COI Bishop condemns Latimer graffiti in Fountain estate
THE Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, The Right Rev Ken Good, has condemned the appearance, in The Fountain Estate in Londonderry, of graffiti making reference to the Rev David Latimer, Minister of First Derry Presbyterian Church.
Bishop Good stated: “In Northern Ireland we have witnessed and endured too many times when intimidation has been used as an insidious means of dealing with internal disagreement within a community.
“Cowardly and anonymous words, specifically intended to intimidate and to undermine other people, have done great damage, not only to those directly concerned, but to us all.
“When we declare that we wish to belong to a society where civil and religious liberty prevails, as we rightly do, we must also be willing, as a consequence, to allow others the liberty of expressing views which may differ from our own.
“When differences of viewpoint exist within a community, maturity and civility requires of us that we express our disagreement in a ways that are not destructive either to person or property.”
Dr Latimer was recently forced to defend his decision to make a keynote address at Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis in Belfast.
He had been invited to address the conference by Deputy First Minister Martin Guinness.
Rev Latimer also served a tour of duty as an Army chaplain in Helmand Province in Afghanistan and returned to say he had serious doubts about the war there.
The minister’s relationship with Mr McGuinness burgeoned as the restoration of his church, First Derry Presbyterian, got underway culminating in its rededication earlier this year. Mr Guinness attended the re-opening as did the Chief Constable of the PSNI, Sir Matt Baggott.
However, senior figures within the unionist community have questioned Dr Latimer’s reasoning for his recent contacts with dissident republicans during the annual Relief of Derry celebrations and his continued meetings with mainstream republicans in Sinn Féin.
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Weather for Londonderry
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 9 C
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