DUP won’t meet Pope

Posted By: August 18, 2018



Distributed to the U.S. Congress by Irish National Caucus

 “ God help the poor North. Neither one of the two main Unionist/Loyalist/Protestant parties in Northern Ireland will attend a civic reception for Pope Francis in Dublin. See below article from today’s Irish News of Belfast

Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP,  will be ‘away with her family.’ UUP leader Robin Swann, instead, will attend a hardline Orange/anti-Catholic celebration in Northern Ireland of the Royal Black Institution (members wear a predominantly black sash).

 Unionist/Loyalist/Protestant political leaders refusing to meet the Pope would be like white Americans refusing to meet President Obama because he is black. If Americans do not understand this, they do not understand the racist/sectarian/anti-Catholic foundation upon which Northern Ireland was based. Even a few misguided souls who claim to understand it, still insist it is ‘counterproductive’ to mention it! The 1920 British Government of Ireland Act carved out Six Counties (out of Ireland’s 32 Counties) to create an artificial, gerrymandered, sectarian, anti-Catholic state which the Protestants could hold for the British Empire—by a two to one majority. … But ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice’: The next Census in 2021 will, it is predicted, show Catholics are the majority.

Thus, the madness of racism/sectarianism/supremacy is exposed. Protestant leaders should be trying to build up the Beloved Community instead of denying the inevitable: the unification of Ireland, in which all people of all religions, or no religion, can live in equality, solidarity, justice, and peace. In the motto of the Irish National Caucus:’Ireland, too, has the right to be One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ “—Fr. Sean McManus

 FOSTER SAYS NO: The DUP leader will be away during the papal visit

John Manley.Irish News. Belfast. Saturday, 18, 2018

The DUP is not expected to send a representative to a civic reception for Pope Francis in Dublin after Arlene Foster said she could not attend.

The party confirmed yesterday that the former first minister had declined an invitation from the Taoiseach’s office to next Saturday’s event in Dublin Castle.

Mrs. Foster’s spokesman said she would be away with her family during next weekend’s papal visit.

The announcement ends weeks of speculation about whether she would continue a series of outreach gestures by accepting the invitation.

Mrs. Foster recently attended the GAA’s Ulster football final in Clones, a Pink News LGBT event in Stormont and marked the end of Ramadan at an event organized by the Belfast Islamic Centre.

Invitations to the Dublin Castle reception, which will include a speech by the pontiff, were sent to the leaders of the north’s main parties a fortnight ago by Leo Varadkar’s office.

Within days of receiving the correspondence, four of the five Stormont leaders made their intentions public.

Despite regular inquiries from The Irish News, the DUP refused to say whether Mrs. Foster would accept.

Sinn Féin deputy president Michelle O’Neill and SDLP leader Colum Eastwood plan to travel to Dublin.

Alliance leader Naomi Long and her deputy Stephen Farry will be out of the country but the party plans to send a representative.

UUP leader Robin Swann declined because he plans to attend the Royal Black Institution’s ‘Last Saturday’ celebrations in Larne. Lagan Valley MLA Robbie Butler will represent the party.

The DUP said: “Mrs. Foster appreciates the invitation but regretfully will be away with her family at that time.

“She particularly acknowledges the significance of this event for many Roman Catholics in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

The party is not expected to send any representative in her place.

Mrs. Foster has previously met the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin.

Presbyterian moderator Dr. Charles McMullen said this week he was “very pleased” to accept an invitation to attend papal events at Dublin Castle and Croke Park.

Church of Ireland and Methodist leaders will also attend.