Tuesday 24 January 2017

Mary Kenny: We'll surely live to regret diplomatic Vatican snub

Published 07/11/2011 | 05:00

I have never been inside the beautiful Irish Embassy to the Holy See -- the famous Villa Spada, with its glorious 17th century architecture -- and now, evidently, I never will be. For it is to be closed down and sold off, ostensibly as a measure of economics, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore. But the scratchy relations between the Irish State and the Vatican must, we all know, be factored into the decision.

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Although Cardinal Sean Brady has expressed his "profound disappointment" at this decision, many people will support it. The country can use the €1.17m a year that the closure will save; and diplomatic links between Ireland and the Holy See can now be handled from Dublin.

I agree that the savings are in accord with the austerity measures that everyone is facing these days. And paradoxically, I think it may well be better for any Christian faith to act simply and humbly, rather than in the style of a grandiose Renaissance prince.

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