Church leaders call for respect in Brexit debate

Archbishop Eamon Martin was among the senior clerics who issued a statement on Brexit. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

IRELANDS church leaders have called on politicians and "others who give leadership" to "weigh their words carefully" when discussing the outcome of Brexit.

In a joint statement last night, senior clerics representing the Catholic Church, Church of Ireland, Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church, and the Irish Council of Churches

said relations between north and south, and between the Republic and Britain had "improved and deepened immeasurably" over recent decades.

The church leaders said it was important to acknowledge the legitimate aspirations both of those who voted to leave the European Union and those who voted to remain.

"We also pray at this time that the inevitable tensions, which the Brexit negotiations and their outworking will entail, will not be allowed to undermine the quality of relationships and mutual understanding which are both so important in enabling all of us to work together for the common good," they said.

"In this context, we particularly want to encourage public representatives, and all others who give leadership in our society, to weigh their words carefully, to respect the integrity of those who conscientiously differ from them and to speak with grace."

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