We have had LetsGetAlongerists for years. But today I introduce LETSPRAYALONGERISTS.
Earlier today, Fr Tim Barrett (Catholic priest) addressed the DUP Conference. What he said, was not nearly as important as the fact that he spoke to the DUP…whose founder the Rev Ian Paisley often spoke out about the curse of Rome and the treachery of the Ecumenical Movement.
Fr Barrett’s speech was not really anything to do with Peter Robinson thinking that the DUP can be attractive to Catholics. The DUP stance on Gay Rights, Abortion and ultra-conservative views is no attraction. Catholics are not one dimensional. They might also be republican, socialist, nationalist, disabled, elderly, young, female, male, rich, poor.
No catholic is going to go into a polling station to vote DUP on Social conservative values.
Nobody …other than a nut job …is going to deny his or her Irishness on the issue of Abortion.
Robinson cannot appeal to Catholics without more robust condemnation of the behaviour of some elements of Orange supporters in the vicinity of Catholic Churches.
Put bluntly, no catholic is going to be so impressed by an Orange bandsman urinating on St Matthews that they will decide to vote DUP.
Fr Barrett was not there to pledge support to DUP. He is one of a group of liberal minded clergymen and women of different faiths. As Dr John Brewer recently said in a lecture at St Oliver Plunketts in West Belfast (I blogged about it here)…the institutional churches (Brewer claims) have not done enough for Reconciliation and that it has been left for mavericks to bear witness.
These voices might well include Fr Tim Barrett.
Its important to say that Fr Tim has the “approval” of the Conflict Resolutionists…he is “the right sort of priest”.