Gerry Adams Tells Vatican His Side of Ulster Peace Process

Sinn Fein Leader Acknowledges Churches´ Contributions

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 21, 2002 ( Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams gave the Vatican his version of the progress in Northern Ireland´s peace process.

According to a Vatican press statement, Adams was received today by Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican secretary for relations with states.

“Emphasizing the progress achieved, Mr. Adams insisted on the need to accelerate the rhythm of the different stages of the peace process, in order to attain peace based on justice as soon as possible,” Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls explained in the statement.

“Mentioning, afterward, the violence that still characterizes the life of that people, he made reference to the important contribution offered by the Catholic Church, and Christian Churches in general, to develop and promote a pedagogy of peace,” the Vatican text continues.

“Finally, it was agreed that to give due consideration to regional identities in the process of European integration might certainly contribute to a lasting peace in Northern Ireland,” Navarro-Valls´ statement concluded.

Over the past 19 years, Adams has become the leader of Northern Ireland´s Republican Movement. Although he is president of Sinn Fein — regarded as the political arm of the outlawed Irish Republican Army — Adams has always denied he is a member of that terrorist group.

In March, however, a convicted IRA bomber Dolours Price described Adams as “my commanding officer” in 1973 when she planted explosive devices at targets in London, the Telegraph newspaper reported. In April, Adams turned down an invitation to a U.S. congressional hearing on links between the IRA and Colombia´s FARC rebels.

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