Bishop Paul Colton talks about historic commemoration and the journey to reconciliation

As part of the Journey in Self-belief project, the Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, has recently been interviewed by Paul McFadden, a former news anchor for BBC Radio and freelance journalist. The project was created by Maynooth University to encourage self-reflection in the Protestant community in Ireland. 

The Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton

Bishop Colton talks about commemorating events in Irish history from 100 years ago, drawing on his own experiences as a Protestant growing up in Cork, and on the extensive connections he has within the community he serves. 

He discusses how the close historical proximity to the decade of World War One and the War of Independence causes a ‘rawness still for some people’ and that an awareness for the sensitivity of the subject is essential. He also points out how far Cork has come in terms of ecumenism and that this decade of centenaries is an opportunity for remembrance and reconciliation.

Ecumenical and civic guests at the recent Centenary Service were (l-r) Archdeacon Adrian Wilkinson, Canon Dr Daniel Nuzum (Ecumenical Officer), Denise Gabuzda (Religious Society of Friends), Bishop Paul Colton, Stephen Murray (Cork Presbyterian Church), Dean Nigel Dunne, Councillor Colm Kelleher (Lord Mayor of Cork), the Reverend Andrew Robinson (Cork Methodist Church), Councillor Gillian Coughlan (Mayor of County Cork), Bishop Fintan Gavin, the Reverend Mike O’Sullivan (Cork Unitarian Church) and Sheila Robinson (Crucifer)

In this spirit, the Bishop explains how St Fin Barre’s Cathedral became a World War One remembrance space from 2014 to 2018 and how recently it was transformed into a neutral commemoration space as part of the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross’s ‘Centenaries, Commemoration and Reconciliation Project’.

At the end of the interview the Bishop says:

“Our population dropped very significantly in this centenary period that we’re talking about, but you’ve got to be what you are and fulfil the calling that you believe has been given to you, regardless of the numbers. And small numbers of people can do significant things and be part of a rich tapestry.”

You can read the full interview here

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