You are facing rendezvous with history, bishop tells EU voters

Catholic bishop Noel Treanor
Catholic bishop Noel Treanor

A leading Northern Irish clergyman has told voters that this week they face a “rendezvous with history”.

Noel Treanor, Catholic bishop of Down and Connor, delivered a homily – shared with the press yesterday – in which he praised the founding ideals of the European Union.

He suggested the EU was borne out of “an impulse of God’s grace” following the savagery of the two world wars.

He said the institution and its predecessors had “forged the new pathway of peace, the consolidation of peace, economic development, workers’ rights and the enhancement of standards of safety, security and well-being in our countries over the past six decades and more”.

He added: “As our rendezvous with history approaches in the form of this coming Thursday’s referendum on the future of the UK within the European Union, many among us feel confused and uncertain.

“The debate of recent months has avalanched us with competing figures and viewpoints, argued with conviction and passion.”

He said despite its positive aspects, in the fact of changing science, media and technology, “our models and paradigms of political governance require adaptation, renewal and new injections of imaginative transformation to enhance accountability to the citizen.”

The EU, he said, was no exception.