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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: November 9, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Keeping an Eye on the Holy See – from a Distance of 2,000km

    Deaglán de Bréadún

    Not being the most religious person in the world and not the greatest admirer of the record of the Catholic Church either, especially in relation to child abuse, I still contend that the closure of the Irish embassy to the Vatican will prove to be an unwise decision. I had a column on this subject in last Saturday’s paper.

    The idea of conducting this State’s relationship with the Holy See at a distance of nearly 2,000 kilometres reminds one irresistibly of the Skibbereen Eagle keeping its eye on the Tsar of Russia in the 19th century.  We’ll need a high-powered telescope.

    It’s interesting to see the number of letters in the paper on this topic, reflecting the magnitude of the issue.

    • Niall says:

      Re “The idea of conducting this State’s relationship with the Holy See at a distance of nearly 2,000 kilometres…”, the State conducts relationships with many other States at similar and even further distances. Why should any one particular State be treated any more specially, differently? Wouldn’t that sniff of deference?

    • jaygee says:

      I have to say that the closure of the embassy is the correct if belated response to the lack of cooperation of the Papal Nuncio during the investigations into the various abuse scandals.
      This should have been done under the previous Administration. Mr. Gilmore should be lauded for his action, as should Mr. Kenny for stating a few home truths to the Vatican and once and for all ending the debilitating subservience paid to the RCC by the ruling elite of Ireland for so long.

    • @2: Er, all very well but Mr Gilmore was very anxious to stress that the decision was based on economic grounds alone and that the difficulties over Cloyne had underlined the need for good diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Surely if the reality was as you see it, then it should have been expressed in those terms.

    • jaygee says:

      Fair enough. Perhaps Mr. Gilmore , like all politicians has to be careful in his utterances and find a form of words which draws the least fire. At least Mr. Kenny was clear enough. There seems to be a heavy response from doctors objecting to the closure, is this the loyal battalion of Medics of the Opus Dei Regiment being sent over the top. Will the next wave be the loyal corps of Lawyers of the Knights of St. Columbanus ?
      Joking aside. I believe this action will be seen by many as Ireland coming out from under the thumb of the RCC and ending its perceived traditional deference.

    • catherine r. says:

      We, Irish Roman Catholics, should override this Atheist Labour leader’s decision to close Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican (Holy See) by proposing to keep it open ourselves. A special collection at Sunday Mass for some months of the year could provide the paltry sum.
      Shame on Enda Kenny. Shame.
      Perhaps, even some practising Irish Roman Catholics who may be in a position financially to keep this very special Embassy open could make an offer to this end.

    • Kynos says:

      Ireland is no longer a viable State in any sense of the meaning of the word so why bother having Embassies anywhere? Isn’t it now a bit like say Cavan having an Embassy in Shanghai? This former Republic is now but a PRotectorate; owned and controlled by EUropean financial institutions, and those whom control those as well as other financial institutions all over the world. Sure we’re already seeing ”former EU commissioners” and ”former heads of the ECB” taking prime political appointments in EU Member States. The gauleiters are being rolled out.
      So we’ve just exchanged two auld foreign despots (the absolute monarchs of the Vatican and Britain) with two new new (the absolute monarchs of the United States since Emperor Bush ascended the throne and of the European Central Bank) while managing to kill a load of ourselves and a few Brits and generally make a complete ballz of the place as only ignorant peasants can in the short 9 decades or so we were actually sovereign and indefeasible in our destinies. Or rather we weren’t. Even then Christ-and-Caesar ruled Ireland hand-in-glove. Sorry. ”Christ”-and-Caesar. For Christ would never have presided over facilitated covered-up excused nodded and winked at such cowardice inhumanity and rapine as the Vatican did, with the full collusion of the Irish State; just as the Irish State today colludes in illegal immoral wars of conquest and state policies of torture. We never learn. We never change. Sure, large amounts of religious Irish people will take offence at this. Let’s be real here. Child rape was never perceived as THAT bad a thing was it? I mean was it? Sure they’ll get over it don’t be bringing scandal upon us. That’s the reality of those ”deep veins of knowledge” that Amnesty spoke of lately which is diplomatic-speak for the dogs in the street knew kids were being raped and abused sexually and physically by clergy (3%) and by lay (97%) and sure it’s goin on wholesale today I’ll warrant. We’ve long fed our hearts on so much fantasy our hearts are long brutalised to the little children chained in the basements.
      There is still an Irish ‘presence’ in the Papal State. It’s a big gaping absence, like in the old cartoons long ago, where Tom or Jerry disappeared suddenly there was a big Tom or Jerry shaped hole in their wake. That’s the same now at the Vatican. Let the heirs of the Carpenter and the Fisherman ponder this and ponder perhaps also how long long ago one of their number got down on his knees and kissed the dirty feet of an holy poor man named Francis, before Giovanni, who came one day to see them and to point out the Emperor’s wardrobe malfunction. Like I said in Another Place this week, that is truly what Ma Church needs to get back to. Sitting there in all Her finery and wealth, full of pride and loathsome arrogance, contemplating the gaping holes left by those who loved Her once but have found the courage and self-respect to leave Her and Her abuses.

    • Kynos a chara: I am limiting you to 100 words infuture, unless there is evidence that you have done some fresh thinking and found new or at least different themes. Life is too short!

    • catherine/kate says:

      Here’s an extension of basically what I posted earlier @ 5 above and elsewhere:

      If this dreadful decision is really about economics, then we Irish Roman Catholics could propose a countrywide Sunday church gate collection, for example, and maybe over a couple of Sundays each year to provide the €700,000 (which in the great scheme of things is a paltry sum) to keep this Embassy, which is most precious to Irish Roman Catholics, open. Or, perhaps some Catholics who are in a position, financially, to support the maintaining of Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican (Holy See) could suggest this to this coalition government. One way or another, we must not lose this Embassy. Perhaps this Embassy could find accommodations in some other, very small premises in the Vatican State or divide the Villa Spada into two completely separate entities so as to comply with Italian Government/Vatican protocol regarding this.
      There has to be a way to keep this Embassy open. When I think of this most lovely Embassy and Ireland’s historic links to it; and then mentally juxtapose this image beside the arrogant expression of ourTánaiste…….it galls me.


    • barbera says:

      Pesky little Tánaiste…………cannot abide him or most of his colleagues in the antiquated quasi-leftist liberal brigade
      Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican (Holy See) MUST REMAIN OPEN
      We Irish Catholics have not even been consulted on this government’s drastic decision to close one of Ireland’s oldest mission’s abroad
      Such petulance displayed by the Tánaiste and Taoiseach is beyond embarrassing beyond belief
      Diplomatic blundering at the highest level
      Will backfire bigtime
      I have no faith whatsoever left in our “practising” Roman Catholic Taoiseach
      What a crock

    • Cbr says:

      Oh well done Wille Penrose..! Hearty congratulations for taking a courageous stand and resigning over the current coalition’s decision to close the much loved and historic Columb Barracks in Mullingar. My own father (army officer, now deceased, RIP) would be turning in his grave at the shenanigans of this government, not least the closing of Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican (Holy See). I sincerely wish a few more men/women of courage and moral backbone in the Houses of the Oireachtas would be a little more vocal, at least, in their opposition to these dreadful decisions by this government. Yes, money has to be saved but what a very divisive and conflict inciting way of going about it.

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