The Holy Father received the new Ambassador from Ireland!

You may recall that Ireland closed its embassy to the Holy See in Rome.  I made the wry recommendation that the Holy See might conduct all its business with Ireland from a desk at the Nunciature in England.

I now read on La Stampa that Benedict XVI received the new Ambassador to the Holy See from Ireland, David John Cooney, at a ceremony in the Vatican on May 4.

Mr. Cooney had the distinction of being able to give the Holy Father his credentials together with Armenia, Ethiopia, Fiji and Malaysia.

His Holiness made a little speech.  As far as I can tell, he seems not to have mentioned Ireland by name.

Mr. Cooney’s real day job is actually Secretary-General to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which job he retains.  It seems he will be the ambassador in his spare time.


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  1. Supertradmum says:

    “Spare time” is not good enough when real Catholicism is hemorrhaging out of Ireland….But, that is why he is part-time. Time for people to wake up to the fact that the republican movement has been co-opted by socialism and communists. But, this began over 120 years ago, right after the English publication of Marx. No one was paying attention.

  2. Phil_NL says:

    To be frank, it is not uncommon for smaller countries to have ambassadors who combine functions (for example, the embassador to X may at the same time also be the ambassador to nearbouring countries A,B and C).

    This setup is interesting however, in the sense that they chose not to combine the vatican post with the ambassador to Italy (as seems logical, assuming that the latter wouldn’t be a protestant). Presumably, Cooney is based in Dublin (the article doesn’t say), which means he’ll get some more frequent flyer miles, or will not be around much. That could be seen as a further insult. On the other hand, he is a much higher ranking person that would normally get this type of job – he was ambassador to the UN beforehand, and despite the merits of both organizations, the Vatican is seen as the inferior posting.

    In all, you could see this go either way. Which probably suits Ireland just fine, as both factions (Church-friendly and Church-hostile) can spin it as they want.

  3. Imrahil says:

    There is an agreement between Italy and the Holy See not to accept ambassadors to both entities at a time. Probably because if this didn’t exist, the factual perception of the Holy See as an entity on its own right would be diminishing. (How much of actual diplomatic work is done by the ambassador to Italy, in such a case, I don’t know.)

    Armenia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Malaysia and the Holy See is curious, though (except for the combination of Fiji and Malaysia). Normally, if nations have no resident ambassador to the Holy See, they charge the ambassador to Spain, Switzerland etc. with the job; and that at least would be a resident ambassador, not a side-job for an official of inside the Ministry.

    Also, Catholic nations usually have resident ambassadors to the Holy See.

    Besides, being a Protestant is no hindrance to being Ambassador to the Holy See; to the contrary, it is sometimes seen as an advantage because the Holy See rejects Catholics in, say, post-divorce registered concubinate, or similar issues, as ambassadors to it, whereas it has no problems with Protestants in the same position.

    On the other hand, he is a much higher ranking person that would normally get this type of job.
    True. Interesting.

  4. digdigby says:

    Even Lucifer considers The Vatican a ‘full time posting’.

  5. Pastor Bonus says:

    Phil NL, the Holy See does not permit countries to simulataneously appoint the same ambassador to Italy and the Holy See. Furthermore to have such a traditionally Catholc country reduce its presence in Rome to a part time diplomat with no embassy is of course a calculated and shabby snub by the Irish government.

  6. anna 6 says:

    Non-resident ambassadors are seen in groups, whereas resident ambassadors are seen by the Pope individually.
    You get what you pay for.

  7. Enda Kenny (Taoiseach/Prime Minister) has taken a beating from his traditional supporters on this issue and all his pandering to an unrepentant Marxist like Gilmore (Minister for Foreign Affairs) will gain him not a single vote. Now it looks like he’s ready to sell the pass on abortion as well. Sad times. On the positive side, the new Nuncio is making all sorts of positive moves albeit in a small way so far. Everyone I know who has met him speaks very highly of him and when we find the CDF disciplining high profile dissenters, it’s hard not to see some positive signs.

  8. Phil_NL says:

    OK, I was unaware of the agreement not to use the Italian ambassador. Then again, that doesn’t preclude any other nearby ambassador (Spain, Switserland, Austria would be fairly easy choices) or naming a lesser dignitary that happens to be on hand (there are some UN offices in Rome as well) as ‘part-time’ ambassador. The interesting thing is, as noted, that the Irish government didn’t choose this route. They combined a snub (the closing of the embassy, and therefore as a logical consequence a non-resident ambassador) with giving the post to a guy who’s too senior for the post if it would have been his full-time job. That’s no snub, that’s something that even could be seen as making amends.

    Most likely this was intentionally done so everyone would be able to sell this according to his/her own tastes (emphasis the snub, or play it down); whatever else it was, it was deft politics. Undoubtedly there’s an appropriate clip of “Yes, (prime) Minister”…

    PS: naming a protestant is less problematic than naming a catholic who’s openly flaunting the Church’s rules, but for a nation like Ireland, naming a protestant would be akin to saying ‘sorry, we ran out of good Catholics’, which is of course nonsense and would/should be counted as a further snub.

  9. Bill Russell says:

    Ireland has simply reverted to its paleolithic culture which was covered over by a veneer of Catholicism when the Church was useful to its political insurgency. Its clericalist culture has blown apart. Meanwhile, the entire national population of Ireland is less than that of Manhattan from around 125th Street to Fulton Street. No wonder the Pope decided to stick it between Ethiopia and Fiji when receiving its ambassador and did not mention Ireland at all by name.

