The Bishops of Connor and Down and Dromore have issued a joint statement in the wake of the violence which flared around City Hall on Monday December 3.
The Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor, and the Rt Rev Harold Millar, Bishop of Down and Dromore stated:
“How sad it was to see the violence which took place in different parts of Belfast last night during and after the meeting of Belfast City Council.
“Whether we agree with the decision to fly the Union Flag on designated days or not, no one has a right to react in ways which abuse or harm other human beings. The awfulness of the situation was heightened by the beauty of the Christmas lights and market on the other side of the City Hall.”
The statement continues: “The vast majority in Northern Ireland want this province to be the kind of place where all people and traditions are respected, and where there is a good future for our children. Violence like this does nothing to build that kind of community, and has nothing to offer our society. The strongly–held views of people are properly heard through the political process.
“Our prayer is that the peace of the Christ–child would speak more powerfully than anything else into our lives and communities at this time, and that healing would come into all the fear, bitterness and uncertainty which lies only just below the surface in our society.”