Wednesday 17 January 2018

Colum Kenny: Kenny may envy the hero's welcome given to Cosgrave

Cardinal George's 'snub' is seen by some as a measure of Vatican-State discord, writes Colum Kenny

Did Chicago's Cardinal Francis George mean to snub Enda Kenny? George denies it, but a report last weekend in Chicago's Sun-Times suggested otherwise.

When Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives in Chicago on March 16, he will be following in the footsteps of his party's founder, WT Cosgrave. When Cosgrave made the first American trip of any serving Irish prime minister (then known as 'President of the Executive'), he was met by massive crowds and addressed 5,000 guests at the venue where Kenny will speak next week.

Reporting the decision by Cardinal Francis George to attend a retreat instead of dining with Kenny, Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times speculated last weekend that his absence is part of an Ireland-Vatican tiff that has seen the Irish Government close its embassy to the Holy See.

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