A Roman Catholic priest who attended the Twelfth celebrations on Saturday for the first time has said that he did not find the event sufficiently Protestant.
Fr Martin Magill said that he had enjoyed the “feast of colour” provided by banners and uniforms, the sense of community and the skill of the musicians.
But later in the day he said he had seen more alcohol being consumed, with some of it being seized by police.
Writing in the Irish News, he added: “Having reflected on the parades and the Twelfth that I saw, my main observation is that it wasn’t truly Protestant enough for me.
“One of the Orangemen I met told me he had carried a Bible in previous years but didn’t this year because he was afraid it would get wet.
“For me, this was a parable of what is missing in the Twelfth — people living by the Word of God.
“When I think of my Protestant friends and colleagues, I think of people who read and love the Bible and who by God’s grace model their lives on the life of Jesus.
“The more these modern day disciples are central to the Twelfth celebrations, the more we all will experience grace and generosity — and maybe even a day we all can celebrate.”