Wednesday, March 3, 2010

British Loyalist Who Once Fought Catholics Embraces Catholicism

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) -- A member of a banned Loyalist paramilitary organization that waged a 30-year campaign of violence against Northern Ireland's Catholics has become a Catholic. The revelation that Ian Stewart, a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, is Catholic came in Belfast Crown Court Feb. 26 during the trial of nine men charged with murdering a fellow Loyalist paramilitary member. While the Ulster Volunteer Force is party to a cease-fire agreement, it claimed responsibility for the murder of 381 Catholics during a violent campaign against the minority Catholic community that began in 1965 and ended with the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. Stewart has turned government witness and is testifying at the trial. The court was told that Stewart, 35, became Catholic after receiving spiritual advice from Redemptorist priests at Clonard Monastery.

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