Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend Dr John Neill today warned about society’s growing obsession with wealth and shallow celebrity culture.
In his New Year message, the Archbishop noted the desire for instant gratification and said Ireland was at risk of becoming a nation that has lost its way.
He said many people will experience mixed emotions at this time of year including relief the previous year is over and feelings of hope, uncertainty or fear about what lies ahead.
“We are as a nation more exposed than ever to this ’roller-coaster of feelings’ as our value system becomes increasingly linked to wealth, instant gratification and a shallow celebrity culture,” he said.
“The drug culture that has recently come to public attention is indeed about addiction, but it is also about wealth, instant self-gratification and criminal activity including mindless violence and murder.
“We are learning how quickly we are being sucked into a society that has lost its way.”
Archbishop Neill warned that the desires of modern life are far removed from Christian teaching.
“In place of the inner peace that can change people, we have substituted the perpetual restlessness that destroys,” he said.
But he said the New Year should be looked upon as an opportunity for change.
The Archbishop added: “Some 1600 years ago, St Augustine, mindful of his own life before he became a follower of Jesus, uttered this prayer – ’You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.’
“New Year is an opportunity to ponder a new direction.”