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Paisley to hold talks today with Catholic Church leaders

Published 09/10/2006

DUP leader Ian Paisley is due to hold his first-ever official meeting with representatives of the Catholic Church today.

Dr Paisley is due to hold talks at Stormont with a church delegation led by Archbishop Sean Brady, the Catholic Primate of All-Ireland.

The highly significant meeting is one of a series that the DUP is holding with the North's churches.

No detailed statement is expected after the talks, which both sides say are private.

Dr Paisley has already said that his well-known criticism of Catholicism remains unchanged and today's meeting is not ecumenical in nature.

He is expected to tell the Catholic delegation that the DUP is in favour of power-sharing, but only when the party's conditions have been met.

He is also expected to demand that Catholics respect unionist's cultural expressions like Orange Order parades.

Other items on the agenda include combating sectarianism and racism and supporting the family based on marriage.

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