Northern Ireland

Belfast's St Anne's Cathedral: Catholic priest installed for first time

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Media captionFr O'Donnell was installed at a service on Sunday afternoon

Catholic priest Fr Edward O'Donnell has been installed as an ecumenical canon at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.

He is one of three ecumenical canons appointed at the cathedral.

In his role at St Anne's he can preach, lead prayers and read scripture. He can also assist at the cathedral's traditional Black Santa Christmas collection for charity.

It is the first time in St Anne's history that a Catholic priest has been appointed to such a role.

Image caption Fr O'Donnell has been a priest for 40 years

Fr O'Donnell, the parish priest of St Brigid's in Belfast, will serve alongside the clergy in the cathedral.

A group of protestors carrying posters saying "no Popery" staged a peaceful demonstration outside the cathedral during his installation service on Sunday afternoon.

Image caption Members of the Free Presbyterian Church held a protest outside St Anne's Cathedral

The Belfast priest is one of the cathedral's three ecumenical canons, each from a different Christian church.

Image caption Fr O'Donnell's appointment was announced in July

Ecumenical canons are elected by churches wanting to acknowledge a fellowship with another church.

Fr O'Donnell's appointment was announced in July.

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