The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland has called on people to value all children and do their part to nurture a wholesome family life.
“Whenever we cradle a new born baby we are holding a child who may, in the fullness of time, change the world,” said the Most Rev Alan Harper in his Christmas message released on Tuesday.
“Nothing, then, is more important, more worthwhile, more socially and economically necessary than to cherish little children for all children of whatever ability are rich in unexplored promise.”
The Christmas message is inspired by the Archbishop’s own experience as a grandfather and his trip to the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem earlier this year.
He said that strong, secure and loving families were the “God-given ideal within which children may grow and fulfil their potential”.
“It is therefore vital to create structures and conditions that support and encourage wholesome family life,” said the Archbishop. “Let’s get our priorities right: our first concern should be to nourish healthy family life.“This Christmas, as we think of Christ’s Incarnation, let us celebrate and support family life where it seeks to build children up and encourage each other to cherish and respect the gift of new life.”