Archbishop Harper: “…personal attacks on members of the CGP team benefit no one”

Interesting intervention from Alan Harper, the Anglican Archbishop of Armagh who takes the Church of Ireland Gazette to task for its editorial criticism of the Eames Bradley report. The Archbishop’s statement is as follows:

I wish to disassociate myself entirely from the sentiments expressed in the most recent Editorial of the Church of Ireland Gazette in respect of the Revd Dr Lesley Carroll and Mr Denis Bradley.

The Gazette enjoys complete editorial freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility. The Gazette also claims the name of the Church of Ireland: therefore the Church has a right to expect that opinions offered under a Church of Ireland masthead shall be expressed responsibly and respectfully, especially when referring to named individuals.

The personal slight on Dr Carroll and Mr Bradley was gratuitous. I regret that such discourtesy has become associated with the Church of Ireland and apologise to them for it. They are honourable and highly respected people with many friends throughout Ireland and indeed the Church of Ireland.

The report of the Consultative Group on the Past, which featured in the discussion on BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence programme on Sunday 12 June, whether subsequently side-lined or rejected, was a brave and principled attempt by courageous people, including its co-chair, Lord Eames, to provide a foundation for the way in which society in Ireland might begin to address one of the most significant and difficult issues of our time: that of dealing with the painful legacy of the past.

The report divided opinion and it has not been followed by substantive action, but personal attacks on members of the CGP team benefit no one.

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