The Co–Chairs of the Irish Inter–Church Meeting are saddened to hear of the death of Bishop Anthony Farquhar on Friday.
Bishop Tony has made an inestimable contribution to the relations between the Churches in Ireland over more than 30 years, not only in his contributions to documents, debates and dialogues, but also, and perhaps more significantly, in his warmth, love and prayers for his brothers and sisters across the Churches in Ireland.
As Archbishop Eamon Martin wrote in his tribute to Bishop Tony:
I am convinced that Bishop Tony’s positive, endearing and sincere personality helped immensely to build and sustain ecumenical relationships in Ireland, Britain and beyond.1
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Ballymascanlon talks, which led to the establishment of the Irish Inter–Church Meeting. Bishop Tony served on its committee for more than half of that time. He was Chair of the Commission on Ecumenism of the Bishops’ Conference for many years, responsible for oversight of the Bishops’ ecumenical engagement.
In addition to his commitment to inter–church relations and reconciliation on the island of Ireland, he was also appointed to the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM), and the Dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC), as Roman Catholic Co–Chairman.
In 2008 his ecumenical work was acknowledged on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of his ordination as Bishop. in an ecumenical Festschrift – ‘Inter–Church Relations, Developments and Perspectives– a Tribute to Bishop Anthony Farquhar’, edited by current IICM Co–Chair Bishop Brendan Leahy. It included contributions from leading ecumenists in these islands and around the world including a contribution by Cardinal Walter Kasper.
He will be greatly missed by all in the Irish Inter–Church Committee and on behalf of the committee members the Co–Chairs would like to express their condolences to his family and friends.
– Bishop Brendan Leahy, IICM Co–Chair
– Bishop Andrew Forster, ICC President and IICM Co–Chair