Nov 3, 2011

Ireland to Close Vatican Embassy

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Ireland is closing its embassy to the Vatican. But it has nothing, whatsoever, to do with the dispute that, ahem, didn't cause the Vatican to pull their ambassador to Ireland.

Ireland announced Thursday it is closing its embassies to the Vatican and two other nations, but denied that its deteriorating relations with the Catholic Church played a role in its choice of cuts.

Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore said Ireland was under grave financial pressure as it tries to slash spending in line with its international bailout last year. He said a review determined that Ireland's diplomatic posts to the Vatican, Iran and Timor Leste offered the least returns in foreign investment.

"The government believes that Ireland's interests with the Holy See can be sufficiently represented by a non-resident ambassador," Gilmore said, suggesting that a diplomat based in another European country would be assigned the Vatican brief, too.

In Rome, the Vatican likewise dismissed concerns that the Irish were sending another rebuke to the Catholic Church over its cover-ups of decades of child abuse in Ireland.

Right. Gotcha.

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