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All Irish Churches should Apologise says Bishop

Posted on: January 31, 1997 2:55 PM
Related Categories: Ireland

The Churches in Ireland should agree a common admission of guilt for their part in the wrongs of centuries, said the former Anglican Bishop of Connor, Bishop Samuel Poyntz during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

"There is much in our past histories of which we should be ashamed," said the Anglican ecumenist.

"To name one thing among many on the Church of Ireland's side; we never raised a voice against the penal laws that had such a savage effect on Roman Catholics and Presbyterians.

"On the Roman Catholic side, mention might be made of the rigorous imposition of the 1908 Ne Temere decree (requiring Protestants in inter-Church marriages to rear their children as Roman Catholics) until recent legislation.

"Scratch the surface and we all have hurts," said the Bishop.

Bishop Poyntz said many prominent church people, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of Ireland Primate of All Ireland, Dr Robin Eames, and the former Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland, Dr Cahal Daly, had asked pardon for past wrongs.

"This is commendable; but is another step required? The Irish inter-Church meeting committee might consider drafting a confession, to be accepted by all the mainline Churches on this island."

Article from: Church Times