By a Staff Reporter
Cardinal Heenan gave a warning against apathy in England over "the tragedy of Northern Ireland" in his sermon last Sunday.
Speaking at a High Mass attended by the Irish Ambassador he said: "We must not allow ourselves to regard this tragic situation as just one of the facts of life.
"To us in England the tragedy of Northern Ireland has become one of the facts of life. We accept it as I imagine the Americans accepted Vietnam.
"it means reading in the paper about a bomb that maimed half-a-dozen people, about sectarian assassinations, about young soldiers being shot.
"We do well to ask what these news items mean in terms of flesh and blood. They mean perhaps that a poor young woman has lost her legs, that a wife has become a widow, that a family of children are now orphans.
"We read the paper and pass on to the next news item ... but the victims are affected for all time.
"There are few things clear in this desperate situation. One thing abundantly clear is that the only way to peace is through mutural love and respect between all citizens of Northern Ireland,
"They cannot undo the past or even forget it but they can surely agree that no people alive today are responsible for the tragedy. They have all inherited it. They are the heirs of their country's history. They must constantly remind themselves that nobody, Catholic or .Protestant, can hate his brother and claim the name of Christian.
"I commend the example of Judah in the Book of Genesis. He implored his brethren not to kill their brother Joseph. 'What profit is it,' he asked, `if we slay our brother and conceal his blood? He is our brother and our own flesh.'
"All who have died as a result of violence, Irish or English, Catholic or Protestant, all are our brothers, all are our flesh.
"Every citizen in Northern Ireland. apart from a few fanatics, is yearning for peace. It stands to reason that no normal person wants to perpetuate a state of affairs in which any day may bring death or disablement to members of his family. We must do everything in our power to restore conditions in which children can be safely reared.
"A number of organisations take mothers and children from violent areas for a holiday but this is no more than a palliative, It could even be dangerous if such organisations were to regard themselves as semipermanent.
"People thoughout these islands must become increasingly intolerant of those who refuse to accept peace save on their own terms. Whether they call themselves loyalists or republicans, unionists or nationalists they are all Irish men.
"There must be compromise. They have much to gain by peace and everything to lose by civil war. The misery of the poor can be removed only if the authorities can turn their attention from civic defence to social security.
"There is no difference
between a Catholic and a Protestant slum. There is no difference between a loyalist and a republican gunman. They, are both an abomination in a Christian country. It is the duty of all men and women of good will to isolate these enemies of peace and refuse them all cornfort.
"We must pray for the day when bombing will have ceased, when there will be no more internment without trial, no more fear of death among our young soldiers who have been sent to protect life in the Province."