[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
TVs and mobiles 'destroying society'
Archbishop Sean Brady
Dr Brady said people should reflect and pray more
TVs and mobile phones should be switched off one day each week to help preserve Irish society, according to the country's most senior Catholic churchman.

Archbishop Sean Brady said the incessant noise of modern life was threatening to tear society to pieces.

At a church service in County Kilkenny, Dr Brady said there needed to be a return to "a sound of silence".

Ireland had "lost its soul" and many people were experiencing "alienation from life itself", said the Archbishop of Armagh.

"For some, this alienation can take the form of self-harm or, ultimately suicide," he said.

Our reputation for hospitality and neighbourliness is in danger of being reduced to a commercial facade, a mask we wear for the tourists, an essential part of the Irish brand
Archbishop Sean Brady
Catholic Primate

Suicide had to be tackled with the same vigour as the issue of reducing road deaths, said Dr Brady.

He said many people were now asking the questions: "Has Ireland lost its soul? Have we lost our spiritual and moral bearings? Have we thrown out the best of the old for the worst of the new?"

'Incessant rush'

There was "an increasing concern that the sincerity and spontaneity of our sense of hospitality is being lost to the more individualistic and aggressive forces at work in our society".

"These are fundamental changes in Irish society, which are hardly for the better. They are worrying signs that our reputation for hospitality and neighbourliness is in danger of being reduced to a commercial facade, a mask we wear for the tourists, an essential part of the 'Irish brand'."

"We also live in a world, of constant noise and incessant rush," he told worshippers at Duiske Abbey on Sunday.
Mobile phone
Archbishop said mobiles should be off one day a week

"Our ears are constantly exposed to the ceaseless chatter of talk radio, the rap and pop of digitised and downloaded music, and the endless melodies of mobile phones as they ring in the street, the car and yes, even in the church."

The Archbishop said he was convinced if people turned off TVs, personal stereos and mobile phones one day a week to reflect and pray "they would notice a significant improvement in their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being".

He added: "The evidence of this loss of spiritual direction, of this collective fragmentation of the Irish soul is evident in various and, in spiritual terms, in very classic ways.

"It is evident in a loss of courtesy and respect in human relations, in an increase in violence and aggression generally, in a loss of the sense of responsibility for and participation in the common good."

'IRA must disband' says Primate
09 May 04 |  Northern Ireland
Primate raises collusion concerns
06 May 04 |  Northern Ireland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific