Friday 24 November 2017

We may have changed, but we will always need powerful friends like the Vatican

Pope Francis Photo: Reuters
Pope Francis Photo: Reuters
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

A small, poor, fledgling state which has just defied the world's greatest empire needs all the friends it can get. No, I'm not referring to Cuba's defiance of the USA - though there are parallels - but the Irish Free State in 1923, after its separation from Great Britain, which at that time was an empire holding sway over a quarter of the globe.

So where could this small, poor, newly-formed Irish State find big friends in the world?

There were two powers which had traditionally shown support for Ireland: the United States, which had funded so much of the Irish national movement; and the universal Catholic Church, which owed so much to Irish missionaries and religious orders that had served all over the world.

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