27 January 2010
Four Church Leaders urge parties to reach a settlement
The Church Leaders state their belief that “the people of Northern Ireland expect their representatives to ensure that agreement is reached,” and that “there is an overwhelming desire throughout Northern Ireland for continued political progress and for the peace process to be sustained.”
In conclusion the leaders assure all the participants of their continued prayers.
The Church Leaders’ statement follows in full below.
Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office, tel: +353 (0)86 172 7678
NOTE: Other Church Leaders may be contacted for interview through their own press officers detailed below.
Stephen Lynas, Presbyterian Church Press Office, tel: +44 (0)7802 264 354
Paul Harron, Church of Ireland Press Office, tel: +44 (0)7787 881 582
Roy Cooper, Methodist Press Office, tel: +44 (0)771 094 5104
Church Leaders statement in full
We are particularly grateful to the Prime Minster, Gordon Brown and An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen for the intensity, time and energy they have invested in helping to complete the work of devolution.
The Prime Minister and An Taoiseach have indicated their conviction that much progress has been made and the parameters set for broad agreement.
In leaving the local political representatives to resolve outstanding difficulties they have shown their confidence in the determination of local politicians to complete the work.
We urge the delegations of all the political parties to redouble their efforts to reach a settlement.
We believe that the people of Northern Ireland expect their representatives to ensure that agreement is reached and that the institutions of partnership government are sustained.
We have come a very long way as a society since the dark days of the troubles. There is an overwhelming desire throughout Northern Ireland for continued political progress and for the peace process to be sustained.
No-one wishes to return to the tragic patterns of the past and we believe that responsibility of the politicians is to ensure that there is no return to dysfunctional division.
We continue to pray for all participants in the talks and seek especially the grace of God in support of their deliberations.
Cardinal Seán Brady
Archbishop Alan Harper
Presbyterian Moderator Dr Stafford Carson
Methodist President Rev Donald Ker