Care needed to avoid fresh conflict: Miller

Archdeacon Robert Miller has urged tolerance to help prevent a new generation becoming embroiled in the conflicts that have blighted the island in the past.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 3:00 pm

The acting leader of the Church of Ireland in Derry and Donegal issued the call at its diocesan synod in An Grianán Hotel.

He said: “The nations on this island were born from different national identities and we remember only too clearly the conflict that consumed our island home for far too long and which - if we aren’t careful - threatens to embroil a new generation. As the CoI we were challenged to embrace one another in the Church as sister and brother while holding different national identities.”

He said this was exemplified by the local dioceses.

“The nature of our own United Dioceses as we go to-and-fro across the border is that we share a common identity as members of the CoI. Our Christian identity helps shape our national identity. And I can’t help feeling that there is something revelatory, something illuminating, something almost prophetic in this - a lesson that contains an important message for us, in this place and at this time,” he said.

Referring to Brexit he said the Church should advocate for all the communty rather than take sides.

“We must be political with a small ‘p’; that doesn’t mean we should be arguing on any particular side of the Brexit debate, but we certainly should be arguing for one another’s needs to be acknowledged and addressed. After the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was challenged by a widow who felt he should be working harder to destroy his enemies. Lincoln’s response was profound: ‘Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?’”