Nowhere like home

So here we are back in Donegal.  It is part of the Irish Republic while being geographically north of Belfast.  The car registrations outside and the accents inside our favourite restaurant are all Northern Irish.  By the way, it’s The Mill, Dunfanaghy. Derek and Susan who own it are Gleneagles trained and it is outstanding.  Dunfanaghy has a bit of the character of Portadown Sur Mer – so we can check out the progress of the parish under its new management without having to go there.  Our daily dose of the Irish Times tunes us in to the realities of Irish life.  Horrific road death statistics for one.  A big slice of the front page today reports concern by the Catholic and Church of Ireland Primates about a concelebrated Mass involving three Roman Catholic and one Church of Ireland priests last Sunday.  Archbishop Brady said that there was, ‘a real danger of causing widespread confusion, raising false hopes and creating situations that are open to misunderstandings and manipulation.’  The dilemma is that there are rules.  To break them doesn’t actually change anything.  I remember visiting the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation in Belfast – an ecumenical religious community.  They did not practise inter-communion – deciding not to take to themselves freedoms which were not available to others outside their community.  And yet – one wonders whether, after decades of failure to make significant ecumenical progress in areas such as this, there will be any change unless people break the rules.  Could it be a WWJD issue?

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