Pope Francis and global diplomacy


Sir, – Breda O’Brien’s disappointment that both Donald Trump and Michael D Higgins have shown, following their recent meetings with Pope Francis, “an ability to ignore parts of his message when it suits them” reveals a flawed understanding of international diplomacy (“Spin machines whir as presidents meet Pope Francis”, Opinion & Analysis, May 28th).

Breda O’Brien’s argument seems to indicate that political leaders are in some way behaving disingenuously or dishonestly merely by being among those who “choose to be photographed with the pope” if they do not wholeheartedly endorse the pontiff’s worldview. Submission to and agreement with religious leaders should not be a precondition for engaging with them.

We should expect, rather than stand astonished at, divergence between the views of popes and presidents. Indeed, were they totally and wholeheartedly in agreement, it is not clear what the point of their meetings would be. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 15.