Today I welcome Archbishop John McDowell’s first day in office as the new Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh. Although we may be unable to meet in person at this time, we have already been in frequent contact online to discuss issues of common interest, especially the pastoral and social implications of the current Covid-19 crisis. I wish to assure Archbishop John of my prayers and support as he embarks upon a new chapter in his ministry.
In 2016 Archbishop John and I travelled as part of a cross-community centenary pilgrimage with young people to the Somme and other significant First World War sites. That encounter was a moving experience for all involved and in this vein I was particularly interested in a key theme in his inaugural message today which highlighted the continuing challenge of securing lasting peace and reconciliation for the people on this island.
I look forward to working closely with Archbishop John in the spirit of our patron, Saint Patrick, and in the service of the Gospel and of the common good.
· Archbishop Eamon Martin is Archbishop of Armagh, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Dromore and Primate of All Ireland.
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