Orange Divided Spotlight

Orange Divided

Examining the controversy surrounding an Orange Order complaint against UUP leader Tom Elliott and Danny Kennedy for attending the funeral mass of Ronan Kerr.

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Remembrance Day is a significant date in the Orange Order Callander


and its members of paying tribute to those who died in war and


conflict. We are here Mac today to remember


the fallen and pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate truck - Max


sacrifice, Protestants, a Roman Catholics and those of any faith.


But the Orange Order pozmack historic views on Catholicism


continued debate. According to the brawls of the Orange Order, the


Orangemen must oppose the fatal - marked the doctrines of the romance


that -- the Roman Catholic Church. But when Monica became one of the


fallen, murdered by Republican dissidents, whose death caused


widespread revulsion and United the community. The G A A, of which he


was a member, and the police took turns carrying his coffin. The


funeral was attended by the First and Deputy First Ministers. Also


them acquire the Ulster Unionist leader Tom Eliot and his senior


call-up - my colleague Danny Kennedy. As Orangemen, they might


have been expected to stay away from a Catholic service but perhaps


as a sign of how modern Ireland has changed would put their desire to


one of Monica first. - Mark Blake puts their desire to on a Roman


curve. I do not think it is a sin to go to the funeral off somebody


who served in my constituency. Mac in Fermanagh, Tom Elliott


pozmack home county, clerical access book Women To was symbolic


of a new generation, looking to the future. He was a young man who held


on to his culture but could see the way Northern Ireland was heading


and he joins the PSNI and he was fingered for that. Despite the


shared grief of the funeral, which employs some Orangemen condemned


men Mac for attending the mass. The criticism was followed by official


complaints which meant they faced being thrown out of the Orange


Order. But tonight we can reveal that Sandy Row was not be on the


lodge to complain. Almost a dozen letters of concern were received.


We pray for the PSNI and all putting their lives at risk from


IMAX security. The Orange Order expressed its sympathy to the


family mac family. I repeat that According to its role, and orange


man cannot participate in an act of Roman worship. The reason for this


is a view the mass as blasphemous. In a recent article in the border


macro's newspaper, its grand chaplain called the mass a mockery


of common sense. And now we come to the lovely part of the Eucharist


were we offer our gift to God. They've become the body and blood


When the priest says the way for will become the actual flesh of


Christ, in that sense we do not believe as Protestants that that


happens in the service. I have no problem with the Orange Order


holding whatever beliefs they want to hold but applied to have a


problem with them at judging the central act of worship in my face.


And using awful words like blasphemous. It absolutely makes me


totally dead and sad inside, because I do not think that is


respectful, I do not think it is of this era. But not all Orangemen


take the view that they cannot attend the mass. Some believe that


as long as you do not participate there is no harm in being present


to pay respect. This is Tyrone MLA Ross Hussey, who also went to the


murdered men' funeral mass. -- man's. I went to pay respects to


the mat -- the family of a murdered police officer and I think anybody


in the same circumstances would see no logical reason why I should not


have done. I was proud to be there as a former police officer. We have


learnt that Ross Hussey is not alone in his views. Lord Trimble


was once the hero of Orangemen after he helped negotiate our way


down their Garvaghy Road in 1995. - - a way. But when he was Ulster


Unionist leader he also faced the threat of being expelled from the


order when he went to two masses for the victims of the Omagh bomb.


It was absolutely clear once that terrible event had happened that I


should go. There are circumstances when it is one's duty as a gritters


-- Christian and even as a politician to go to services in


other churches. No complaint was made against Ross Hussey and he


believes Sandy Row Orangemen should examine their own actions and not


those of his party colleagues. should look to their own conscience


and their own Christian values. This was a man who died serving his


country. I can't see the logic of the complaint. Of course, for those


who do not share the Order's views of the Mass, this may seem very


strange. But to Orangemen it is vitally important. Here is the


crucial point. Stars attending a mass mean you are participating in


it? -- dos attending. The official line is clear, once you cross the


threshold of a church you are taking part in it blasphemous act.


A Roman Catholic funeral Mass or a Roman Catholic wedding mass is in


the first instance an act of worship. That is what it is.


Therefore, unless you're going to worship you have to ask yourself


why am I there? But David Trimble and Ross Hussey say they were in


the Catholic Church as a mark of respect, not to participate in the


mass. I attended an act of Christian worship, I did not


participate in the Roman Catholic communion. The Lord's Prayer is


said in a Roman Catholic Church and in the Church I went to add my


mother's knee. Did you feel that going to the mass had any


implications be a Protestant faith? No. Why? It doesn't. I was there to


show respect to the deceased. It was an entirely appropriate context.


