Christian voices 2004

Archbishop Sean Brady speaks out on Racism in Northern Ireland

The number of incidents against people from other countries is shameful. Of course it is linked to our reluctance to welcome difference whether it is different religion, different race or different colour of skin. Racism is a disgrace wherever it happens, especially when followers of Christ do it, but it is part of this fear of people who are different and a lack of appreciation of their dignity in the sight of God. … We have to try and change attitudes and improve our appreciation of the value of every human being. In God’s eyes we are equal. We are not the same – or else the world would be very boring – but we are equal in dignity.

From an interview with Anna Rankin, editor of Lion & Lamb in December 2004. Article in full

‘Silent Racism’ in the Church
Former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Dr Ken Newell wrote:

It would be wrong to exaggerate the overt racism in our community … but there is a silent racism just under the surface. Recently some Indian friends phoned me in distress. They had gone to live in one of our neatly-kept villages. They told me that in the previous 18 months nobody had knocked their door to welcome them to the neighbourhood. I had encouraged them to visit local churches, naively convinced that they would receive a warm welcome. ‘We tried that, Ken.’ They said. ‘We visited the Presbyterian church, the Church of Ireland, the Catholic church and a few others, but nobody said hello or asked us how we were. Even the ministers were disinterested, except for one.’ Eventually they asked a man in a local shop why people were distant. ‘I don’t like to say this to your face,’ he replied, ‘but you’re black and people round here don’t like black people.’ Their final question still haunts me, ‘Why are church people here so cold towards my wife and me? They’re our brothers and sisters. Aren’t they?’

Lion & Lamb, Autumn 2004. Article in full

Ministry for a Multicultural Church
Robert Schreiter, CPPS addresses the challenge for the Catholic Church in the USA of ‘ministry to an increasingly complex tapestry of peoples from many different cultures’ in a paper entitled ‘Ministry for a Multicultural Church’
Access the paper here: