Irish Republican News · July 20, 2004
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Presbyterians to protest against Pope

Ian Paisley’s church will take to the streets to oppose a planned visit by the Pope to the North next year.

Pope John Paul II has accepted an invitation to return to Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of his first visit, and he is expected to cross the border to mark the occasion.

A special Mass is likely yo be held in Armagh, Ireland’s ecclesiastical capital.

However, a spokesman for Ian Paisley’s Free Presbyterian Church said the Pontiff would not be welcome in the north.

“When the Pope came to the UK the Church was involved in a protest then, when he comes to the north of Ireland we will also be protesting,” said Reverend David McIlveen.

The other main Protestant Churches are not planning demonstrations.

Church of Ireland primate Archbishop Robin Eames extended a welcome to the Pope and urged all denominations to show him respect during his visit.

“I know there will be great rejoicing within the Roman Catholic community throughout Ireland at the prospect of the Pope’s visit,” he said.

“I hope and pray he will be afforded the dignified and warm welcome by other denominations which befits a world Church leader coming to Ireland.”

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© 2004 Irish Republican News