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Bishops express concern over relations between Ireland and Vatican

In a statement, the Catholic bishops said: “A state’s foreign policy should include respect for the spiritual values of its citizens”.

File photo of Cardinal Seán Brady
File photo of Cardinal Seán Brady
Image: James Horan/Photocall Ireland

CATHOLIC BISHOPS HAVE officially expressed their concern over the current state of diplomatic relations between Ireland and the Vatican.

Bishops in the Irish Catholic Church today concluded their winter general meeting held in Maynooth, Co Kildare. In a statement issued after the talks, the bishops noted their “regret” at the Government’s decision to close Ireland’s embassy to the Vatican.

“A state’s foreign policy should include respect for the spiritual values of its citizens, and religion ought not to be relegated to the purely private sphere,” the statement said, adding that the Church hopes the Government will reverse its decision.

The clerics expressed hope that “positive, strong and respectful relations” would be maintained between Ireland and the Holy See.

Budget measures also came under fire at the conference, with the bishops calling on the Government to reverse the planned cuts to child benefit and the winter fuel allowance.

Bishop Christopher Jones, chair of the Bishops’ Council for Marriage and the Family, said the Government was at risk of valuing society in purely economic terms, and neglecting families.

“It appears that there is a serious imbalance between the recognition given to the contribution made through economic activity in comparison with the contribution made by families in bringing up children,” he said.

Read more: Vatican confirms appointment of new Papal Nuncio to Ireland>

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Michael Freeman

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