Ian Paisley and the Pope

To Break Bread

Were the Pole to visit Northern Ireland next April as suggested, Ian Paisley as First Minister could hardly fail to greet him as representative of the people of Northern Ireland as a whole. If this happens it will represent an even more extraordinary transformation on the Part of Ian Paisley than his transmogrification to date into a man of peace. Repeatedly through his career he has denounced the Roman Pontiff, most spectacularly at the European parliament in 1988, when Pope Paul II was addressing MEPs. He shouted at the Pope: "I renounce you as the Antichrist!" and held up a red poster reading "POPE JOHN PAUL II ANTICHRIST" in black letters. The Pope reacted with faint amusement, and continued with his address after Ian Paisley was ejected from the auditorium. The scene is available on UTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gdREMz_w9I