Monday 11 December 2017

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

Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

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.

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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