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Friday, December 9, 2016
Statement on first meeting between Irish Primate and Orange Order
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¬†Speaking after the first ever meeting between the Primate of the Catholic Church in Ireland and the leaders of the Loyal Orders, which took place yesterday at the Archbishop's residence in Armagh, Archbishop Brady said: "I was happy to respond to the request from the leaders of the Loyal Orders for a meeting. Coming into a time when tensions often rise in Northern Ireland the symbolism of such a meeting is a powerful one. In a divided society the temptation is always to remain among one's own people. The desire of the leadership of the Loyal Orders to come to Armagh today represents their willingness to go beyond the barriers of history. It represents a desire to explain the customs, principles and values of their organisations to leaders in the Catholic community. This is to be greatly welcomed. "The openness that this gesture and this meeting represents is an important first step. People on both sides of our society, in local communities, need to be creative and generous in finding ways of reaching across the divide and reciprocating gestures of friendship and efforts at fostering understanding. It is ultimately at this local level that contentious issues will be resolved." At the meeting the Catholic Church was represented by Archbishop SeŠn Brady, Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh, Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore, Mr Harry Goodman from the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs and by Fr Timothy Bartlett. The delegation from the Loyal Orders consisted of Robert Saulters and Drew Nelson of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, William Logan, William Scott and Rev Tom Greer of the Royal Black Institution, and George Dawson MLA and Mervyn Storey MLA of the Independent Orange Institution. Source: Irish Catholic Media Office
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