Thursday 6 September 2012

Royal Black Institution issues apology

In an open letter published today the Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution there is an apology to the parishioners of St., Patricks on Donegall Street, North Belfast.

"Through its stand for the Reformed Christian Faith, the Royal Black Institution has doctrinal differences with the Roman Catholic Church but we want to make it absolutely clear that the anger of the Royal Black Institution is not directed at St Patrick’s Church. We apologise for any offence to the clergy and parishioners of St Patrick’s Church. 

"We have always had good lines of communication with the Roman Catholic Church and we would intend to continue to maintain and consolidate these, away from the public gaze"

The bulk of the letter is a tirade against the Parades Commission, but the way it says things like putting the word 'contentious' like that inside emphasis while at the same time apologising does seem to somewhat fail to see that there was contentious elements to that route in light of what a band representing another Loyal Order did the month before. 

While the apology is welcome the way it is phrased in this letter does somewhat detract from it. The fact is that someone is apologising for causing offense on a parade under his control, then attacking the Parade's Commission who came up with a ruling only affecting 200m of that route, which that parade then decided it couldn't be bothered to uphold. If the parade marshalls had done so the apology would not have been made and North Belfast would not have been a tinder box in recent days.

Maybe before the Loyal Orders do attack the Parade's Commission they really should look at the specks in their own eyes first. If they can control their own parades and respect those residents that maybe they have to pass by there will be less contentious decisions that have to be made as a consensus will have been reached. Through that dialogue that takes place away from the public gaze.

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