The collapse of major banks and financial institutions may have as great an impact on the world as the fall of the Berlin Wall, says the Bishop of Gibraltar.
Bishop Geoffrey Rowell was speaking in an address during the installation of the new dean of Gibraltar's Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Rev. Dr. John Paddock.
Reflecting on the present economic downturn, he said the dean had a role to play in speaking into the challenges of the day.
"Jeremiah was assured that the Lord had put his words into his mouth – there was a gift of speaking to the collapsing world of the Jewish people in Jeremiah's own day," he said.
"Our world today is a world of collapsing confidence, where a recession has come with the suddenness of a tsunami caused by the shaking of foundations beneath the sea."
He predicted that the impact of the financial crisis would be far-reaching.
"The fall of Wall Street may be as significant as the fall of the Berlin Wall in changing the world, the Europe, in which we live," he said. "The financial situation will certainly have an impact on the many to whom we minister in the diocese and therefore on the diocese itself."
Paddock's installation in the cathedral in Gibraltar was attended by representatives of the diocese and the community of Gibraltar, as well as the Governor of Gibraltar, who read a lesson, and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Gibraltar.
Rowell said that the dean, as senior priest in the diocese, had to be a voice of support as well as challenge for the diocese, and offer encouragement and care to the cathedral's congregation.