Wednesday 21 March 2018

Praying for a little diplomacy in Vatican embassy row

Alison O'Connor

The Government has used all the subtlety of a Miss Piggy karate chop in its decision to close our holy embassy in Rome. As a result of this cack-handedness, I find myself in the highly unlikely position of siding with the Catholic Church, and wishing Fine Gael and Labour would grow up a bit in their approach to this matter.

Irish bishops must be laughing up their sleeves as this argument about the closure of the Vatican embassy is played out. They don't have to utter a single word about it. No need, Eamon and Enda have done the work for them. They've stressed that this was a decision taken for purely economic reasons. But actually it was a decision that was taken for the wrong reasons, and with poor political judgment.

Let's face it, the Vatican would be winning no popularity contests in Ireland and with excellent reason. But how did we get to a place from where we were cheering loudly at the speech given in the Dail last summer by Taoiseach Enda Kenny -- when he accused the Vatican of dysfunction, disconnection and elitism, and of downplaying the rape and torture of children -- to thinking the Government has made an ass of itself.

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