Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, October 22, 2016

St. Matthew School Fall 2016

Home : News : Nation and World
Ireland plans to reopen Embassy to Holy See
Catholic News Service photo
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
Catholic News Service photo
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN — Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin welcomed an Irish government decision to reopen a Vatican Embassy just over three years after closing it.

Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore announced Jan. 21 that Ireland was preparing to open a scaled-back embassy but gave no date for the reopening.

Gilmore came under sharp criticism in November 2011 when he announced that the embassy would close and a diplomat based in Dublin would represent Ireland at the Vatican.

At the time, the government said the closure was a cost-saving move, a claim rejected by opposition politicians who accused Gilmore of wanting to downgrade relations with the Vatican amid tensions about the church's handling of allegations of sexual abuse against priests.

The Vatican had no immediate response to the announcement.

Archbishop Martin said that reopening the embassy, although on a smaller scale, was "a very constructive exercise."

The archbishop, who previously served as a Vatican diplomat, said Pope Francis, from the outset of his pontificate, "has dedicated himself to being a strong voice for fighting poverty."

The Vatican remains an important place of interchange on questions of global development, Archbishop Martin said, adding that a resident Irish ambassador will enhance relations between the Vatican and Ireland.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the new mission would be "a scaled-back, one-person embassy with a focus on international development."

Gilmore said the embassy will "enable Ireland to engage directly with the leadership of Pope Francis on the issues of poverty eradication, hunger and human rights."

Brendan Smith, spokesman for the opposition Fianna Fail party on foreign affairs, welcomed the move. "The reasons given for closing the embassy in the first instance were completely bogus and it was a mistake," he said.

"At the time, we pointed out the diplomatic value of having representation at the Holy See and the networking influence it gave us," he said. "But the Labor Party knew best and pressed ahead with their populist agenda."

Questions remain about where the diplomatic offices will be housed because the former embassy on Rome's Janiculum Hill now serves as Ireland's Italian Embassy.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved