The absolute minimum to address poverty is not being delivered through public policy measures according to the Irish Catholic Bishops.

At their Winter Conference, they discussed the cost of living crisis and noted the "ever-growing need" to tackle the root causes of poverty across the country.

They said the current situation was "not morally acceptable" in a country "with such abundant wealth and increasing revenue income for the Exchequer".

The Bishops discussed the fact that many people are forced to make "disturbing decisions - and trade-off choices - around food, heating or other necessary and basic requirements in life".

They noted the increase in the number of people seeking assistance from their food banks and other charitable outreaches.

"To that end, we urge people to give what they can to support the outstanding work of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Crosscare in Dublin, and other charities and local pastoral initiatives to support families and individuals with practical material help and advice."

The economic and social hardship of people living in Northern Ireland was also discussed.

They said the political impasse had added to the hardship being suffered by so many families, with one-in-four children growing up in poverty.

There were prayers for peace in Ukraine and the appeal by Pope Francis for an immediate end to the war was raised.

The Bishops noted that Irish people know the experience of the migrant.

"This year we have many new arrivals and refugees in our midst, who have much to offer but need our reassurance and welcome. We ask of our local faith communities to be aware of the needs of our new neighbours and to extend the love of Christ to all this Christmas."

The issue of vocations and the need to encourage men to consider the priesthood was also raised at the conference.

Feedback from newly ordained priests indicated that their vocation was greatly influenced by encouragement received from a priest who spoke to them about the priesthood.

Next year will be used to promote vocations to the diocesan priesthood on the theme: 'Take the Risk for Christ' along with an awareness campaign.