Kenny's meeting with the Pope


Sir, – Anthony Murphy’s decidedly snippy letter (September 25th) about the Taoiseach’s meeting with the Pope was a shameful piece. Churchmen and public representatives alike often find themselves called upon to stand beside distasteful characters and smile for the cameras. At Castel Gandolfo Mr Kenny did his duty. The Pope did his.

The photograph was taken and the protagonists parted without a word, rather like the scene at a particularly frosty wedding. Did Benedict snub Enda? Was Enda lured into the Supreme Pontiff’s snub-trap? No one really knows and even fewer really care.

Leaders with divergent mandates and interests, not to mention different constituencies, will disagree on occasion. So far, so normal. However, none of this justifies or excuses Mr Murphy’s ploy of encasing Mr Kenny’s personal religious observance in sneering inverted commas, (“the ‘practising Catholic’ side of Mr Kenny’), as he chose to do in his final paragraph. This is surely a new low in our public discourse and is unworthy of any serious commentator, whether in The Irish Times or indeed in the Catholic Voice Newspaper. – Yours, etc,


Tweed Street,