Gaza/Israel: Brief cessation of conflict welcomed

25.11.2023 | Moderator, Church in Society, Statements, Church leaders


Members of the Church Leaders’ Group (Ireland) have warmly welcomed the cessation of armed conflict in Gaza and Israel, notwithstanding its temporary nature. 

Deeply mindful of the immense pain and hurt being experienced by so many on all sides, they prayed for all those impacted by the terrible war and violence in the region.  The Church Leaders called on everyone who has influence to work earnestly for a lasting peace, for the release of all hostages, and to enable essential humanitarian aid to reach all those who are in such desperate need of help.

The Church Leaders Group (Ireland) comprises the Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates of all Ireland, the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, the President of the Methodist Church in Ireland and the President of the Irish Council of Churches (ICC). The churches are all-Ireland denominations with congregations situated across the whole of the island of Ireland, while the ICC is an all-Ireland representative church body.

The Group came into existence in the late 1960s when the Church Leaders recognised the value in working together in light of the urgency of political developments of the time. Since then, those holding these offices have met frequently, united in their identity as disciples of Jesus and their shared commitment to work together for the common good.

Present at the meeting were: Archbishop Eamon Martin, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland; Archbishop John McDowell, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland; Rev David Turtle, President of the Methodist Church in Ireland. The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt Rev Dr Sam Mawhinney is currently on a 15 day visit to Kenya.

Rev Trevor Gribben, General Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland; Dr Damian Jackson, General Secretary of the Irish Council of Churches; Rev Dr Heather Morris, General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Ireland; Monsignor Joe McGuinness, General Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference; and, Very Rev Shane Forster, Church of Ireland Dean of Armagh, were also present at the meeting.

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