Irish Catholic bishops have said the result of the general election has thrown up a “challenging outcome” in terms of forming a new government.

In a statement, the bishops said the result of the election had been discussed at its latest Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth.

“The results have delivered a challenging outcome for the members of the new Dáil as they seek to provide a new government which can offer stable civic leadership rooted in a shared social ethic, economic stability and sustainable growth for our society,” they said.

“Bishops acknowledged the anxiety of many in Ireland at the fact that there is an uncertain social climate in the country regarding vital sectors of people’s lives, especially regarding protecting the unborn, health, homelessness, unemployment, education, security, our international responsibilities regarding climate change, and our helping to resolve the current refugee and migration crisis.”

The bishops also discussed the centenary of the 1916 Rising, and said it “provides an opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of who we are as a people and to affirm our hope for lasting peace and justice”.

“We will be able to reflect on where we are as a society and on what we want to achieve for the future. People of faith will shape their understanding of this transformative event in the context of Christian values such as love of neighbour, respect for life, reconciliation, hope and healing,” they added.

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