Rev Alan Boal is a Presbyterian minister in Findlater’s church in north inner city Dublin – very close to the scene of the latest killing in a feud between two families from the area.
Because of this he says that the Pope’s call to gangland criminals and organised crime bosses in this “Jubilee Year of Mercy” speaks to him as a minister. He also talks about the importance of mercy saying that “Mercy is not what I deserve, but rather a surprising thing that I desperately need.”
The concept of the ‘Jubilee’ is also very important for Presbyterians. It’s based on the Old Testament custom of the cancellation of debts and releasing of prisoners every fifty years – a way of breaking the cycle of poverty and restoring peace, harmony and a community of equals in a society that may have become divided by injustice and greed. He explains more to Pat.