The incoming head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has vowed to restore faith amongst his flock after his full ordination.
Archbishop Eamon Martin has promised to renew the Church when he succeeds Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady.
The Irish Independent newspaper reports that Martin has pledged to work to heal the wounds of those who have lost trust in the institution.
He delivered his call for renewal in the church as he was ordained into an interim post.
Derry-born Martin became Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh on Sunday and will act as an assistant to Cardinal Brady for at least another two years.
The 52-tear-old former teacher takes up his new role at a difficult time for the church in Ireland after a series of child abuse scandals.
A letter from the former Pope Benedict was read out during Archbishop Martin’s ordination ceremony in St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh.
According to the Irish Independent, the new Coadjutor Archbishop then reiterated his belief that the time had come to ‘sing a new song to The Lord’.
He said: “Of course there are some who will not want to listen. There are others too who have been so hurt and betrayed in the past, that understandably they find themselves unable to trust our message.
“That is why we must continue, as Pope Benedict XVI exhorted us in his letter, ‘to reflect on the wounds inflicted on Christ’s body’, and persevere in our efforts to bind those wounds and heal them.”
Archbishop Martin also told the congregation that he felt a whole mixture of emotions on being chosen to take up the role.
He added: “Excitement, nervousness, a sense of my unworthiness and inadequacy.”
Referring to the new pontiff’s call for the church to reach out to people, Archbishop Martin said: “Pope Francis has spoken recently about the need to ‘go out of ourselves’, beyond our usual comfort zones to the ‘edges of our existence’.
“It is there, he says, that we meet the poor, the forgotten, the disillusioned.
“And there we must sing our new song in a way which will speak to the reality of their daily lives, with all their hurts and burdens and troubles. The only way we can do that is by singing about God’s mercy and love for each one of us personally.
“That is what the new song is about - it is a song of love, that God unconditionally loves each one of us, despite our sinfulness and imperfections, and that the Lamb of God, who suffered and died to take away the sins of the world, has mercy on us.
“The singing of the new song is not simply a task for bishops, priests and religious. It belongs to all God’s people. We are all called to holiness and to mission.
“During this Year of Faith, I pray for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Ireland, enkindling the fire of God’s love in the hearts of all the faithful!
“My brothers and sisters, we need you to share in the renewal and new evangelisation that is at the very heart of the Church’s mission.
“Sing the new song of the Lord with your hearts and your lives, by witnessing to Christ in your families and workplaces, and in the new mission fields of media, culture, business and politics.”
The new Archbishop added: “Of course we must all be sure that it is the Lord’s song that we are singing, and not simply our own composition with a catchy rhythm and some clever lyrics. And we must sing in harmony with one another as people, priests, religious and bishops.
“Our new song must never dilute the strength of Christ’s message but must capture faithfully the timeless truth of the Gospel. And that can only happen if we live in communion with Christ and with one another, and if we gather regularly to be nourished by God’s word and the sacraments.”
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