Monday, March 13, 2006


Churches unite in response to racist attack

Excrements was daubed on the seats I was shocked and appalled to read about this racist attack on a Catholic church in east Belfast last week.

Racist slogans were daubed on the walls of St Colmcille's Church on the Upper Newtownards Road and excrement was smeared on seats.

A truly vile and disgusting act however members of Protestant churches have made a lovely and defiant gesture by attending mass at the Catholic church in question.

On Sunday, representatives of local Presbyterian, Methodist and Church of Ireland congregations attended St Colmcille's.

A Presbyterian minister said it was a show of opposition to hate crimes.

Reverend Richard Hill from Garnerville Presbyterian Church said racism was a "very grave problem".

He said the churches wanted to "show our solidarity with our friends and neighbours" in St Colmcilles "to say that racism is not acceptable":

"It's wrong, it's got to stop.

"We're meeting together as a group of churches in the area during Lent, to look at hate crimes, to look at how we, as a church, can respond."

The parish priest, Father Paddy Delargy, said the attack was racially motivated.

He said a small section of society seemed unable to accept those from other countries.

The church, which has Indian and Filipino members, is currently hosting a parish mission.

I take my hat off to the members of the Protestant churches for their admirable and appropriate stance on this matter. All decent people should condemn totally the animals who engaged in this despicable attack on the church.

The united stance offered by the Protestants and Catholics is a joy to behold and stands in stark contrast to the petty bickering which blights the North's politicians.

Well done to all involved.


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