Incoming DUP chief Edwin Poots has refused to be drawn on whether or not he could be prepared to attend Mass if invited.
r Poots is a member of the Orange Order which forbids members from collaborating in Catholic ceremonies.
Nonetheless, earlier DUP leaders have lately steered the celebration away from this hardline angle.
If he accepted an invite from the Catholic church he could be following within the footsteps of his two predecessors.
Peter Robinson attended the funeral Mass of murdered Catholic PSNI officer Constable Ronan Kerr on the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Beragh, Co Tyrone in April 2011.
It was the primary time a DUP chief had attended a Catholic Mass.
It was additionally the primary time any Taoiseach had attended the funeral of a PSNI officer.
In March 2017, Arlene Foster was applauded as she entered Derry’s Lengthy Tower church for the Requiem Mass of former Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.
Mrs Foster later revealed she “misplaced buddies over going” to the funeral however nonetheless believed “it was the precise factor to do”.
A fundamentalist Christian, Mr Poots is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, based in 1951 by Dr Ian Paisley 20 years earlier than he established the DUP.
If Mr Poots reverses the coverage of his rapid predecessors and declines invites to attend Mass, it’s more likely to enhance fears from some observers that he needs to carry the DUP again to its conventional evangelical roots.
A DUP spokesman advised The Irish Catholic: “The DUP has labored with the Catholic Church on many points from freedom of worship by means of to defending the lifetime of the unborn.”
Nonetheless, when requested whether or not Mr Poots would settle for an invite to attend Mass, the spokesman stated: “Mr Poots is heartened that individuals of all faiths are capable of return to congregational worship and has acquired quite a lot of invites from the religion neighborhood which he’ll contemplate in the end”.
Final October, the Agriculture minister made controversial feedback that ranges of Covid-19 are larger in nationalist areas than unionist ones.
Mr Poots claimed the distinction in virus transmission between nationalist and unionist areas was “round six to at least one”
Sinn Fein’s John O’Dowd subsequently referred to as on the Lagan Valley MLA to apologise for his remarks, claiming Mr Poots had successfully accused nationalists of spreading the virus. He stated the remarks had brought about “big offence”.
Mr Poots later denied his remarks had been sectarian, saying they might not be as a result of “most Sinn Fein leaders don’t attend the Catholic Church regularly”.