe and the global economy, and reminding our governments that while they have to do things that will help the banking system get back in order, they cannot forget the individuals who are suffering day by day as a result of the bad decisions that were made – not least by our banking organizations – and (Vatican Radio) Suicide rates among young men increased by over 3% in the year after the beginning of the economic crisis. In a new article in the British Medical Journal, research link stress factors such as unemployment and debt to the rise in people taking their own lives.
“I know a lot of priests, like myself, have direct experience of the impact of the financial crisis on families and on individuals, particularly younger males, young fathers, who get locked into a cycle of despair,” said Father Timothy Bartlett, a member of the Council for Justice and Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
that they need to invest as much help in supporting the real difficulties faced by individuals as a result of this crisis, as they are investing in trying to get our banks back in some kind of balanced and workable system again,” Father Bartlett told Vatican Radio.
“We have huge amounts throughout UK and Ireland of personal indebtedness…which are all symptoms of the so-called economic boom, and particularly the property boom,” Father Bartlett explained. “All of that is coming back and a heavy price is being paid sheerly by the stress which is being brought to bear, particularly on families …[and] particularly on younger men and younger fathers, whose self-esteem as well as the since of despair in terms of the long-term future being burdened by indebtedness is clearly having a huge impact on their psychological disposition.”