(CT, CPSA) The new peace agreement will place new and difficult demands on the Irish people, the Anglican Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd Dr Robin Eames, warned.
Dr Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh, praised the English and Irish governments for their "great courage and great effort" in reaching the agreement. While they "had answered the longing of those who had prayed for forgiveness", he warned that "much will be demanded of those who have lost loved ones, of those who have suffered at the hands of terrorism, of those who carry the real scars of the past."
Dr Eames said that those who had suffered "must not be forgotten, and their feeling should be very much in our hearts and prayers at this time." He urged that the real spirit of Easter hope be translated into a "new era of confidence", and that "it is in the hearts and minds of people that the real battle for peace and reconciliation must be won."
The Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Walton Empey, echoed Dr Eames' emphasis on the new responsibility of ordinary people: "It is up to us to talk, listen, and especially to pray that our decisions may be right ones." He cautioned against getting "carried away by euphoria" in the run-up to the referendum next month.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York both welcomed the agreement as a starting point for Northern Ireland. The Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, wrote to the Archbishops of Canterbury and Armagh to assure them of his prayers.