PRESBYTERIAN MODERATOR REFUSES TO SHAKE THE POPE’S HAND
Dr Norman Hamilton denied he was snubbing the Pope
The leader of the largest Protestant church in Northern Ireland has refused to shake the Pope's hand.
The Presbyterian Moderator, Dr Norman Hamilton, plans to go to a service in Westminster on Friday, attended by the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
But Dr Hamilton said he turned down the opportunity to be presented to the Pope after the service because of “troubling issues” which needed to be addressed.
He insisted his decision was not a snub to Catholics or Pope Benedict XVI.
He said he had changed his plans in order to accept an invitation to attend Friday's ceremony because he wanted to show “proper respect to the Roman Catholic people of Ireland and their leader”.