SOME of the most important issues affecting Irish society were discussed by representatives of the three main Reformed Churches with Irish government ministers on Monday.
The meeting, at Government Buildings, in Dublin, took place at the invitation of the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; and the church delegation was led by the Church of Ireland Primate of All Ireland, Dr Richard Clarke. The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr Noble McNeely, and the Lay Leader of the Methodist Church in Ireland, Dr Fergus O’Ferrall, together with laity from all three Churches, were also in attendance.
The agenda for the bilateral meeting included some of the most contentious challenges facing the country at the present time, including the impact of Brexit on Ireland and Northern Ireland; the forthcoming referendum to remove the 8th Amendment to the Constitution on abortion; homelessness; social housing; and education.
After the meeting, Dr Clarke, on behalf of the three Churches, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to meet the Taoiseach and his ministers today as part of the Church-State dialogue, which we were assured will be a continuing and constructive two-way conversation.
“Our wide-ranging discussion included many of the most important and pressing social and ethical matters relating to contemporary Irish society.”
Such meetings are now a regular feature of the working relationship between the Reformed Churches and the Irish Government under the Church-State structured dialogue process.