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Who's in the Video
Gerard (Gerry) Adams is the president of Sinn Fein, the largest nationalist, Republican or pro-Belfast Agreement political party in Northern Ireland. He has been member of Parliament for Belfast West[…]

The Sinn Féin president on understanding religion.

Question:What did you think you would be doing professionally when you were growing up? 

Gerry Adams: For a very brief period I thought about becoming a priest or a Christian brother, which maybe in those days young Catholic women would have thought of becoming nuns. But in my case thankfully it was only a passing notion.

Question: Does religion inform your worldview?

Gerry Adams: I’ve been trying to find the time to figure all of that out so I can give a considerate answer to a question like that.

I was reared as a Catholic and I’m a Catholic and I attend and get comfort from the mass and other Catholic sermons.  But, increasingly, I find myself dealing more with spirituality, reading more about Buddhism, trying to read a wee bit about Islam. Certainly in terms of the Christian churches, I’m increasingly bewildered by all the mostly manmade – and I use that term incessantly – the denominational differences and how they all bicker with each other.  I think that’s all totally against any sense of what Christ was about. 

So without being too judgmental about it all, as I say I believe increasingly in people.  I think there is a spirituality.  Ireland is a very spiritual place for me, and it’s a very sspiritual place. 

Before they civilized us, we used to believe in trees, and the elements, and the _______.  And I still believe in a lot of those things.  And I believe in nature as a great elemental force.


Recorded on: Oct 8, 2007