IN a world crying out for real spirituality, Christians have become shy and reticent about their faith, the 33rd Glenstal Ecumenical Conference has been told.
Among those attending the conference, in Glenstal Abbey, Co Limerick, was the President, Mrs Robinson.
Addressing the conference, Mr Patrick Comerford, Foreign Desk Editor of The Irish Times, said that Christians had been told their religion was a private matter, and this had been damaging to society.
Mr Comerford said that the current age was one where figures of authority governments, employers, the legal system, the media and the church appeared to have lost any moral authority.
In business, while companies were "down sizing" or demanding "zero hour" contracts, directors dividends and executive salaries continued to rise. There was also a view that there was one law for the rich and another for the poor.
Mr Rupert Murdoch and Mr Robert Maxwell had not only brought down the price of newspapers, they had debased all newspapers, he said.
The church had been damaged by "a certain bishop or bishops as well as by cases of sex abuse and what may have occurred in orphanages, schools and convents.
What was needed, Mr Comerford said, was "a recovery of mission and a renewal of proclamation and worship" as well as a place in the church for "prophets".