Dr Eames urges unity in diversity


ARCHBISHOP Robin Eames called last night for the creation of a situation in Northern Ireland in which there would be unity in diversity.

The Church of Ireland Primate, in a lecture to sixth formers of grammar schools in the Omagharea of Co Tyrone, urged people to replace their old perceptions of each other with a new sense of realism.

He said the wedding of party politics and religious identity had produced thought forms which could be extremely partisan. It also allowed outsiders "to conclude that we are engaged in some sort of religious conflict".

Dr Eames condemned sectarianism as a "corrosive and devastating influence". It led to a legitimacy of violence which was blasphemous. And it led to political activity which placed many social needs too far down the list of priorities.

The unity he called for was "not necessarily a unity in which we will all think alike about religion or politics." But it would be a state in which what united would be more important than what divided, and the respect for different traditions would be shown in practical ways.