Pope Benedict XVI: “with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome”

For anyone seriously concerned with his “legacy”, the surprise announcement by Pope Benedict XVI, of his intention to renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome “as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours”, deserves a more considered approach.  For example, following on from his initial response, at the Telegraph Blogs Damian Thompson reproduces the Catholic Herald’s “10 reasons why Catholics should give thanks for the Pope’s ministry”.  As Damian Thompson adds,  I don’t expect non-Catholics, or even all Catholics, to agree with …

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Vatican moves against turbulent Irish priest…

Colm Kelpie has a few examples of why the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith acted to close down Father Tony Flannery’s column in the Redemptorist’s Reality magazine. – “Many of us priests are very frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business.” – “To hear someone in the position of the Taoiseach speak so strongly, so eloquently, and with such dignity, in challenging the Vatican was good.” – “Many reforms are needed in the church, and there …

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Vatican Church and State: Whichever’s the more convenient?

Observing the kerfuffle down South about the closure of the Irish Embassy in Vatican City, my old joke came back to mind: Now you Holy See him, now you don’t. One minute, Benedict XVI is a Head of State, like the emperor Akihito, Bashir Assad or George W. Obama. Then, in an instant, shazam!, he’s the leader of a religion, on a par with the Dalai Lama, the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Reverend Ron Johnstone. Maybe he cannot be …

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“if you want to show some proper respect and courtesy to the Holy See…”

In the Irish Times Paddy Agnew has an interesting, and prompt, response to last night’s announcement of the Irish Government’s decision to close the Irish Embassy to the Vatican.  From the Irish Times article In practice, there are two types of Holy See ambassadors – those who have their own embassies in Rome and those who work out of the embassy in a neighbouring country such as France, Switzerland or Malta. Senior Vatican diplomats point out that as far as …

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Irish Government to close Vatican Embassy

As the BBC reports The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore made the announcement with “greatest regret” on Thursday. He said that the closure was part of government cost cutting plans. Mr Gilmore added that although the embassy to the Holy See was one of the Republic’s oldest missions, it yielded no “economic return”. “The government believes that Ireland’s interests with the Holy See can be sufficiently represented by a non-resident ambassador,” he said. “The government will be seeking …

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Clerical abuse also relied upon the scarcity of “righteous gentiles”

Dermot Keogh examines the diplomatic ramifications of the taoiseach’s speech, not least the wider consequences for both the Vatican and Ireland. But he leaves his sharpest question until the end: In reviewing the history of the past 90 years on this island, why – confronted by such widespread child sexual abuse – were there so few “righteous gentiles” in church, State or society ready to stand up and speak out in the face of such an unspeakable, pervasive evil? Quite …

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Bold words from Enda, but should they mark the end of the confessional?

 Enda Kenny’s quiet bombshell of a speech on the Cloyne report leaves more questions open than answered. This point may be written off as the opinion of implacable enemies of the Church who will never be satisfied. That would be a mistake. The taoiseach may have attacked the gimlet eyed legalism of the Vatican’s provisional response to the report. But he has been forced to acknowledge the limited justice of Vatican spokesman Fr Lombardi’s reply in terms, asking where was the …

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Anti-Irish upsurge predicted in Britain over Pope’s poaching

Rathfriland farmer’s son Francis Campbell, (seen above giving British diplomatic uniform a rare outing), until recently British ambassador to the Holy See,  is one of the latest to appear in WikiLeaks, warning of possible serious consequences of the Pope’s clumsy offer to receive dissident Anglicans into the Roman Catholic Church. Campbell told Noyes ( a US diplomat) “Anglican-Vatican relations were facing their worst crisis in 150 years as a result of the pope’s decision”, a cable sent to Washington shortly afterwards revealed. …

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