Ireland’s Presbyterian leader to meet pope

meet pope

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has agreed its moderator should meet Pope Francis when he visits Ireland.

At the Presbyterian General Assembly which met in Belfast last week, delegates voted to allow moderator Rev. Dr Charles McMullen to meet the pope when he attends World Meeting of Families events in Dublin on August 25th and 26th.

Traditionally the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the largest Protestant denomination in Northern Ireland, has been most opposed to Catholicism and its leadership.

Prior to the Assembly McMullan had said, “It all depends on what our Church decides, and I don’t want to be presumptuous to expect an invitation.

“Personally speaking, I would have no hesitation in meeting him”.

McMullen was educated at Omagh Academy, then at Trinity College Dublin.

He also studied at St Anthony’s College in Oxford.

McMullen told the Presbyterian Herald that his time in Dublin and Oxford made him realise “that there were Christians in the world other than Presbyterians.

“It had a whole widening influence on me”.

The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has also loosened ties with the Church of Scotland over the latter’s moves towards recognising same-sex marriage.

Generally recognised as the mother church of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the Church of Scotland has instructed officials to consider changes to its laws to allow its ministers to preside at same-sex-marriage ceremonies.

The proposal to end the relationship was passed by 255 to 171.

Rev. Dr George Whyte, the principal clerk of the Church of Scotland, was attending with its moderator, the Right Rev. Susan Brown.

After the decision was made they said they we have no choice but to leave.

They were both visibly upset and immediately left the assembly hall.


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