Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore, chair of the Irish Bishops' Council for Justice and Peace, said, "The words of the Court are powerful and profound, and speak to what we should aspire to: 'This damage to the individual's self-worth, and sense of themselves, is exactly the damage which the constitutional right [to seek employment] seeks to guard against.'"
He wrote in a June 5 statement that the decision reflects the values of Pope Francis, who has asked all countries for a "generous openness" to migrants, at a time when much of the world is experiencing what has been called a refugee crisis.
Millions of asylum seekers from the Middle East and elsewhere have poured into the European Union and other regions, seeking refuge from violence and economic hardship.
Countries throughout Europe have struggled to accommodate the large number of asylum seekers. Ireland has promised to accept 700 refugees this year, though the migration of some of these has been stalled due to vetting negotiations.
Bishop McAreavey noted that the physical and psychological welfare of migrants has been a concern of the bishops of the Council for Justice and Peace, which has publicly raised issues related to Direct Provision Centres, the Republic of Ireland's system to care for asylum seekers.
"Removing the ban on work means that people in Direct Provision Centres are more likely to integrate and be part of a rich, diverse and yet more unified society; asylum seekers will recover their self-respect through work and we all will benefit from their skills and gifts," Bishop McAreavey said.