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Archbishop welcomes Loyalist parade apology: The Church of England Newspaper, September 23, 2012 p 6. September 27, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland.
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Members of the Royal Black Institution parading in Lisburn in 2007

The Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Alan Harper, has welcomed the public statement of apology from a loyalist group that last month violated a Parades Commission order not to play music outside a Catholic Church in Belfast.

The Parades Commission had placed restrictions on the 25 August march of the Royal Black Institution after riots erupted on 12 July after loyalist band of the Orange Order played a sectarian song outside a Catholic Church.

The band of the Royal Black Institution ignored the ban and other bands, which were restricted to the playing of a single drum beat, also breached the ruling. This led to a sectarian confrontation which left seven police officers injured as they attempted to restore order.

Dr. Harper said he welcomed the statement of regret from the Royal Black Institution for “any offence caused to the clergy and parishioners of St Patrick’s Church last weekend and which states the desire for the Institution to play its part in a peaceful civic society. I also welcome the Institution’s request to meet with Protestant Church leaders such as myself as I believe that we must all engage in peaceful and constructive dialogue in our society. I trust that everyone respects cultural and religious freedom and that Christian people display respect, generosity and love to others.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.