In a vote designed to reduce street violence this summer, the Anglican Church of Ireland voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday against Northern Ireland's major pro-British Protestant group, the Orange Order.
    Archbishop Robin Eames, leader of the 350,000 Anglicans in both parts of Ireland, said the motion demanding the loss of certain privileges unless the Orangemen adhere to strict guidelines, marked ``a defining moment'' in the history of the church's normally good relations with the 204-year-old fraternal group.
    For the past three summers, the graveyard and pastures surrounding the Drumcree Church of Ireland church near the predominantly Protestant town of Portadown have become a battlefield between British security forces and Orangemen trying to march through the town's main Catholic district.
    Church authorities have been heavily criticized for not previously distancing themselves from the Orangemen, who have marched to and from the church each first Sunday in July since the 1810s.
    Since 1995, they have faced concerted Catholic opposition on one stretch of road. Police forced the march down the road in 1996 and 1997, and blocked it last year. The dispute has triggered rioting across Northern Ireland.

11:53am 20/5/99 / AP


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