Statement from Northern Catholic Bishops
18 February 2001
At a meeting of the Northern Catholic Bishops on 16 February serious concern was expressed at the recent alarming spate of attacks on homes, mostly Catholic.
We condemn unreservedly these and all attacks which endanger human life and property. We are anxious to highlight the plight of all victims of these attacks.
We are well aware that this dangerous situation is due in some measure to the protracted delay in resolving the issue of policing. We have frequently stated that a police service which enjoys widespread confidence and trust in the community is essential to the stability of society and to the effective combating of crime. The significant finds of explosive material by the Police in recent days is a good example of the kind of police service our society so badly needs.
As Catholic Church Leaders we wish to underline that policing is a noble vocation in the service of the common good.
It is only a transparently accountable police service with widespread support in the community that will attract young people to join its ranks.
While the outcome of the recent intensive negotiations on this vital issue has not yet been made public, we urge all who bear a special responsibility in public and political life to leave no stone unturned in reaching agreement as a matter of urgency. They will have the support and prayers of all right-thinking people.
Fr Martin Clarke 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm 087 233 7797