Rev Brian Kennaway: ‘Kyle Paisley is wrong to say the Presbyterian moderator is travelling south at the invitation of the Pope’

May I take issue with some of the comments of (“Kyle Paisley: Protestant church leaders seem to be ashamed of their faith”, August 23)?

I note that Kyle states in reference to the Pope’s visit; “it is quite something else for Protestant church leaders, particular in the north, to run to meet him.”

May I respectfully point out that the “protestant church leaders” are leaders of all Ireland churches and are therefore not leaders ‘in the north’.  They are therefore not ‘running to meet him’.

It is also worth noting, in relation to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, that he is not ‘traveling south’, as he is the Moderator of an all Ireland church. According to the PCI website , “Presbyterian Moderator, Right Rev Dr Charles McMullen, has accepted an invitation from the Irish Government to the State reception it is holding for Pope Francis in Dublin Castle, on Saturday 25 August.”

The website also reveals Dr McMullen will also be present, at the personal invitation of Archbishop Eamon Martin, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, at the ‘Festival of Families’ in Croke Park that evening, which Pope Francis will attend.

Careful attention to the language quoted above will reveal that he has not been invited to meet the Pope. That is why the Moderator stated: “Should there be an opportunity to meet Pope Francis in Dublin Castle, I would also very much welcome that in the context of building good relations.”

Perhaps Kyle Paisley should spend his time sorting out the problems in his own denomination without concerning himself with what he perceives as the errors in others.

Brian Kennaway (Rev)


South Antrim

This letter appeared in the Belfast News Letter on Friday 24th August 2018