Irish Prelate Points to Peaceful Power of the Word

Archbishop of Armagh Addresses Synod

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 9, 2005 ( The Liturgy of the Word and the homily have the power to transform hatred into reconciliation, the primate of Ireland told the Synod of Bishops.

«On so many occasions of great tragedy and violence,» Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, said, «the power of the Word and the homily to transform attitudes of anger, vengeance and retaliation into events of reconciliation, forgiveness and healing, has been both humbling and inspiring.»

He noted how the common language of the peace process, which recently led to the Irish Republican Army laying down it weapons, showed biblical roots with words such as justice, peace and forgiveness.

«A historic moment in that political process has been achieved with the decommissioning of weapons by the largest paramilitary organization,» the Irish prelate said Saturday.

Archbishop Brady recalled that «two clergymen who have worked for many years to promote dialogue and reconciliation, a former president of the Methodist church and a Redemptorist priest, were asked to witness the act of decommissioning.»

«This was, perhaps, among other things, an acknowledgment of the role played by ministers of the Word of God in creating the conditions for reconciliation and peace,» he added. «It attests to the power of the Word, under the action of the Holy Spirit, to make all things new.»

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