  10. maryclare says:

    I find this a bit cute (new Ambassador and all) when if you pop over to the Association of Catholic Priests website (sorry not computer literate enough to do a proper link), the Irish Church seems to be wanting to become protestant….Please could you write a comment on their disobedient Assembly which they held today. Frankly I really don’t care who they appoint as ambassador, so much as their eternal salvation which is in real danger.
    Regards maryclare :-)

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  12. jaykay says:

    “Ireland has simply reverted to its paleolithic culture which was covered over by a veneer of Catholicism when the Church was useful to its political insurgency”.

    I think perhaps you meant to say “pre-Christian”. You really shouldn’t use big words if you’re not entirely sure of their meaning.

    As to using the Secretary General of the Department as part-time Ambassador, well, it’s a pretty… erm…”unusual” move alright, for a country that not that long ago would have taken pride in seeing itself as, if not the actual eldest daughter of the Church, certainly up there among the seniors. And I think the Holy See interpreted it correctly in receiving him with the Ambassadors of those other notably Catholic nations. It’s called Romanita, chaps. I wonder if they’ve copped on to that yet?

  13. Supertradmum says:

    ACP is getting lots of coverage on the evil RTE, the national television and radio network in Eire, which is openly anti-Vatican, anti-Pope and anti-hierarchy, and on the Beeb. In reality, the Irish Catholic Church is in schism already. The meetings are attended by many old people, as well as middle-aged. The young just do not care. If any one thinks Ireland is Catholic, just visit. I was there for three months and met more socialists and communists than Catholics. The crisis is partly due to the fact that the Republican movement was playing footsy with socialism and communism as early as the 189os, soon after the publication of Marx into English (rather ironic). That same false, deceitful spirit of political support of the far left had influenced the Irish in America as well-the Dems have exploited this. As to the Vatican State, many in Europe want to utterly destroy its nationhood so as to have excuses to further marginalize the influence of the Church, the Pope, etc. Remember the steps of persecution-buffoonery, marginalization, isolation, persecution.

    Irish Catholicism as a culture or political reality, as well as Catholic thinking, is a huge myth. That there is a part-time ambassador is, I predict, temporary, and for show, not substance.

  14. Marianna says:

    The Irish government’s closure of its embassy to the Holy See, and the appointment of a part-time ambassador, is just part of its pathetic attempt to imply that the root causes of the paedophile scandal are to be found in “the Vatican”. The implication is that the scandal was not really the fault of Irish people – apart of course from the guilty priests and bishops, who presumably were in some mysterious way especially associated with Rome. We hear rather less about the fact that Irish politicians and police looked the other way as well, and that many ordinary people must have known what was going on and said nothing.

    We are currently waiting for Rome to ease out Cardinal Sean Brady, who has been tainted by his involvement in particular events, and has admitted to having been part of the general culture of extreme clericalism and obsequiousness that pertained in Ireland. Rome is tackling the Association of Catholic Priests, a group that labours under the delusion that the rest of the Church would benefit by being lectured by Irish clerics, of all people, on how it should run itself (liberally according to them, of course).

    It will take generations for the Church to recover. But then again, no-one in their right mind would want to go back to the bad old days.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    Cardinal Brady did exactly what any secretary or notetaker at a meeting would do. He passed on all his information to his several layers of superiors to do something about the abuse and they did nothing. The priest is a scapegoat. He apologized publicly, but it was not his apology that was necessary. The media over here is making a meal out of the whole episode. There is no such thing as bad-old days, if I may correct my sister in Christ, Marianna. The number of sex abuse cases, which are horrible, is lower than those in the state school system and other religions in Ireland. The movement of anti-Catholicism is using these sins to hate the Church as a whole. Those of you who know me from this blog, know that four members of my family were abused sexually years ago. So, I am not writing out of a less than painful situation. However, I can tell the difference between hatred and forgiveness, individual sins, and persecution of the Catholic Church. The Irish media is adding to this and highlighting what the atheists and agnostics want to see-the fall of the Church in Eire.

    As to the ACR, the power of this group has created a schism already, which I noted above. The idea of democratizing the Church and having the power in the people is simply anti-hierarchical and Protestant, if not worse. The Church is weak in Eire, and the momentum of the ACR, which is growing daily, effects all.

    The Catholic Church is Eire is losing the media game as well, and part of this is the lack, horrible lack of technical expertise in the Church there, either on the Net or in the more traditional media. Some dioceses have not updated websites for months. Sadly, adding to the problem, are the so-called Catholic retreat centers and institutes which are blatantly liberal and leftist. I think things have gone too far and the sad fact is that Eire, like Greece, Spain, and Portugal, is too far leftist for a reasonable change in the near future. I know priests in Eire who refuse to admit the roots of the real problems and continue to pretend that radical politics has nothing to do with the fall of the Church in Eire.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    not ACR, which is my pet name for the group…

  17. Marianna says:

    Dear supertradmum, Unfortunately, I have to disagree about Cardinal Brady. I think Fr. Vincent Twomey (Professor emeritus of Moral Theology, former pupil of Joseph Ratzinger, and current member of the Ratzinger Kreis) is correct:

    “For the good of the Church, it is really tragic, but I’m afraid I am of the opinion that [Cardinal Brady] should resign”.

    See The Catholic World Report:

  18. jaykay says:

    Supertradmum: please stop using the term “Eire”. Nobody who lives here uses it, except in either very official use in the actual language or pejoratively. I’m sure you recognise what I refer to.

    Abp. Brady is my Archbishop, and also, as it happens for historical reasons, my Parish priest. Nobody in my area, among those who still practise the Faith (as in attend the Sacraments and contribute to the upkeep of the Church) is asking him to resign. Nor should he.

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