9 July 2010
Statement by Bishop Noel Treanor on the parade through the Ardoyne area, Belfast on Monday 12 July 2010
The following statement from Most Rev. Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor, will be read in the Parish of Holy Cross, Ardoyne at the evening Vigil Mass on Saturday 10 July and at all Masses on Sunday 11 July, 2010. It reads:
“As many of you will know, over the next five days I will travel with some seven hundred pilgrims from our Diocese on the annual Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. During that time my prayers will be united with those of the Christian communities of Ardoyne and the surrounding area for a peaceful resolution of tensions over parades on the twelfth of July. That the recent ‘Tour of the North’, and other parades, passed off peacefully gives us grounds for hope. This is testimony to what can be achieved when individuals and communities approach each other with dignity, respect and a determination to reject the violent approaches of the past.
“I know that in recent years many of you have worked with fellow Christians from other Churches and traditions, community leaders, politicians, statutory organisations and the police, to bring about a better community, social and economic environment for everyone in the area. This has involved the sometimes slow and challenging work of promoting mutual understanding, good neighbourliness and patient mediation of conflict.
“I appeal to you all to continue on this path. Together with you I ask that only words and actions be used that advance the immense progress in community relations and quality of life from which all have benefited in recent years. With other Christian communities in the area I ask you to do all in your power to ensure that the coming days are marked by good neighbourliness, an emphatic rejection of violence and a commitment to the common good.
“To you who are young and have your life before you, I say use your energy and youthful potential to promote, as Christ would have it, peace through non-violence, justice through tolerance and mutual respect for all. I plead with all young people not to be drawn in to the misery, futility and inhumanity of violence. I ask you to choose a better way by working for a brighter future for yourselves and for all the people of this island.
“I assure you of my prayers for the people of Holy Cross, for Fr Gary and the Passionist Community and for all the people of Ardoyne and the surrounding area over the coming days.”
Bishop of Down & Connor
Martin Long, Catholic Communications Office,
Maynooth 00 353 861727678