The Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown said this week that Christians need to rejoice in difference, and struggle to avoid division.
The Roman Catholic prelate, speaking at a week of Christian unity service in St Anne’s Church of Ireland cathedral in Belfast, said there had been amazing progress in ecumenical relations in Ireland over recent years.
He called on church leaders from the Protestant and Roman Catholic denominations to recommit themselves as individuals and as churches to doing everything they can to bring that progress forward, and to make a form of Christian unity a reality.
American-born Dr Brown, the Pope’s Irish representative who is based in Dublin, was welcomed in the cathedral by Church of Ireland primate Archbishop Richard Clarke and by the Dean of Belfast the Rev John Mann.
Presbyterian Moderator the Rev Dr Rob Craig was also present.
Leaders of the four main churches in Northern Ireland were in attendance at Tuesday’s event to mark the week of prayer for Christian unity.
A similar ecumenical service was conducted by Archbishop Brown in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland cathedral in Armagh on Wednesday night, with a wide cross-section of senior the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Methodist clergy also there.