Bishops pledge to lead flocks onward to reconciliation

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The Bishops of Londonderry have pledged to lead their flocks on a path of reconciliation and ‘strive to tirelessly heal the wounds caused by our violent conflict.’

Bishop Ken Good (Derry and Raphoe) and Bishop Donal McKeown (Bishop of Derry) issued a joint statement to mark their support for Community Relations Week in the city.

The senior clergymen said: “The challenge in our community is twofold. It is to strive tirelessly to heal the wounds caused by our violent conflict. It is also to ensure that such conflict never happens again. We can best do this by journeying towards reconciliation, so that a cycle of historic division is broken once and for all in this land.

“We take seriously the command of Christ, the head of the Church, as told in the story of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

“His command to love God above all other allegiances and to love our neighbour as we would ourselves is the path to a future with hope.”

The Bishops said differences of history, race, religion and politics don’t define who our neighbours are.

“Christ teaches us that every person is our ‘neighbour’ and that we are to find practical ways to ‘love’ them. We renew our Christian commitment to loving our neighbour in this city – whoever that neighbour may be,” they said.

“As we work for the healing of wounds and reconciliation in our city we recognize and commend the significant work already being done.

“This is not only by our own members but also through much patient community work,” they added.