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Youth unemployment is killing Europe, Irish bishops warn: The Church of England Newspaper, June 23, 2013 p 6. June 20, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Development/Economics/Govt Finances.
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High rates of unemployment are damaging the character of the next generation of Europeans, the bishops of the Church of Ireland said on 5 June 2013 in a statement released ahead of the G8 Summit in Co. Fermanagh.

Prime Minister David Cameron will host the prime ministers, chancellors and presidents of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States and the European Commission at the 39th G8 summit at the Lough Erne Golf Resort in Enniskillen on 17- 18  June 2013.

The agenda of the annual gathering of world leaders is set by the host country. In her speech at the state opening of Parliament in 2012, The Queen stated “my government will use this opportunity to promote international security and prosperity.” Other items on the agenda include food security, nutrition, and sexual violence in armed conflict.

In their letter the Archbishop touched upon the interrelation of economics and human flourishing — and the church’s failure to speak out. “We acknowledge also with penitence that as believers we have often sidelined consideration of economic affairs as of little relevance to our vocation. This has led not only to apathy about economic debate, but also to a refusal to face up to our economic responsibilities as individuals.”

“From our perspective as religious leaders, the work of civil government is a holy task and a calling of the most sacred kind. The equitable management of economic affairs has the potential to bring many benefits to a de–moralised world. As a subject for academic study, economics was first considered as a branch of ethics – the right ordering of human relationships – and we earnestly hope that something of that spirit can re–invigorate national and international discussion of our fiscal and economic affairs.”

The Archbishops and Bishops called for a dynamic focus on providing special measures to remedy youth unemployment. “The levels of youth unemployment in wealthy countries is not only an economic disaster, it is also a moral tragedy. Useful work is a God–given means to develop both the good of society and the capacity of the individual. Not to have useful paid work is to be deprived of one of the means of developing great virtues.”

“It is through the world of work that most of us learn the habits of regularity, team working, application, balanced judgement, reliability and toleration. For millions of young people to be deprived of the opportunity to acquire and deepen these virtues, which are as necessary for economic development as much as personal well–being, is to store up enormous personal and societal problems for decades to come.”

“The pace of economic recovery is so slow that, unless some special measures are made to cater for this generation, they may well be doomed to spending the most creative and productive years of their lives in a sterile no man’s land of economic inactivity,” the bishops said.