Pope would be warmly welcomed in Ireland in 2018 - Flanagan

Minister in Rome for event to mark official reopening of Irish Embassy to Vatican

In Rome  to mark the reopening of Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican were Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan (second right), Archbishop Paul Gallagher, and Ireland’s Ambassador to the Holy See Emma Madigan, her husband Laurence Simms (second left) and their son Cormac.

In Rome to mark the reopening of Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican were Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan (second right), Archbishop Paul Gallagher, and Ireland’s Ambassador to the Holy See Emma Madigan, her husband Laurence Simms (second left) and their son Cormac.

 

The Vatican has been assured that the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland next year will have appropriate Government support and that it is warmly welcomed.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said: “Pope Francis is a voice unlike any other. He has used that voice fearlessly in challenging the world to vindicate human dignity and human rights, eradicate poverty and hunger, tackle climate change, end conflicts, support sustainable development and to stand up for the values we all hold.”

Speaking in Rome at an event to mark the official reopening of Ireland’s Embassy to the Holy See, he said: “Like all old friends, Ireland and the Holy See have some different perspectives. That is normal in a bilateral relationship.

“At times, we will have difficult conversations. But we will also have many fruitful conversations about our shared values.”

‘Historic faith’

He continued: “Today, Ireland is characterised by pluralism. Our deep historic faith means that the Church, of course, has a place in Irish life well beyond the realm of formal diplomatic relations.”

He took the opportunity to “reiterate our warm welcome for the intention of Pope Francis to visit Ireland next year for the World Meeting of Families.

“This will be another landmark moment and one that will be of huge importance to so many Irish people - and I assured Archbishop [Paul] Gallagher that we will support it, however appropriate.

Liverpool-born Archbishop Paul Gallagher is Holy See secretary for relations with states at the Vatican.

He attended the event on St Patrick’s day along with Ireland’s Ambassador to the Holy See Emma Madigan, her husband Laurence Simms and their son Cormac.

Ireland’s Embassy to the Holy See was closed in November 2011 for financial reasons and following publication of the Ferns (2005), Ryan (2009), Murphy (2009) and Cloyne (2011) reports.