DUP MLAs mock Ulster Unionist Robbie Butler for attending papal visit, and label Pope   “the antichrist”

Posted By: October 22, 2018


Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

 “The appalling sectarianism and virulent anti-Catholicism of the DUP continue unbridled and unashamed, as the article below explains. And, let me repeat, anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland is not just about theological differences—it is above all about ‘keeping Catholics in their place,’  ‘at the back of the bus.’ 

Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland is a political system — a means of social stratification; a ‘social marker’—that brands ‘the other’ as the enemy, as the threat. 

Just as historic anti-Semitism in America is not really about theological differences but rather about a system for demonizing, disrespecting and marginalizing Jewish-Americans.

However, it was the British Government that institutionalized anti-Catholicism as a tool of oppression in Ireland, and has, in effect,  maintained it since creating the sectarian/Protestant  state of Northern Ireland in 1920.”—Fr. Sean McManus


 John Manley. Irish News.Belfast. October 22, 2018 

An Ulster Unionist MLA was ridiculed and criticized by his DUP counterparts for attending a civic reception for Pope Francis.

Lagan Valley MLA Robbie Butler has told The Irish News how a senior DUP assembly member said he was wrong to accept an invite to the August event at Dublin Castle and labeled the pontiff “the antichrist.”

He said another DUP MLA blessed himself in a gesture of ridicule as they passed in the corridor of Stormont’s Parliament Buildings.

Mr. Butler has declined to reveal the identity of the two DUP MLAs.

The DUP was widely criticized for snubbing the invite from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the reception for Pope Francis.

Stormont’s other main parties all sent representatives to the event, which was also attended by politicians from the Republic and members of civic society from across Ireland.

Mrs. Foster was away with her family over the weekend of Pope Francis’s historic visit. However, unlike other parties whose leaders were unable to attend, the DUP did not send a representative in Mrs. Foster’s place.

The former first minister said the invite from the Taoiseach was a “personal invitation.”

Mr. Butler attended the reception because party leader Robin Swann was taking part in the Royal Black Preceptory’s ‘Last Saturday’ celebrations in Larne.

Recalling how he was confronted by a senior DUP MLA near his Parliament Buildings office, Mr. Butler said he was “stunned” by the exchange.

“He wagged his finger at me and told me I was doing the wrong thing by agreeing to go to the civic reception, before saying: ‘Don’t you know he’s the antichrist?’,” the Lagan Valley MLA recalled.

A second encounter in the Stormont corridors saw another MLA bless himself as he passed Mr. Butler, a born-again Christian, and deacon in the Elim Church.

“It was a throwback to the 1970s, I just couldn’t believe it,” he told The Irish News.

Mr. Butler said he was “disappointed” by the DUP MLAs’ behavior but felt it “validated” his decision to attend the civic reception.

“I felt it was the right thing to do – if you can’t be a good neighbor you can’t expect to have good neighbors,” he said.

“I went to Dublin as Christian, Protestant and a Unionist and I came back as a Christian, Protestant and a Unionist.”…