Archbishop warns parties against ‘auction politics’

The Archbishop of Dublin has warned parties against engaging in “auction politics” simply to win votes.

Diarmuid Martin’s comments came as Ireland’s Catholic bishops advised against playing a blame game when it comes to failures of the health system.

The bishops said they share the worries of many people over what will happen to them, their children, or their parents if they fall ill. They said many people have concerns on the cost of healthcare.

“We share the anxiety of many citizens in Ireland at the fact that there is an uncertain social climate in the country regarding vital sectors of people’s lives, especially regarding health, homes, education, security, the fostering of a solid human ecology, and international responsibility,” the bishops said in a statement.

“Successive governments have presented a variety of solutions and in so many cases they have either failed or have not been implemented.

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“A blame game is not the answer. Ireland’s health crisis is the result of a fundamental failure of politics.”

Archbishop Martin said the election should not be about “spinning and canvassing”, but rather “a chance for us all to reflect on our society and to challenge politicians”.

He said that like many people, he wants “results rather than promises”, adding that “engaging in auction politics” does not solve social problems.

In a pre-election statement, bishops encouraged voters to engage with and challenge candidates.

On the issues of crime and security, they called the recent murders in Dublin a “product of criminal industry” that “shocked us all”.

“It is an ‘industry’ which destroys young lives daily and which fosters even broader criminality. People feel insecure in their homes both in rural and urban communities.”

The bishops also said there is an urgent need for new schools across the country: “The real inequality in Irish schools is not religious in nature but it is the economic inequality where poorer communities and schools with a large percentage of disadvantaged children are not being adequately supported.”

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