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Mary McAleese: 'World Meeting of Families is essentially a right wing rally'

McAleese says the congress was designed to rally people to fight against same-sex marriage, rights for gays, abortion rights and contraceptive rights.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

FORMER PRESIDENT MARY McAleese has revealed that she made a canonical complaint to Pope Francis, after Cardinal Kevin Farrell banned her from speaking at a event in the Vatican earlier this year, and the pope has yet to respond.

McAleese was due to take part in an International Women’s Day conference in the Holy See but her participation was opposed by Cardinal Farrell, who is prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.

Speaking on the Marian Finucane show on RTÉ Radio 1 this morning, McAleese told host Brendan O’Connor that she made a formal complaint to the Pope about the cardinal’s actions.

However, as she has yet to receive a response, she believes that the decision to remove her from the conference panel was done with the Pope’s approval.

“I made formal complaint against Cardinal Farrell, to the Pope, the Pope is the only person as his superior who could rectify and deal with and judge that complaint, so I made a formal canonical complaint to the Pope about Cardinal Farrell’s actions,” she said.

Having received neither an acknowledgement or a reply to date, I can only presume that since the Pope is his immediate superior that this was done with his approval.

“They claim there is a process for dealing with such complaints, I’m six months down the road of that complaint and I haven’t had the letter back that says we’ve received your complaint,” she said.

Italy: Pope Francis Leads In Rome's Circus Maximus An Evening Prayer Vigil With Youths Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

She told O’Connor that the lack of response left her feeling snubbed as a person and as a former Head of State.

She added that her being banned from the March event was in keeping with the ethos of the World Meeting of Families.

Discussing the congress she said:

It’s always been essentially a right-wing rally… and it was designed for that purpose, to rally people to get them motivated to fight against the tide of same-sex marriage, rights for gays, abortion rights, contraceptive rights.

The World Meeting of Families comes to Ireland next week when Pope Francis will say mass in the Phoenix Park and make a speech at Croke Park.

McAleese told O’Connor that Pope Francis puts the defence of the institution first because of his formation as a priest and as a Bishop.

When the conversation moved to the cover up of abuse O’Connor asked if the cover-up is systemic.

“It’s not only systemic, it was directed from central command and control, which is the Vatican,” she responded.

It’s impossible to believe that all bishops acted equally negligently by coincidence.

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Ceimin Burke

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