DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY October 21, 1998 vol. 9, no. 207
NEWS & VIEWS
POPE MAY VISIT NORTHERN IRELAND WHILE ARCHBISHOP SEEKS END TO NORTHERN IRELAND PARADE VIOLENCE
DUBLIN (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II has said he may visit Northern Ireland in the wake of the Good Friday peace agreement between Republicans and Unionists. The Pope visited the Republic of Ireland in 1979, but was advised not to travel to Northern Ireland, which is still ruled by Britain.
The Holy Father's former master of ceremonies, John Magee -- who is now Bishop of Cloyne in southwest Ireland -- said last week that he was speaking to the Pope just after the Good Friday Agreement was signed. The Pope thanked God for the agreement and added: "Now is the time for me to complete my visit to Drogheda." The bishop added that, as the Pontiff left Ireland in 1979, he promised to return, on condition that he could visit the North.
The nearest he came was Drogheda in the border county of Louth. There he pleaded "on my knees" with paramilitaries on both sides of the sectarian divide to "turn away from the path of violence and returns to the ways of peace."
Meanwhile in Belfast, Church of Ireland Archbishop Robin Eames said on Tuesday that he will seek a solution to the continuing problems related to the annual Protestant "marching season" in Northern Ireland.
Archbishop Eames said he would demand guarantees of good behavior from the pro-British Orange Order which organizes a parade each year in the village of Drumcree that has resulted in violence over the past three years. The parade season commemorates military victories over the Irish Catholics hundreds of years ago. "The very term 'Drumcree' conjures up images of violence and protest," the archbishop said in a speech to a Church of Ireland convention. "It has become a cameo of the worst agonies of Northern Ireland."
The rioting that erupted between Catholics and Protestants
this past summer threatened the newly-minted Good Friday
peace agreement that seeks to end the violence in the
British-ruled province. Tension swept the province in July
when authorities banned an Orange Order parade from going
through Catholic areas of Drumcree, near the border with
the Irish Republic, and ended in the death of three
Catholic children killed when a gasoline bomb was thrown
into their home in Ballymoney.
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS