Combat ‘lethargic acceptance’ of power-sharing failure – bishop

Combat ‘lethargic acceptance’ of power-sharing failure – bishop Bishop Noel Treanor

Christians need to work towards generating a “new narrative”, as the power-sharing talks resume in Northern Ireland, Bishop Noel Treanor has said.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ World Day of Peace message in which he spoke of a “contemplative gaze”, the bishop of Down and Connor said there was a connection between contemplation and responsible politics.

In a homily in the Parish of Drumbo in Carryduff he said a contemplative gaze on the current political situation will “highlight stagnation in politics and a lethargic acceptance and tolerance by ourselves as citizens of this state of affairs…”

He said that a Christian heritage provides the “necessary wisdom of faith” to imagine new paradigms for a politics that gives place to “all cultures and traditions”.

Speaking to The Irish Catholic after the homily he said: “We have this impasse, we have the politicians we elect, we have the polarisation that exists, but there’s also a certain acceptance of this.”

“I was saying we have these kids here in the world of tomorrow: what kind of society would exist here, what kind of economy will exist, will it generate work, will it generate the respect of life and of hope?”

The bishop added that although the political impasse and the resumption of power-sharing talks is pertinent, he wanted to emphasise in the homily the “old couplet” of contemplation and prayer that Pope Francis spoke of in his New Year message as well as the responsible action the Pontiff is calling for.

January 9 marked a year since the late Martin McGuinness resigned from the governing executive at Stormont in protest at the DUP’s disastrous handling of a green energy scheme.

Meanwhile, Armagh’s Archbishop Eamon Martin describedthe standoff between Sinn Féin and the DUP as “a terrible pity” and “tribal politics” on RTÉ’s Radio 1’s This Week.

“This is not what the vision of the Good Friday Agreement was about, it was about shared democracy which would build our peace process,” he said.

He added that it will have been 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement was developed this April, and asked all parties to make compromises.

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