Relations between Ireland and the Vatican are at their lowest ebb in history. In the latest move a group of septuagarian male celibates in Rome decided that the Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland should be called home.
Now that’s a real laugher. Let me explain why.
In 1996 the Irish bishops signed an agreement to turn sexual abusers over to the police. In January 1997, a secret letter went out from Rome to the Irish bishos (via the papalo nuncio) warning them that canon law trumped civil law when it came to reporting sex cases.
When this subterfuge became public the Irish government went ballistic. Enda Kennedy, the Prime Minister, charged the Vatican was narcisstic, triumphalist, dysfunctional, elitist.
Clearly Ireland was the injured party. Normally the injured party would jump in and recall its envoy. But guess what. A coterie of septuagarian male celibates in the Vatican quickly recalled their own ambassador thus giving the signal that Rome was the injured party and this was the way to recapture the high road.
What a bunch of game-playing.
Does the Vatican get it?
Is the Vatican the victim?
What do you think?