The Archbishop of Dublin has voiced his concern over the "emergence of a new language of racism" in Ireland.

Dr Diarmuid Martin made the remarks in his homily at the Church of St Joseph the Artisan, Bonnybrook, Dublin, to mark the beginning of advent today.

Dr Martin said: "I think of the emergence of a new language of racism, at times understated in its expression but just as nasty in its effects on men and women who need our help, our care and our respect.

"I am horrified to find traces of such racism among believers. The terms 'refugee' and 'asylum seeker' should only arouse heartfelt concern in the Christian heart."

Dr Martin described advent as a "season of hope" and a time to reflect on the "coming of Jesus Christ into human history". 

While speaking of the prophets who, he said, had experienced "injustice and sin", Dr Martin said that Christians of "every generation" should be "attentive to where society is slipping into wrong ways".

Dr Martin also spoke of the plight of the homeless and those suffering because of "poverty, intolerance and discrimination, suffering and anxiety".

Referring to gang-related violence and the "business of death that is the drug trade", Dr Martin warned against a culture that "would determine that one life has less value than another".

He added: "The message of advent is the confident message of Emmanuel, that still today God is with us to save us."