WASHINGTON (April 14, 1998) -- The chairman of the U.S. Bishops' International Policy Committee today hailed last week's Northern Ireland Agreement as "a way forward," and urged Americans to continue their support for those who are genuinely committed to a just and lasting peace in Ulster.
"The Northern Ireland Agreement is not a victory for one community over the other, it is a victory for dialogue over violence, accommodation over intransigence," said Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick of Newark. "It offers a way forward which respects the equal rights and legitimacy of nationalist and unionist, Catholics and Protestants alike."
The governments of Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, together with eight of the major political parties in Northern Ireland, concluded 21 months of negotiations last Friday with an agreement many hope will end 30 years of violence which has plagued the British province of Northern Ireland.
Archbishop McCarrick noted that serious challenges remain in getting the Agreement passed in simultaneous referenda in the Republic and in Northern Ireland, and in its ultimate implementation.
"Americans must continue to support those in Northern Ireland who are genuinely committed to realizing the more just and peaceful future it seeks to bring about," Archbishop McCarrick said of the Agreement. "Our prayers and hopes are with the all the people of Ireland as they face this momentous and promising choice."