News archive 2004

Statement of Most Rev Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland on developments in Northern Peace Process

PRESS RELEASE

9TH DECEMBER 2004

STATEMENT OF DR SEÁN BRADY, ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH AND PRIMATE OF ALL IRELAND ON DEVELOPMENTS IN NORTHERN PEACE PROCESS

“Humility, Yes, Humiliation No” – Archbishop Brady

Archbishop Seán Brady today issued the following statement on overnight developments
in the Peace Process. Archbishop Brady said, “I believe that the progress which has
been made to date is extraordinary. That progress shows that the parties are able
and willing to work together. But the breakdown just short of the finishing line
is disappointing. It tells us that more trust has to be built. I hope that trust
will continue to grow. The lesson may be, in all of this, that all parties who
intend to go into Government together need, not only to talk, but to listen to
each other. Otherwise their governing will not be as effective as it might be
and will not necessarily be for the good of all the people.

“In my opinion the request for photographs is really a request for greater clarity
and certainty about decommissioning. The question is, if photographs are impossible,
what is possible to provide the certainty required? On the other hand, the request
not to be humiliated is also reasonable. It is a request for people to be treated
seriously as partners in Government and to have the rights and dignity of all
respected.

“Right now we all need to do and say the things that make for peace. Something
that is seen as humiliation is not likely to help people to work effectively and
peacefully together in partnership in Government. Humiliation is one thing,
humility is something else, humility is built on truth. The truth is that here
we have parties who have received a mandate from the people and are offering to
take on responsibilities for the future government of this country. I hope it
will be good government.”

Archbishop Brady concluded, “The blame game leads nowhere, just as there is no
monopoly of victims, there is no monopoly of blame. Perhaps an honest acceptance,
by all sides, of what has happened in the past and an appropriate taking of
responsibility for the past would be a good basis on which to go forward. A
humble expression of sorrow for the grief that has been caused by all sides,
would be even better. If we cannot go the extra mile, let’s try to go the
extra, perhaps even the final step. Humility, yes, humiliation, no.”

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