Dean dreams of a common bond


The Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Rev John Paterson, has said that his dream for the churches in Ireland is that "we'll learn to recognise how much we have in common, rather than always needing to emphasise how much we differ from each other".

At the annual citizenship service in the cathedral, which was attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Joe Doyle, he said: "Our churches too often want every detail to be neat and tidy in our confessional documentation.

"Everybody wants to check everybody else's ecclesiastical credentials before they'll even sit down together as a family."

He described as "refreshing" comments made by the President, Mrs McAleese, in an interview with the Church Times.

In the interview Mrs McAleese had said: "I'm comfortable with different people's very different relationship with God . . . and think that's always been respected in Celtic spirituality. "It hasn't tried to bludgeon people with `Here is God. He's this shape, and you have to conform.' "