Orange challenged to lift ban on attending Catholic services…

THE Orange Order has been challenged to ‘ditch a longstanding ban preventing its members from taking part in Roman Catholic services’, according to the News Letter. A correspondent writing in the newsletter associated with Dublin and Wicklow Orange Order LOL 1313 wrote: The special place of the Roman Catholic Church in the constitution has gone. Is it not time to remove from the ‘Qualification of an Orangeman’ those references to our Roman Catholic fellow subjects of both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic? References which they find offensive and many of us anachronistic. What better way to change without compromise than to return to the original qualifications? In doing so we would be displaying to the world that we still hold dear our Protestant principles. More than that we would be practising the instructions of scripture, on which our order is founded. The Irish News recalls how Orange spokesman David Jones called for David Trimble’s expulsion from the Order after he attended the funeral of a child killed in a Real IRA bombing. Interestingly, while googling on the subject, it seems that the Grand Orange Lodge of England’s Qualifications do not specifically prohibit attendance at Catholic services in the way the Orange Institution in Ireland does.