Bad start to trip as Fr Iggy O'Donovan robbed on bus
THE canonisations celebrations in Rome got off to a rather sour start for outspoken Irish priest Fr Iggy O'Donovan, who was robbed of all his money on the day of his arrival in the Eternal City.
The 57-year-old Augustinian priest, who has been censured by the Vatican, said he was "relieved of all his worldly goods on the bus from the airport into central Rome" on Thursday.
"That is my sacrifice for John Paul II," he said.
He is staying in Rome for the canonisation with the Irish Augustinian community at St Patrick's and he explained that they had lent him money. But his driver's licence was also taken, though he managed to hold on to his passport.
Irish Capuchin Fr Bryan Shortall from the friary on Church Street in Dublin is also staying with the same community in Rome.
He and Fr Iggy were on the same flight from Dublin and were meant to share a taxi from the airport into Rome.
Speaking to the Irish Independent from Rome, Fr Bryan (44) explained: "I got lost at Termini Airport and so I took a taxi. Iggy took the bus and arrived penniless.
"Needless to say, it hasn't been a pleasant beginning for Iggy. He says it is his homage to John Paul II – whom he met a number of times – he is sharing in some of the pope's discomfort in his last days."
However, Fr Iggy added that he was there "overwhelmingly for John XXIII" who had "opened the windows" of the church with the Second Vatican Council.