An update on what is happening with regard to the Irish government's decision to close the embassy to the Holy See. People are reacting negatively to the decision, even those who would not be friends of the Church - they are realists, they know the value of a diplomatic presence in the Vatican, something that has not impressed itself on members of the current administration.
However the government is not taking it lying down. The Taoiseach has launched a critical attack on those who are claiming that the closure is political and not economic. The deputy leader of the main opposition party, Eamon O'Cuiv, grandson of one of the founding fathers of the Irish state, has challenged the decision and the Taoiseach has taken offence. He has also dismissed the Cardinal's response saying in round about terms that this is a state issue, so it doesn't concern him.
Well, I'm afraid, Mr Kenny can object all he likes, but I for one do not believe him when he says the closure has nothing to do with his administration's feud with the Holy See, and I am not alone: many people, many Irish Catholics do not believe him. I remain to be convinced; I am open, but so far I see nothing to change my mind.
Indeed, reading Fr Gabriel Burke's blog, there are couple of excellent posts in which you get some good insights into needless government expenditure. Fr Burke reminds me that Kenny is the first Irish Taoiseach to have an official residence paid for by us poor fool taxpayers. That is an extravagance we can do without! A friend of mine went online and spent some time doing research on Irish embassies and consulates. She concluded, correctly in my view, that there is plenty of room for economising without closing any embassies. So I am afraid the facts offer a different explanation than that offered by Enda Kenny.
Related to this Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith has an excellent article in the Catholic Herald online.