“The agony of Northern Ireland is one chapter of western civilization’s history without a happy ending,” observed United Press International writer Donal P. O’Higgins from Belfast, as religious woes on the troubled island continued to mount.
While Northern Ireland Protestant church leaders assailed the Roman Catholic hierarchy, the Catholics accused Protestant extremists of starting the violence by systematic attacks on Catholic neighborhoods. Meanwhile, mini-skirted Bernadette Devlin stumped for Catholic rights and pressed her plea for money and help with United Nations secretary general U Thant.
Ulster’s polarization has roots going back to the Reformation (see “John Bull’s Other Island,” page 9). In New York, Dr. William P. Thompson, United Presbyterian stated clerk, assured U.S. Catholic leaders that “American Catholics and Protestants are not divided” in their sorrow over the “tragic events.” (See editorial, page 33.)1
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