Last month, Tom Elliott's Lodge of Fermanagh and dank -- Danny


Kennedy's Lodge held a hearing into the complaint. At the secret


meeting in Portadown, both politicians and members of Sandy


Row were present to put their case. Tom Elliott and Danny Kennedy had


hoped this would clarify that the rule on participation does not bar


and orange man from attending a mass. -- and Orangeman. Do you


think the role will change in some way? I think it will be clarified


and it will be a landmark judgment. But the counties decided the case


was not proven, giving no clarification on the role of


attending Mass. -- that rule. Over 40 years the -- 40 years ago the


Orange Order was told that members could attend after Phelim O'Neill


and RJH Cramsie attended a mass. This is a legal opinion that the


Orange Order sort back again. It reveals that as senior barrister


took the view that the wording about participating in a mass did


not ban an Orangeman from going into the mass, it only was a ban on


participating. But when we asked the deputy grandmaster about this


legal opinion he still insisted that Orangemen are not allowed to


attend Mass. Are you aware of the legal opinion


from 1967? It says that the rules do not say that you cannot attend.


An Orangeman should not countenance by his presence or otherwise any


act or sermon of Roman Catholic worship. I think in plain man's


English that is clear enough. has been the perception but


according to this legal opinion it is the wrong perception. I do not


agree with it. As a former lawyer, David Trimble says this rule on pot


is a patient is a bad role in more ways than one. I think it is


deliberately ambiguous because the Orange Order at might get


difficulty getting agreement on a clear of rule, but they should have


a rule that makes it clear. tonight spotlight can also revealed


that the threat to expel Danny Kennedy and Tom Elliott has not


gone away. There is a pit -- an appeal against the "not proven"


decision. This is Sandy Row Lodge parading in Belfast two weeks ago


on Reformation Day, a celebration Some observers believe the


complaint exposes another divide between what is in some cases a


hardline wing of the Order in the towns and cities and a more


moderate outlook in Green Cross Code Man areas. Jon Tongue, the


author of a recent book on the Orange Order, believes the division


is mocked. The Orange Order is divided. In rural areas they are


benign and charitable. In urban areas, there is a harder line. They


have lost a lot of members, so they are more hardline.


But a lot of what goes on in the halls is so sure. At this event in


the countryside outside Lisburn, old-time dancing classes take place


to a well executed beat and it is a scene repeated up and down the


country. Brian Kennaway is a former convenor of the Grand Lodge of


Ireland and has also written about the Orange Order. He says many


people in the countryside have adopted a different attitude to


their hard line counterpart in the towns and cities. People in rural


Ulster, like Tom Eliot, they take an ambivalent attitude and feel


that, well, it is a mark of respect and I should go to the funeral or


mass for my friend. That would present no real difficulties.


former republican prisoner, Sean Murray now works to result parading


issues. He says his view of the Orange Order, collared by


experiences of contentious marches in Belfast, changed when he


accepted invitations to parade in the countryside. I found it a very


rewarding experience because it gave me another insight, another


image of what Orange Order's represent. It did not present any


threat to me. But the key division in the Order is not between town


and country. It between modernisers who wish to add that the


organisation to the 21st century and Conservatives, who believe


change is a threat to their core religious beliefs. And tonight we


can rebuild this division goes to the heart of the Order. Even


splitting its seven senior chaplains. We know that four of


them, including Alastair Smith, do not believe that Orangemen should


go to Catholic Mass. The roles were revised in 2008. There was no


attempt whatsoever to change the rules, their top that suggests to


me that in fact this is a fallacy. This is something that has been


blown out of all proportion by a few. However, Spotlight has learned


that a letter demanding a review of the Rolls has been drafted. --


roles. It is being voted on tonight in Tom Kennedy's area. That is one


of the problems of the Orange Order. It is split between modernisation


and the traditionalists. There are debates whether they should be the


branded, whether they should liberalise. The Orange Order is not


split asunder, but there are serious divisions. It will not


cause a split. This perhaps is part of the fear, that if they deal with


that issue, it will cause a split. But by not dealing with it, they


are haemorrhaging. Whether the issue will cause a split is not


certain. What is clear that two high-profile figures in a political


party feel unable to speak out. We asked Tom Eliot and Danny Kennedy


several times to speak about their feelings on the mass brawls. But we


-- mass brawls. We know they want to see it change.


Why is it that you are effectively gagging Tom Eliot and Danny Kennedy


and will not let them talk to us? Every organisation, when there are


issues to be discussed, appoint a spokesman to discuss the matter and


I am the guy in the hot seat today. I have been asked by the Crown


officers of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland to be the on this


particular issue. But you are stifling other Orangemen. It is not


for the World at large. It has to be dealt with internally, within


the family. So what happens now? Brian Kennaway says it's a question


of whether the modernisers are prepared to force it through the


roles on attending Mass. There is this opposition to change.


One of the proverbs that are quoted his medal not with men that are


given to change. Any threat of change is seen as a compromise and


so it is difficult to pursue change at that level in the Grand Order.


The majority would have been sympathetic to change, but it is


just getting the courage to stand up and say that and produce the


change. But there are those who feel the debate should be less


about modernisers and traditionalists and more a matter


of common sense. Do you think there will be a difficulty because you


had a broad church wing and an evangelical wing? A I would not


lose those terms. I do not think that is the right-eyed dichotomy.


