Posted By: April 21, 2018


Distributed by Irish National Caucus
“Headlines in Saturday’s  Irish News of Belfast declares:‘Catholics could outnumber North’s Protestants by 2021.’ See article below.

As Blessed Martin Luther King, Jr. liked to quote: ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ (Theodore Parker 1810-1860). 

Just as Whites in the United States had to accept Blacks were equal, so, too, the Protestants of Northern Ireland must accept Catholics as equals. That is not a defeat for anyone but a victory for all. And, as Blessed Martin also taught, it is the foundation stone of the Beloved Community. (The term was first devised at the beginning of the 20 th Century by the important American philosopher-theologian Josiah Royce ,1855–1916.).

The King Center explains:‘For Dr. King, The Beloved Community was not a lofty utopian goal to be confused with the rapturous image of the Peaceable Kingdom, in which lions and lambs coexist in idyllic harmony. Rather, The Beloved Community was for him a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence…In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood’.”—Fr. Sean McManus

Catholics could outnumber North’s Protestants by 2021

Bimpe Archer. Irish News. Belfast. Saturday, April 21, 2018

CATHOLICS could outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland by 2021, a leading academic has suggested.

The 2011 official census figures put the Protestant population at 48 percent and Catholics at 45 percent, while more recent figures from 2016 show 44 percent of working-age adults are Catholic and 40 percent Protestant.

Among schoolchildren, 51 percent are Catholic and 37 percent Protestant, while among the over 60s the proportion is reversed, with 57 percent Protestant and 35 percent Catholic.

Paul Nolan, an independent researcher, best known for the three Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Reports, told BBC News NI it is likely that by the centenary of the foundation of the state Catholics will outnumber Protestants.

“Three years from now we will end up, I think, in the ironic situation on the centenary of the state where we actually have a state that has a Catholic majority,” he said.

He said there is no need for this prediction to cause undue alarm among unionists as being a Catholic does not necessarily mean supporting a united Ireland.

Mr. Nolan pointed out that although 45 percent identified in the 2011 census as being from a Catholic background, only 25 percent claimed an exclusively Irish identity.

“The future of unionism depends entirely upon one thing – and I mean unionism with a small ‘u’ – it depends on winning the support of people who do not regard themselves to be unionists with a capital ‘U’,” he said.

“In other words people who do not identify with the traditional trappings of unionism; people who would give their support for a UK government framework and that’s a sizeable proportion of Catholics provided they are not alienated by any form of triumphalism or anything that seems to be a rejection of their cultural identity as nationalists.”

He suggested it is likely debate on a future United Ireland would move to whether it might mean “two parliaments – one in Belfast and one in Dublin”.

“I think the more that gets unpacked, the more opinion will move back and forward. It’s not going to go just in one direction,” the academic said

His analysis comes after DUP leader Arlene Foster said she would “probably” leave in the event of a united Ireland.

Party colleague Christopher Stalford said while Ms. Foster’s views were “reflective of a lot of unionists [who] feel they would effectively be pushed into the Irish sea”, he would not be among any exodus.

“For my part though, I would never leave this island,” he said.

“We need to show that you can be British and Irish at the same time.”

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said unionists “have to be at home in a new Ireland” and nothing, from the flag to the anthem would be “taboo”.