Political priorities should not come before peace – bishop

Churches have a specific responsibility to challenge political leaders to work for peace, according to Bishop Donal McKeown.

Celebrating Christian Unity Week at an inter-church gathering in Co. Derry, Bishop McKeown told those gathered “we are called to seek the Lord’s well springs, not to defend our well”.

The Bishop of Derry said there was a “huge thirst” in society for governance structures to work for the good of all, saying: “As Churches we have a specific opportunity and responsibility to speak to our political leaders and challenge them to work on behalf of us all.”

He noted that the Irish Churches Peace Project, now running two years, has piloted ways in which faith communities can come together “to tackle deep and controversial issues connected with the past”.

“If we are seen as being afraid or intimidated in this regard, then we will rightly fail to allow the Lord’s thirst for reconciliation to be sated,” he said.