Standing up the better to fall down

Poor Ireland – it just can’t escape from the Vatican, it seems. It can try but then the theocrats will raise a stink and it will be dragged back.

The Irish government faces a potential Holy War over the  decision to close the country’s Vatican embassy.

Coalition party leaders Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore are at loggerheads over the  closure, announced after the attack by Kenny on the Vatican’s failure to act on  child abuse in the Cloyne diocese.

Kenny has given in to calls from Fine Gael backbenchers to reconsider the decision to remove the Irish embassy from the Vatican.

The calls also come from a group called, risibly, Ireland Stand Up. Yes Ireland stand up and grovel to the Vatican again!

An Irish Catholic lay group has met with politicians  to voice their frustration over the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the  Vatican.

The protesters, from the group Ireland Stand Up, met with 50 TDs, 25 senators, and seven  representatives of ministers in Dublin.

Ireland Stand Up also asked that the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny issue  a formal invitation to Pope Benedict XVI to visit Dublin during the  International Eucharistic Congress this summer.

Stand up the better to fall prostrate. Ooooookay.

[smothered laughter] The link to Ireland Stand Up goes to a twitter account! It has 400 followers – I have more than that! So…82 politicians met with a Twitter group? That’s hilarious.

Anyway, Fine Gael apparently takes them seriously.

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore is facing growing demands from Fine Gael backbenchers for a rethink about his closure of the Ireland’s Vatican Embassy.

The closure has cast doubt over the prospects of the Pope coming here in summer for the Eucharistic Congress.

The decision to close the embassy is particularly sensitive in Fine Gael, with some party sources privately suggesting Taoiseach Enda Kenny should not have allowed it to happen.

But why? Why this slavish love for the Catholic church and the Vatican? Given the history, why on earth? Does the Vatican act as if it loves its dear Irish subjects?

Maybe it’s a new syndrome, to go with Stockholm Syndrome. We could call it Dublin Syndrome.



  1. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    When the Catholic Church takes the Cloyne Report to heart and decides the welfare of children is more important than protecting the dignity and prestige of the Church, then perhaps the Irish government might consider their relationship with the Church.

  2. scotlyn says

    This won’t happen – it won’t even get much mileage – a recent Irish online poll on the re-opening of the Vatican embassy got a 90% no vote (and it was standing at 85% for “no” BEFORE it was “Pharyngulated.”) Over 6000 people have participated – possibly self-selected, although that journal’s polls are usually a lot less unanimous. Irish political polls carried out by reputable companies typically sample around 1000 people or less.

    The poll certainly corresponds much more closely to what the people on the ground are saying all around me, than the rumours about government partners having disagreements. A bit of a stir about nothing.

  3. says

    @1: Well they might do that, but I hope the answer will still be No to re-opening diplomatic relations with this state-wannabe. And the only proper relationship of any modern state to any church is: Go ahead and have whatever rituals and morals and beliefs you like, but 1) they only apply to your freely-consenting membership and 2) if you break any of the laws of the land, expect the same treatment as any other person or group — investigation by the police (with which we expect your full cooperation), leading to prosecution as appropriate to the facts of the case.

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    Why this slavish love for the Catholic church and the Vatican?

    (1) Supporters of the Catholic Church will threaten to stop donating to politicans’ campaign funds if the embassy remains closed.
    (2) Or they will promise to increase funding if the embassy is re-opened.

    My prediction:
    The embassy will be back in business before the next general election.
    [I could be wrong]

  5. Midnight Rambler says

    Gilmore is leader of the Labour Party, which is the most anti-Vatican. Given his position, and a pissed-at-the-RCC Kenny as leader of Fine Gael (which as a whole might be the most sympathetic to the church), I don’t see anything changing.

  6. says

    Maybe it’s a new syndrome, to go with Stockholm Syndrome. We could call it Dublin Syndrome.

    Personally, I think this is exactly what it is, or something very similar. It is really no different that a person in an abusive relationship trying to escape and forever returning. Once you have passed a cerain point in the relationship, you begin to believe that you deserve the treatment, and that leaving is scarier than staying.

    For those who have commented on the lack of supoort for this move, I hope you are right.

  7. Sigmund says

    There is a demographic shift occurring in Ireland at the moment, with the older generation being much more religious than those of middle age or younger. What you are seeing here is the last stand of this older generation, a desperate attempt to regain their previous position as the ‘moral’ voice of the country. This voice was silenced for the past couple of years as the church kept its neck in as the catholic child abuse reports were released. Now it’s deemed safe to go back to normal business and thus politicians are getting ordered to protect the position of the Catholic church.
    Ireland has a proportional representation election system so a minority of individuals in a single voting block can make a big difference in whether a politician will be elected or not – and this is exactly what is happening here. Politicians are getting targeted with threats to vote against them if they do not act in a pro-Vatican manner.

  8. Timothy (TRiG) says

    Fine Gael are the ex-fascists, and we’re not always so sure about the ex. It makes sense that, as a group, they’d support the Church, though Enda Kenny himself has been quite critical (notably in one particular speech in the Dáil in the wake of the Cloyne Report), even though he’s a devout Catholic himself. I do find it interesting, though, that the closure of the embassy has been framed as a cost-cutting exercise. (Well, the country is broke, so perhaps that’s a perfectly sensible explanation.)

    Incidentally, what on earth has happened to the log-in screen on your blog? It works, but it looks weird. (The preview feature is also broken, so I’m hoping I’ve formatted my HTML correctly. There’s some javascript error.)


  9. says

    Funny you should mention it; I’ve just this minute written about the quasi-falangist tone of the Telegraph on the meddling of US Catholic bishops in government. Falangists everywhere, eh.

    I don’t know, about the log-in screen. Anyone else having a problem?

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