home
RSS
November 3rd, 2011
05:27 PM ET

Ireland shutters embassies in Vatican, Iran as cost-saving measures

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - Financially-strapped Ireland announced its intent Thursday to close embassies in the Vatican and Iran, explaining it was not worthwhile to keep them open especially given its own dire economic straits.

Ireland also will close its representative office in Timor Leste, formerly known as East Timor, according to a statement from the nation's department of foreign affairs and trade.

"No area of government expenditure can be immune from the need to implement savings," the Irish government said. "Today's decision follows a review of overseas missions ... which gave particular attention to the economic return of bilateral missions."

With Greece and Portugal, Ireland received a substantial bailout as one of the euro zone's most lackluster economies. The crippling cost of the Irish government's bailout of its banks during the recent recession spurred Dublin's own financial crisis and the 85 billion-euro ($118 billion) loan package from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and individual European nations that was brokered late last year.

That bailout agreement mandated significant government cuts, which the Irish government cited as the reason for the embassy closures.

Still, the decision to close the Vatican mission - "one of Ireland's oldest," and symbolically significant given the high percentage of Roman Catholics in the northwest European country - raised questions, given the ongoing controversy over sexual abuses by priests in Ireland.

Specifically, the Cloyne report - published in July and investigating abuses in the diocese of Cloyne, which is near the southern city of Cork - prompted a biting attack on the Church by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Addressing lawmakers earlier this year, Kenny claimed the report exposed the Vatican as trying to hinder an inquiry into child sex abuse for its own benefit and said it revealed the "dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day."

He said, "The law of the land should not be stopped by a crozier or a collar," referring to the hooked staff held by Catholic bishops during religious services and the collar worn by priests.

The Vatican responded to the criticism by Kenny and other Irish lawmakers by recalling its envoy to Ireland, Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza. It also questioned the conclusions drawn by investigators as to the Church's approach to dealing with complaints of abuse by priests.

On Thursday night, Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore insisted the decision to close the embassy in the Vatican had nothing to do "at all with the controversy earlier this year."

"This was part of a review of expenditures we carried out," he told reporters outside a government building in Dublin.

The Irish government, specifically, said in its statement that the embassy in the Vatican "yields no economic return" for Ireland. A "non-resident ambassador" now will oversee Ireland's interests in the Vatican, a small independent enclave surrounded by the Italian capital of Rome.

"We're not breaking off diplomatic relations with the Vatican," said Gilmore. "Diplomatic relations (with the Vatican) are very important."

But Cardinal Sean Brady, in a statement released late Thursday, voiced his "profound disappointment" about the Irish government's move.

"This decision seems to show little regard for the important role played by the Holy See in international relations and of the historic ties between the Irish people and the Holy See over many centuries," Brady said.

Economics - and not politics, even with the West's teetering relationship with Iran - similarly was given as the reason for the closure of Ireland's embassy in Tehran, which opened in 1976.

"Regrettably, trade volumes with Iran have fallen short of expectations," the Irish government said in its statement.

The government said it no longer it was "necessary" to maintain its Timor Leste mission, given the "substantial progress" in that southeast Asian country.

Dublin did not rule out other embassy and consulate closings, while also stating that new ones could open. The aim, the government said, is to "ensure that (a mission) reflects our present-day needs and yields value for money."

Journalist Peter Taggart contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Europe • Ireland

soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Cisco Interfaces

    I have learn a few just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you set to create one of these great informative site.

    October 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |
  2. A good site forPersonalised Nurse Watch

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Appreciate it!

    September 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  3. need a dock

    naturally like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I'll surely come again again.

    August 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  4. agencja celna

    I'll right away grab your rss feed as I can't find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

    April 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  5. Avser Bastian

    WHITES ARE NOT WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! WE DON'T NEED YOU ANY MORE !!!

    OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!!

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw&w=640&h=360]
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and communist Moscow where new SOVIET UNION NUMBER TWO WANNA BE or new Stalin is in place = PUTIN !!!

    EXILING WHITES WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS COMPLETELY FREE.

    THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO WALL-STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET, BUT ANTI WHITES !!!

    ANTI WALL-STREET PROTESTS ARE ALSO KNOWN UNDER ZIONIST "TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP" IN AMERICA !!! TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP FROM HANDS OF WHITE AMERICANS TO SO CALLED "MINORITIES"(COMMUNISM)

    Wall street protesters are Obama's raise of the planet Apes army which spread from London per Zionist Washington DC and communist Moscow where Mr. SOVIET UNION NUMBER TWO or new Stalin is in place = PUTIN

    ANTI WALL-STREET PROTEST MOVEMENT IS LED BY SO CALLED "ANONYMOUS" !!

