Saturday 23 November 2019

Priest brands Taoiseach 'a dope' over Vatican visit

Ralph Riegel and Barry Duggan

A parish priest has slated Taoiseach Enda Kenny as "a dope" over the controversy surrounding his Vatican visit.

Fr Gabriel Burke, a priest in the diocese of Cloyne, Co Cork, also demanded answers as to why "spin doctors" hinted that the Taoiseach was ever going to get a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Rome.

Fr Burke yesterday told the Irish Independent that it was "inevitable" people would interpret the Taoiseach's constant fiddling with his mobile phone during a speech by the Pope as "bad manners".

"If he was a true statesman he would have had a well-worded press release that would have said absolutely nothing -- but for that you need intelligence. Remember, Indy (sic) is a trained school teacher and only a few weeks ago told us Lenin came to Ireland," he said.

Fr Burke claimed the outcome of the Vatican visit was deeply embarrassing for Ireland.

"They (the Irish media) raked over old ground but in the end there was no (private) meeting between the Pope and the dope," Fr Burke said.

The cleric -- who is parish priest in Carrigtwohill -- posted his views on his internet blog.

Last night he said he had no regrets over his posting.

He admitted that he was "actually quite amazed" that his comments, while attracting enormous interest, didn't register a single complaint about the reference to the Fine Gael leader as "a dope".

He told the Irish Independent he originally picked up the "Pope and the dope" reference from an Irish political blog site.

"(But) it is not only a lesson in Indy's dopery that we watched . . . it was also a lesson in how stupid the Irish media is," he added.

Irish Independent

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