~from The Irish Times
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland Sean Brady was delivering a sermon at Knock Shrine on the theme Following Christ in the 21 st Century as part of the 2007 National Novena.
Archbishop Brady celebrated the Mass of the 'Queenship of Mary' which closes the annual novena.
"Those who confidently tell us that the Catholic Church in Ireland is an anachronism, a superstition of bygone days which has been rejected by intelligent Irish people, have greatly overstated their case," Dr Brady said.
"God is still active in people's hearts."
Dr Brady said that Ireland, the "land of saints and scholars" had become better known as "the land of stocks and shares".
"Tragically it has also become a land of increasing stress and substance abuse," he added.
Dr Brady said people were "seeking to control their future rather than entrust their future to God's promise and plan".
"The result is an increasing culture of insecurity and fear."
Underlying the trend of "future-telling" is a fear of the future, the Archbishop added. He said it was evidence of the failure of a life without God to address the deepest needs of the human spirit.
"The challenge is to keep our lives focused on Christ amidst the distractions of increasing prosperity...in an increasingly secular, sometimes hostile culture."
The Archbishop said that for all its "human imperfections", the Catholic Church still holds the answers to the "big questions of people's lives".