Recognising the Vatican’s ‘soft power’

Dear Editor, What an interesting week for those turning their eyes to Rome.

In quick order Pope Francis received America’s President Barack Obama and then Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. The former, via his backing for abortion in America as evidenced in his ‘Obamacare’ reforms, is surely no friend of the Church. On more friendly terms, the British monarch, meanwhile, travelled to Rome both in her capacity as queen and as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Rather than viewing their particular roles and stances as being immediate bars to such visits, the leaders undertook their trips, perhaps recognising that which your own Mary Kenny clearly identified as the Vatican’s ‘soft power’ and its value to world affairs. Witness the consideration given to a role for the Vatican in returning Venezuela to peace as reported in The Irish Catholic of April 3.

Having considered all of this, how more lamentable have been the actions of our own political leaders in snubbing the Vatican and the years of friendly links that have been maintained but for a brief and shameful period when Ireland’s Embassy to the Holy See stood vacant. And mute.

Yours etc.,

Brendan Byrne,


Dublin 11.