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Irish clergy meet in Rome to celebrate 25 years on the journey towards peace

29 September 2023

BBC/Irish Embassy

Church leaders from Ireland attend the service in Rome on Thursday to mark 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement

Church leaders from Ireland attend the service in Rome on Thursday to mark 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement

CHURCH leaders from Ireland have gathered in Rome to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

In a joint statement, the Irish and British Ambassadors to the Holy See, Frances Collins and Chris Tott, said that they were delighted to welcome the leaders from several denominations.

“For decades, the Churches have played an important role in supporting peace and reconciliation,” they said, expressing hope that visit would “serve to inspire other church and faith-based leaders as they work to support peace and reconciliation around the world.”

The group from Ireland includes the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Revd John McDowell; his Roman Catholic counterpart, the Most Revd Eamon Martin; the head of the Prebyterian Church in Ireland, the Revd Dr Sam Mawhinney; and the president of the Methodist Church in Ireland, the Revd David Turtle.

A statement from group said: “We must remember that the signing of the Agreement was not the end of the journey to peace in Northern Ireland.

“It simply marked the first faltering steps down a very long road to a new, brighter, and shared future . . . shaped by tolerance and respect for our differences, and a recognition of the need for greater understanding and reconciliation.”

On Thursday afternoon, the group participated in a a seminar held at the Pontifical Irish College, at which the part played by faith in reconciliation was discussed.

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