Apparently Lá Nua broke this story on 11th July, and published a response from the Orange Order on 7th August. “Members of the Orange Order belong to the Institution because they are firmly committed to their Reformed Protestant Faith and in a world where secular values are changing the societies in which we live, our faith is important to us.”
A senior member of the Orange Order said to Lá Nua; They might think they are being smart issuing that type of answer but it is showing that they are burying their heads in the sand. Many members have been very positive about the suggestion internally but nothing has happened at an official level yet”
A spokesman for the Order said that we’re a pro-Protestant organisation, not an anti-Catholic one, we’re an All-Ireland body and we have members in nine counties in the Republic.
The source in the Order said that the rules existed because Catholicism was a threat to Protestantism in Ireland historically, but that those days were long gone now. Ireland has changed so the Orange Order should change too, he said.
Given the tendency of some senior unionist politicians to play close to the Pope Benedict’s Un-Enlightenment line on scientific thought, the old fracture lines have less resonance today more than ever?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty