WASHINGTON (October 25, 2001) -- Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston today hailed the "decommissioning" of arms by the Provisional Irish Republican Army and said the action "gives new life to the cause of a just peace in Northern Ireland."
Cardinal Law is the chairman of the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The full text of his statement follows:
"The Provisional IRA's decision to begin decommissioning its weapons is a major step forward, a step which gives new life to the cause of a just peace in Northern Ireland.
"I pray that the IRA will be joined by other paramilitaries in proceeding with full decommissioning, and that all parties will fulfill their obligations under the Good Friday Agreement. I join Archbishop Sean Brady, President of the Irish Episcopal Conference, in the hope that, 'in light of this development, all the parties involved will renew their commitment to work for a consolidation of the peace process and a better future for all the people of Northern Ireland.'
"I commend those whose patient, persistent pursuit of peace, sometimes at great risk to themselves, have brought us to this point."