2011-11-04 08:58:50

Ireland to close Embassy to Holy See, two other locations

Ireland announced its decision to close its embassy to the Holy See yesterday, explaining that the decision to close the embassy is part of efforts to meet fiscal goals under an EU-IMF bailout. Missions in Iran and East Timor are also scheduled for closure as part of the diplomatic spending overhaul. Irish foreign affairs minister Eamon Gilmore explained to reporters that the closure of the embassy does not mean diplomatic relations with the Vatican are interrupted. He said, “Diplomatic relations with the Vatican will continue and they are valued.” This was consonant with a statement from the Holy See’s Press Office, the full text of which is below.

Statement from the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, regarding the announcement of Ireland’s decision to close its embassy to the Holy See:

The Holy See takes note of the decision of Ireland to close its Embassy to the Holy See in Rome. Naturally, every state that has diplomatic relations with the Holy See is free to decide, on the basis of its possibilities and its interests, whether to have an Ambassador to the Holy See resident in Rome or in another country. What’s important are the diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the states, and these are not in question with regard to Ireland. Listen to our report: RealAudioMP3

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