Film: John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace

David Alton, Professor the Lord Alton writes:

This is essential viewing for anyone trying to understand why over 3600 people lost their lives during the worst of the violence in Northern Ireland. And it's essential viewing for anyone trying to understand how St.John Paul sowed the seeds of the Northern Ireland peace process during his historic visit in 1979.

The movie follows the entire visit, criss- crossing Ireland, but the defining moment is at Drogheda when John Paul begs the men of violence "on my bended knees" to end the killing. This was a watershed after which, as the DUP MP, Jeffrey Donaladaon, explains no one could any longer claim that terror and violence was sanctioned by the Catholic Church.

In a moving interview, the former SDLP MP, Seamus Mallon, reminds us that IRA killings were responsible for more Catholic deaths than any other source. There is also a powerful interview with a former IRA bomber who says that John Paul's witness led him away from violence.

The premiere was hosted by the charity, the Christian Heritage Centre, in collaboration with the Knights of Columbus. The evening was graced by the presence of the Polish Ambassador, HE Arkady Rzegocki, who took part in a discussion with David Nagkieri, one of the film's Directors.

The movie is beautifully made and is thought provoking. It deserves to be seen in homes, schools and parishes throughout Britain and Ireland.

Tags: Northern Ireland, John Paul II, Lord Alton, David Alton

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