Remember the cheering bit of news a couple of years back that Ireland had decided to close its embassy to the Vatican? Well stop being cheered, because it’s decided to take it back. It’s reopening the damn thing.
The Vatican Embassy will be housed in a separate building to the Irish Embassy to Rome, which is now housed in the Villa Spada, which housed the old Vatican embassy.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said new “modest” office accommodation will be found. Only one diplomat will be required to staff the new Embassy, and its focus will be on development aid.
Sources said the decision is a recognition of the change in papacy, and Pope Francis’s focus on overseas aid.
What about the fact that the Vatican is still not a real country, that its population is smaller than that of an average small town, that its population is unusually skewed toward men, that it owes Ireland’s people a debt of several trillion dollars for many decades of human rights abuses? What about all that?
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Brendan Smith welcomed what he described as the Government’s U-turn.
“I’m glad that the Labour Party has been forced into this U-turn. The reasons given for closing the embassy in the first instance were completely bogus and it was a mistake,” he said.
“Like so much with this Government, the primary consideration is PR and spin. They closed the Vatican Embassy when they thought it would be popular and now they are reopening it when they think it might be popular.”
Kiss the pope’s bum why don’t you.