The few a person of principle, then you add here to your principles.


if you are a person of principle then you will stick to your


principles. Anyone can express a private opinion. If they want to


test the water, test the water. We are a democratic organisation and


we are willing to discuss things. We have nothing to hide. It is here


and take Grand Lodge officers meeting that Orange Order at


Business is discussed. They like to do things in private, but for the


first time, they have allowed a camera into one of their meetings.


I need to check if I have some devotional responsibilities. Some


commentators suggest that behind closed doors, or Grand lodges are


walking a tightrope between the modern and conservative wings. --


the Grand Lodge. They claim that whilst it is preoccupy papering


over the cracks, it is failing to adapt to changing times.


biggest threat to the Orange Order does not come from expansive Roman


Catholicism, it is from secularism. People are moving away from


religion. The Orange Order and need to stay relevant in a society where


we are less God-fearing than in the past. It is one of the problems of


the Orange Order in the 21st century. They have identified their


own enemy and they are fighting their own battle. They still see


the enemy as Catholicism, nationalism, republicanism. The


real threat is secularism and the modern society. For those hoping to


see a modernised Orange Order, the fundamental problem remains. A


recent survey of Orange men show differing of public people.


majority of Orange Order members believe that it is anti- Roman


Catholic Church. It is difficult to escape that charge. The Orange


Order was set up partly to oppose the false doctrines of the Church


of Rome. It says it is the responsibility of Orange Order


members to treat Catholics with respect. Ultimately, we do not like


your church, but we treat our Catholic neighbours courteously.


The challenges which modern life posed to the Order were underlined


last month by the announcement that the better that rain will now be


allowed to marry a Catholic. It was probably no surprise that the


institution last weekend protested against this decision. The problem


for the audit is that whilst in his life to the Crown, it does not


allow its own members to marry Catholics. But again, the Orange


Order plays down the development. do not think that does present a


challenge to the Orange Order because, of course, the monarch


will still be a member, be required to be a member of the Church of


England. That is not going to change. There is a problem though.


You can have a monarch married to a Catholic... A I am saying from a


political point of view, that scenario you are describing is very


far from ideal. -- IM. So you still give your loyalty to the monarchy


is married to a Catholic? position within the Orange Order is


we support the monarch being a So what does the future hold for


the Orange Order? There are fewer young people joining the Order.


Overall, numbers are down from 100,000 in the 1960s to around


35,000 today. Whilst they are seen to be many who look to the order


for their social life, the rules on Catholicism, the negative images of


the Order and the advance of secular life have all been blamed


for the fall in membership. Grand Lodge has tried to address this by


turning the 12th into a friendlier tourist attraction and the Order


has a Skene reaching out to Catholic schools. -- a scheme.


But it is clear that at the top, attitudes to the mass remain


unchanged. At fact that was made clear when the Grand Master spoke


to us on Remembrance Day. Grand Master, a word. And for that first


time, he publicly revealed his stance on attending Mass. Have you


been into a mass yourself? I have not. Could you explain why it not?


Well, the reason I do not vote and mass is because of the theological


differences between the Roman Catholic faith and a were faith. --


and our faith. Does that caused problems for you, in terms of your


friendships with a Catholic? Not a tour. We have a healthy respect for


each other. And you do not feel it is disrespectful not to go to the


mass? I do not. What about other Orangemen who go it into mass?


there is up to them. I am not prepared to answer for them. They


have to answer for themselves. Would you like to see things


changed to reflect that? It is an internal matter and I am not


prepared to discuss it. But don't you pick it is an idea to change


the rules. It is up to our membership. But Father D'Arcy it


says -- says removing a ban on Orangemen going into mass would do


more for the Order than any PR exercise. I say if you can change


it, do so as soon as possible. Shaun Murray says that his view is


echoed by Republicans. Changing the mass a role could be the first


small step towards dealing with issues such as contentious parades.


I think it is incumbent on the Orange Order to make us understand


exactly what the Order is and what it represents an what represents in


a modern society. But Alastair Smith says it will be an internal


matter Orangemen alone. He suggests that things will not change easily.


If people want to express concern about the ball, they have an


opportunity to do so. -- about the roles. Remember, our qualifications


are based on God's Word and God's work does not change. For Ross


Hussey and other Orangemen the message is clear. A I say to them,


I was right to go. So you would risk expulsion again? If someone is


prepared to lay down their life for the people of Northern Ireland, I


am prepared to go to the funeral, but I hope I never have to do it a


gain. So what of the Orange Order's role on participation in the mass?


In the last half a century, 66 Orangemen had been expelled for


going into a Catholic Church and over 200 have been forced out for


Stephen Dempster examines the controversy surrounding an Orange Order complaint against UUP leader Tom Elliott and colleague Danny Kennedy for attending the funeral mass of murdered Catholic policeman Ronan Kerr.

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