Derry’s Bishop, Donal McKeown, has said that the challenge for those in leadership positions here is, “to develop a shared story about a divided history.”
Bishop McKeown was speaking at St Patrick’s Day Mass in St Patrick’s Church Pennyburn, yesterday, where he said creating a shared story about the past was the only way towards achieving “a shared future.”
He also referenced the celebrations taking place around the 1916 Rising and other historical events, which he emphasised should never be glorified.
Delivering his homily, he said: “We can look back with admiration for people who died, often heroically, but with much less adulation not for those who wanted to kill. Conflict – whether WWI or the Easter Rising – are always signs of the failure of human relationships, never a model to be imitated or glorified.”
He concluded by saying that St Patrick’s Day should be about more than just a carnival atmosphere.
He added: “St Patrick is not just about a green White House and a green Taj Mahal. It celebrates one of the countless saintly heroes of human history who have not wallowed in self-pity or in the shedding of blood, in self-indulgence or in arrogance but in the celebration of divinely given human dignity and abundant forgiveness. If we want to be children of Patrick, he asks us to be uncomfortably real – and not to be bewitched by a sham-rock or by a sham-anything-else.”