Senior representatives of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland met today (Tuesday) with a delegation of Catholic clergy in Belfast, including Bishop of Down and Connor, Most Reverend Noel Treanor.
It is the second time this year the Loyal Order has met formally with Catholic Church representatives in the city, having previously held preliminary discussions along with the Royal Black Institution in February.
Among the attendees at the meeting were the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Edward Stevenson.
Issues discussed included the Haass proposals, parading, and shared concerns regarding child poverty and educational underachievement in the Province.
Both parties agreed the two-hour meeting was beneficial in terms of developing mutual respect and understanding for both traditions, and committed themselves to further engagement.
Bishop Treanor was accompanied by Reverend Timothy Bartlett, Secretary to the Northern Bishops and Reverend Michael Sheehan, Administrator of Saint Patrick’s Parish, Donegall Street, Belfast.
Other senior Orange representatives included Deputy Grand Master, Reverend Alistair Smyth; Grand Secretary Drew Nelson; Grand Master of the County Grand Orange Lodge of Belfast, George Chittick; and Director of Services, Dr David Hume.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444