a kinder, gentler Ian Paisley
Rev. Ian Paisley, that implacable foe of Catholic influence in Northern Ireland, has announced that it was a mistake to invite Pope Benedict XVI to visit Great Britain.
OK, that’s not really news. You didn’t expect to find Paisley on the welcoming committee, did you?
But notice the logic behind Paisley’s argument. He thinks it inopportune for the Pope to visit at a time when Irish priests who abused children are still engaged in priestly ministry. “That,” says Paisley, “is anti-Christ.”
Coming from any ordinary public figure, those would be strong words. But from Paisley they’re positively conciliatory. Remember that in 1988 the same Rev. Paisley told the European Parliament that the Pope is the Antichrist. Now he says that abusive priests are anti-Christ.
Chalk it up to ecumenical progress.
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