Wexford freedom honours ecumenical efforts


ECUMENISM was in evidence at the conferring on Saturday of the Freedom of Wexford on the Right Rev Noel Willoughby, the Bishop of Ferns.

The ceremony, organised by Wexford Corporation, took place in St Iberius Church, where Bishop Willoughby made his confirmation. He is the first Church of Ireland bishop to receive the Freedom.

The Mayor of Wexford, Mr Dominic Kiernan, presented Bishop Willoughby with the honour to mark his work in promoting ecumenism.

Bishop Willoughby, who is to retire next month, said it had been his good fortune to serve alongside Bishop Brendan Comiskey, and he thought the project for which they would be remembered most was the joint initiative on inter church marriages, and a structure of care for such families.

Ecumenism is determined "by the friendship which exists and is seen to exist between the bishops and the clergy", Dr Willoughby said. Bishop Comiskey said his colleague was held in affection and esteem.

In attendance were the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev Walton Empey, the US ambassador, Mrs Jean Kennedy Smith, and the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Brendan Lynch.