Loyal Orders in Catholic clergy talks

Published Wednesday, 19 February 2014
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Senior members of the Orange Order and Royal Black Institution have met for talks with Catholic clergymen in Belfast, with all parties agreeing to further engagement in the future.

Loyal Orders in Catholic clergy talks
The Loyal Orders have met for talks with Catholic clergymen in Belfast. (© Getty)

Among those involved in Wednesday's meeting were Father Michael Sheehan from St Patrick's Parish on Donegall Street and the Orange Order's Belfast County Grand Master George Chittick.

In recent years, the area around the church has become a flashpoint during some parades with various concerns raised regarding behaviour outside - including music played by bands.

According to statements from both the Loyal Orders and the Catholic Church, "all parties agreed the meeting was helpful, allowing a useful exchange of views".

Orange Order Grand Master Edward Stevenson, Royal Black Sovereign Grand Master Millar Farr, and Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor also participated in the talks.

The issue of "religious freedom in secular society" was discussed and the clergy were given a presentation of the Orange Institution's educational outreach programme.

They were also given an overview of the REACH project, which will see the development of two new interpretative centres in Belfast and Loughgall.

The meeting was held at the Orange Institution's temporary headquarters on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast.

© UTV News
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23 Comments
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (187 days ago):
I agree, the OO need to be talking to the very people they antagonise each year, i.e. those who live in areas where the OO because of their sectarian history are really not wanted. Talking to the catholic church seems irrelevant to me. The Order feel it is their God given right to parade their triumphalist brand of culture anywhere in NI they want. They perhaps got away with that years ago when they ran the place but thankfully those days are over.
Einstein in BelfAST wrote (188 days ago):
The Orange Order is not primarily a Christian nor Religious one. It was formed to to "oppose Popery" - whatever that means ("Oh, you mean Catholics?"). It has taken a vow to destroy the Catholic Faith - this is an organisation which has a positive contribution to make to this country?? I know of one Catholic, who, when he requested to join that "Order", was told to bring his Rosary Beads to the Orange Hall & to stamp on them on the floor of the Hall, in front of The Brethren. (Nice brethren) - & this is an organisation which isn't bigoted, sectarian & NOT primarily anti-Catholic??) .
Still Laughing in UK wrote (188 days ago):
@Shamrock. Please tell me you are not even attempting to equate the Orange Order to the "KKK" because that would mean you are trying to compare the Roman Catholic church to the Civil Rights movement? The RC church hardly condones religious freedoms. At least you gave me a laugh.... Thx....
Big Ian in Belfast, North Ireland wrote (189 days ago):
@ j in Northern Ireland, are you for real?? Sein Fein are stronger than ever (fact) The days of unionist tribalism is at an end. Its what we call, working progress towards a shared future, fool.
Johno in Belfast wrote (189 days ago):
Exactly @Sam1690 your name alone tells us enough. Still living in the past with the rest of the sectarian Dinasours in the Orange Order an organisation who incities hatred of his fellow being for no good reason.
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