Today provides an opportunity for a new start for Northern Ireland’s political institutions and one that can also offer fresh hope, say the leaders of Ireland’s four main Churches.
“The great challenge, now as it was then, is to create a society which will enable all of its citizens to flourish in equality in a country with an identifiably distinctive voice in Europe and in the world, an Irish republic, a sovereign independent state to use the words of the Proclamation.”
Families across the island of Ireland - including those who live and work along the border and those who make their living from farming, business and haulage - have expressed anxiety about the future to Archbishop Eamon Martin.
“We can give thanks for the two decades of peace that followed this historic agreement, while expressing firm hope that the peace process will overcome every remaining obstacle.”
“There are no quick fixes,” but the accord “gave us the opportunity – the breathing space – to look for goodwill”: Archbishop Richard Clarke.
“In our two communities or in our various communities we are happy enough the way we are and we couldn’t be bothered,” says Bishop Alan McGuckian SJ of Raphoe.
His knowledge and interest in the environment lends itself to the fifth mark of mission in the Anglican Communion, to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
I would like to see DUP supporters and other people beginning to find some affinity with the Irish language and not see it as a threat.
Included in the plan is an advertising campaign which will target “cold spots” across Northern Ireland where it has proven particularly difficult to attract people from the Catholic community.
Martin McGuinness “made an immense contribution to sustaining peace by reaching out a hand of friendship and reconciliation and being prepared to model alternatives to dispute and division” – Archbishop Eamon Martin.
“We want to say as bishops our firm ‘no’ to a harsh language and remind our politicians that their vocation is to work for the common good and exercise their leadership through the careful practice of compromise and agreement.”
“Ireland has always been one of the strongest supporters of the United Nations and some 90 Irish soldiers have lost their lives in the quest for worldwide peace.”