    Anonymous !!? REALLY !!?

    NOW TELL ME WHO IS ANONYMOUS IN A POLICE STATE WHERE WE ARE SURVEILLANCED 24/7 !!? WHO !!?

    NOBODY !!! ABSOLUTELY NOBODY IS ANONYMOUS IN A POLICE STATE AND NOR ARE THOSE WHO MADE YOU PROTEST FOR THEIR SAKE OR WHAT MULTICULTURALISM(animal Apartheid) IS !!! http://multiculturalismisterrorism.blogspot.com

    GREEK CRISES http://burnbabyburnahaha.blogspot.com

    November 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  6. myklds

    May God Bless all the atheists.

    November 5, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It's saddest that the concept you try to convey actually makes no sense.

      November 5, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  7. ThinkForYourself

    My biggest fear as an atheist is that religious people will use their bible as a way to hide their hate and anger. I fear that they will use their tool as a way to oppress others and that they will use their strength in numbers to bend the law to suit such a purpose.

    Unfortunately, my fears are currently being played out in the Michigan legislature which just legalized bullying as long as they bully can show that they had religious motives. If any person on this board wonders why we atheists get so vocal, that would pretty much be it. Disgusting.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
  8. 179 natoins have embassies in the vatican

    http://www.myspace.com/churchoftheredchrismon
    https://twitter.com/#!/RevivalMMXII

    November 4, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  9. 179 natoins have embassies in the vatican

    Ireland is giving the story of "cost saving measures" as a front, there is DEFINITELY something rotten in denmark, dublin too, for that matter, it concerns the priesthood, (and im sure you know what I mean, you are no idiot) – i see this as the beginning of the third schism of the Roman Church in the modern era, Constantinio – Sylvestrian (since the founding in 325 AD and Constantines victory at the Milvian Bridge) I warned many people for months about this. The warnings went unheeded.
    The final one has gone forth.

    November 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  10. Reality

    For truth in blogging:

    From CBS News: (October, 2009)

    "Of course Pope Benedict XVI could not 'sell' any of the treasures of the Vatican, the same way that your local archbishop couldn't sell off the cathedral at a whim; they are not his, they are the church's," Martin wrote. "And the church is not simply the hierarchy but the entire people of God."

    "Even if the pope were to sell the Vatican, it wouldn't be enough.

    In 2004, the Vatican disclosed that the Holy See's real estate was worth 700 million euros, or about $908 million at the time. That doesn't include St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel, which the Vatican termed priceless and valued at a symbolic 1 euro.

    While the Vatican's artistic holdings are obviously worth millions, the inst-itution itself doesn't bring in a lot of cash. In 2008, it ran a euro0.9 million ($1.28 million) deficit, the second year of losses. Revenues were euro253.9 million and expenses euro254.8 million.

    The Vatican began publishing its finances in 1981, when Pope John Paul II ordered financial disclosure to debunk the idea that the Vatican was rich."

    November 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  11. Martin T

    I am amazed that ANYONE would want to have an embasy in the Vatican. What a crock of nonsense.

    November 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • 179 natoins have embassies in the vatican

      Ireland is giving the story of "cost saving measures" as a front, there is DEFINITELY something rotten in denmark, dublin too, for that matter, it concerns the priesthood, (and im sure you know what I mean, you are no idiot) - i see this as the beginning of the third schism of the Roman Church in the modern era, Constantinio – Sylvestrian (since the founding in 325 AD and Constantines victory at the Milvian Bridge) I warned many people for months about this. The warnings went unheeded. I jsut mass forwarded an anonymous email. LETS SEE EM WAKE UP!

      November 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
  12. William Wright

    The redistribution of the wealth of the Roman church is long past due, This wealth should be returned to the people it was stolen from–Jefferson was correct when he wanted to prevent this tyranny over the minds of men(and women).. FreeMyPeople

    November 4, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      Do you have money in the bank? If so, redistribute it to some hungry people near you. This gives a person a break from thinking his great – and original – thoughts. It might even make a person feel less hypocrital.

      November 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • angelic

      yeah and maybe the white americans should give back the land they have STOLEN to the native americans? how about that? u realize how ridiculous u sound?

      November 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • JESUS SAVES ....his pocket lint.

      I pay taxes which is a form of redistribution. You know, to pay for spectacular planes and tanks. It's a shame that I'll be dead before the catholic corporation goes bankrupt and religion becomes an antiquity in which all of humanity can look back and laugh at.

      November 4, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
1 2
Advertisement
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.