In response to the announcement today of Archbishop Alan Harper’s intention to retire, please see below the statement by Cardinal Seán Brady, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh:
“I have known Archbishop Alan Harper since he was Bishop of Connor. Since his election as Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh in 2007 I have enjoyed the warmest of friendships with Alan and his wife Helen, who have been the most hospitable of neighbours. I have always appreciated their wisdom, support and deeply held Christian values.
“In addition to his international role in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Harper has made a significant contribution to society in Ireland – North and South. His personal compassion, and commitment to social justice, has exemplified his resolute response to the crisis facing our people in recent years: his support for the quality of family life, the disadvantaged, and the unemployed.
“No doubt part of Archbishop Harper’s pastoral legacy will include his contribution to the very positive and strong relationships which exist today between the Christian Churches on the island, and, to the continued progress of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
“I wish Archbishop Alan, Helen, their four children and grandchildren every good wish and blessing for the future.”