Saturday, September 27, 2008

Young Protestants reject segregation

Young Protestants in Border towns want to be educated with Catholics and make their contribution to the wider community, according to a new report.

The Church of Ireland report said: "Young people do not want to be segregated and indoctrinated, and would rather be educated together."

This dramatic finding is contained in 'Whatever You Say, Say Nothing', a broadbrush survey of young Protestants growing up in the Anglican diocese of Clogher -- which straddles counties Monaghan, Fermanagh and Tyrone, Donegal and Leitrim.

Welcoming its findings, Bishop Michael Jackson last night said the report, by researcher David Gardiner, would "resonate . . . into every corner of the Church of Ireland and beyond".

The project's director, the Reverend Earl Storey, said that a major aim of the report was to contribute to building a peaceful community in the diocese.

But the study also found a chasm between old and young, noting: "The present and future orientation of the young is seen as disrespectful and shallow by the old; while deference, respect and remembering of the old is seen as outdated, boring and redundant by the young."

The report, meanwhile, portrayed 'Border Protestants' as "reserved and careful with their emotions and money", and found a different "ethos, outlook, expectations and demeanour" among Protestants on either side of the Border.

The community in the North was seen as "harsher, more dogmatic and less forgiving" than "Protestants living inside the more tolerant and outward-looking Republic".

The report also found that Protestants wanted the Loyal Orange Orders to define their aims more clearly and to improve wider communication and understanding with their Catholic neighbours.

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Sotto Voce

(Source: II)

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