The joint statement from church leaders on the recent violence reads like an NIO press release

A letter from Samuel Morrison:

By Samuel Morrison
Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:57 pm
A crowd listens to Gerry Adams pay tribute to Bobby Storey at Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast last June. Samuel Morrison asks: "Where was the joint church statement when a church was used to facilitate an IRA funeral? The mass gathering offended thousands of Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists and Catholics who buried loved ones in line with law"
Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire
A crowd listens to Gerry Adams pay tribute to Bobby Storey at Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast last June. Samuel Morrison asks: "Where was the joint church statement when a church was used to facilitate an IRA funeral? The mass gathering offended thousands of Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists and Catholics who buried loved ones in line with law" Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Yesterday’s open letter from the leaders of the four main churches was striking in that it managed to reference the Belfast Agreement three times but didn’t mention the Bible once.

(‘We plead with political leaders to come together for common good,’ April 13, see link below)

It will have confirmed the suspicion in the minds of some that the main churches in Northern Ireland at least as far as their pronouncements on politics are concerned, abandoned Scripture some time ago for the Holy Writ of the document which flies in the face of many basic Christian principles.

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Letter to the editor

Nonetheless, the statement does raise some questions.

Where was the joint statement back in June about the mass breaking of public health guidance at the Bobby Storey funeral?

Far from there being such a statement, one of the churches within Archbishop Martin’s fold was used to facilitate the funeral.

Let’s not forget that the fallout from that Provo show of strength was the spark which lit the current fires.

When wrong was so flagrantly done, causing huge offence to the thousands of Presbyterians, Anglicans, Methodists and Roman Catholics who buried their loved one in line with the law of the land, where was the united call for judgment to run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream (Amos 5:24)?

In more recent days, where was the joint statement calling for the Stormont executive to get its act together and pay the victims’ pension? These church leaders seemed content for disabled people, widows and orphans to take the executive they laud to court to get justice without any such joint statement.

Where was their voice calling on the powers that be to defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy (Psalm 82:3)?

Perhaps that was all too much to expect.

After all, most people in Northern Ireland have recognised the fact that statements from the four main church leaders have been another name for Northern Ireland Office press office productions for a long time.

Samuel Morrison, Dromore, Co Down

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