Ecumenical mourning for Fr Faul
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
THE Primate of All Ireland, Dr Robin Eames, led Anglican tributes to thlate Monsignor Denis Faul, an outspoken campaigner for justice in NortherIreland, whose funeral took place at the weekend. He died, aged 74, frocancer.
"I have learned with sadness of the death of Monsignor Faul, whom I alwayregarded as a man of integrity and spiritual strength. I was privileged to knohim," said Dr Eames.
Preaching at the funeral mass at Carrickmore, where Mgr Faul served aparish priest after 40 years' teaching at St Patrick's Academy, a school iDungannon, 15 of them as Principal, the Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, Dr GerarClifford, described the late priest as "one who was in many ways a prophet oour time during the 30 years of what we call the 'troubles'".
In a statement issued the day after Mgr Faul's death, the PresbyteriaChurch in Ireland recognised "his willingness to take risks for what hbelieved to be right. He was admired by many whose thoughts he echoed whespeaking out strongly and courageously against what was wrong and evil in ousociety." There were many representatives, clerical and lay, from non-RChurches at his requiem.
"Father" Faul, as he was always known, despite elevation to the position oMonsignor, was very much a man of the people. He gave no quarter to violence ointimidation from anyone, and gained the perhaps unique distinction of beinexcoriated by all sides. The IRA came in for his particular criticism. Hplayed a pivotal part in ending the hunger strikes of 1981, when he wachaplain of the Maze prison. A decade later, the brutal murder of a quiefarmer, Tom Oliver, drew especially forthright condemn-ation.
With Fr Raymond Murray of Belfast, he produced "The Birmingham Framework"which highlighted the wrongful imprisonment of the Birmingham Six, thGuildford Four, and other Irish victims of injustice. This work, which led tfindings against the British Government at the European Court of Human Rightof "inhuman and degrading treatment", brought vilification from Unionists anthe British Government alike, but he remained unperturbed