Monday, December 12, 2011

Protest over closure of Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See

Despite the icy cold weather and the occasional blustery shower of rain, approximately two hundred people gathered at Dáil Éireann, in Kildare Street, Dublin, on Thursday afternoon, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.   Those present travelled from many parts of Ireland in answer to a call from the Christian Solidarity Party to protest against the closure of Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican by the coalition Government – ostensibly for economic reasons!   
Cardinal Sean Brady at the time of the announcement of the closure, expressed his "profound disappointment"about the move and continued
"This decision seems to show little regard for the important role played by the Holy See in international relations and of the historic ties between the Irish people and the Holy See over many centuries,"
The Irish Embassy to the Holy See was established in 1929, and it was one of the first resident missions to be established by the Irish Government.  The Papal Nuncio from the Vatican has always been regarded as the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps here.  Ireland’s diplomatic connection with the Vatican has now been downgraded to that of a senior official of the Department of Foreign Affairs being appointed to deal with Vatican affairs.   A physical presence in Rome is no longer in existence.    
There has been much criticism of this move, which is seen as a snub to Pope Benedict, and to the Church.   Both clerical and secular writers have pointed out that in breaking direct diplomatic links with the Holy See the Irish Government has, as the saying goes, ‘cut off its nose to spite its face’, particularly – from a purely worldly point of view – as the Vatican is such an important ‘listening post’ in diplomatic circles worldwide.

According to a Reuters report at the time of the announcement of the closure “Dublin said it was closing its mission to the Vatican along with those in Iran and East Timor to help meet its fiscal goals under an EU-IMF bailout. The closures will save the government 1.25 million euros ($1.725 million) a year.”
It is interesting to note that according to the Irish Aid website the Irish Government through Irish Aid has since 2006 donated almost €30 million to the pro-abortion UNFPA and according to a speech given by Minister of State Jan O'Sullivan at an Irish Family Planning  Association (IFPA) event to launch the UNFPA 2011 State of Population Report,  
"UNFPA will continue to be a priority partner for Irish Aid and we look forward to work ever more closely with them in them in the run-up to the 2015 deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals."
It is a very sad day in which Ireland, which has stood for so long against the evil of abortion can find tens of millions to support UNFPA which assists in the termination of unborn lives in developing countries, but cannot find the money to keep the Holy See embassy open.