BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- The bishop of Belfast appealed for Catholic and Protestant residents to prove to the world they can live together in peace after fresh sectarian violence flared during the region's contentious Protestant marching season.
Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor appealed to both sides to show restraint and respect toward police after 22 police officers were injured July 11.
"I ask all who attend parades or protests in the days ahead to avoid provocation," he said in a statement July 12.
He urged local residents to ensure that "events are not manipulated by destructive influences from outside the communities where parades take place."
Police have expressed concern that fringe elements opposed to the 1998 Good Friday peace accord might be orchestrating communal strife.
On July 12, the traditional "Orangeman's day," Loyalist demonstrations commemorate the 1690 defeat of the Catholic King James II by the Protestant Prince William of Orange that definitively installed Protestantism as the religion of the British monarchy.