Vatican Embassy to re-open 21st January 2014

Dear Taoiseach, Tánaiste and all our public representatives,
Today is a day of joy and celebration for Ireland's faithful at home and abroad. News has just been broadcast that Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See is to be reinstated. Our 1500 year old links with the Holy See will be restored and relations upgraded to that of resident status alongside countries such as the UK, the US and Russia. Ireland has given so much to the cause of peace and justice and can once again take centre stage in world efforts to end war and human rights abuses. We have learnt valuable lessons from the lengthy peace negotiations in Ireland and can now use this expertise to assist efforts in resolving conflicts in Syria and in Africa.

Ireland opened diplomatic relations with the Vatican in 1929, the 100th anniversary of Catholic emancipation. Myron C. Taylor said to Joseph Walshe 'Ireland has a very special position in the Catholic world and in Rome should have an Embassy worthy of Ireland.' In 1946 the then Minister for External Affairs Frank Aiken signed a cheque on behalf of the Irish People for the purchase of Villa Spada to house Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See. The location of Villa Spada has huge significance for Ireland in that it neighbours the church of San Pietro in Montorio where the Earls are buried. It is said that this church marks the spot where Peter was crucified. St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits said mass in this church once a month for his friend St. Francis Xavier while in the Far East.

Please see the link below by former Ambassador to the Holy See H.E. Gearóid O'Broin on the history and significance of Villa Spada.

See story here.

Today we remember all the Irish missionaries who have given lives of voluntary service to the cause of peace and justice in our world. Our Embassy to the Holy See served as an important conduit for information and its closure pained them.

There are so many people who have given generously, who have given of their time and skills to 'stand up'. These people know who they are, some are politicians or work in the media but the vast majority are ordinary men and women who have a deep love for their Christian faith and heritage and worked tirelessly to have Villa Spada reinstated as Ireland's Embassy to the Holy See.

'There is a time to be on one's knees, There is also a time when we need to stand, to stand up'
(Cardinal Donald Wuerl Washington DC)

We hope that Pope Francis will visit Ireland's shores and that Senator David Norris will be successful in gaining support for this initiative.

Yours sincerely,
Mary E. Fitzgibbon
On behalf of IrelandStandUp.org who will continue to 'Stand Up' and defend our Christian Faith and Heritage,


Armagh Talk 5th March
Joint Committee for Foreign Affairs and Trade 21st Feb 2012
Submission by Joseph McCall to Joint Committee

March 2012

Ireland Stand Up supporters Anne Doyle, Elaine Carey and Mary E. Fitzgibbon had the pleasure of meeting the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland Mr. Boaz Modai on Tuesday 21st Feb. Mr. Modai was a former Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See and was directly involved in the co-location of the Israeli Embassy to Italy and the Holy See. He explained to us the reasons why this came about and how he had worked closely with the Vatican on this arrangement.? He has fond memories of Blessed Pope John Paul II and was political co-ordinator for his visit to the Holy Land in 2000.? We met Mr. Modai to discuss co-location as it was suggested by the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore that the Vatican was proving to be ?a stumbling block? in respect of shared premises which is not the case.

At 3pm on Feb 21st the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade met with Anne Doyle, Elaine Carey, Joseph McCall and Mary E. Fitzgibbon.? We were accompanied by a delegation of supporters including Caroline Roddy, Sean Kelly, Mary Cournane, Gabriel Meehan, John Walsh, Mary McMenamin, John Kelly, Tommy Doyle, David McCall, Donal Walsh, Tara Manning and Ciaran Breathnach.? Eleven of the 15 members of the Committee were present to listen to our views on the closure of the Embassy, a state visit by Pope Benedict XVI and the right to freedom of religion and conscience.? Each Committee member received a 65 page briefing document, a DVD of relevant documentary evidence and former FG TD Brian Fleming?s book ?The Vatican Pimpernel? on the life of Msgr. Hugh O?Flaherty.

At the close of proceedings the Committee was briefed on the ?Vigil of Hope? which will take place on April 17th.? It is an event which will attempt to bring people of all faiths together to pray for peace, the future of our country and their own personal intentions.? The people of Ireland are facing unprecedented challenges on all fronts - economic, political, personal and spiritual.? Many feel overwhelmed and alone when faced with the various situations that confront them on a daily basis. We hope the Vigil will enkindle a sense of solidarity with the desire to help one another as we face the many challenges of life at this present time.

'More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of. '' Tennyson's ?Morte D'Arthur.?

On 5th March Mary Fitzgibbon was invited to speak to the Parishioners of Keady, Armagh on the lay initiative Ireland Stand Up under the heading ?Suffering of Faith and Church Revitalisation.?? The mass was celebrated by Fr. Eugene Sweeney Administrator of the Armagh Archdiocese.? A sincere thank you to all in Keady, Co. Armagh for the warm welcome we received and to Canon Michael Crawley for his hospitality. On 8th March Ireland Stand Up supporters were invited to Leinster House to meet with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Trade Joe Costello.? The group of six supporters included Frank Aiken, son of former Minister for Finance and External Affairs Frank Aiken who sanctioned the purchase of Villa Spada.? The meeting was very cordial and productive.?

We would like to sincerely thank all the people who have supported and continue to support the Ireland Stand Up National Lay Initiative entrusted to Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, with prayers, encouragement and donations.? We request that people continue to lobby their public representatives, TD?s and senators, in respect of the closure of our Embassy, current threats to religious freedom from an aggressive secular agenda, and respect for life and marriage.?

Baroness Warsi, a Muslim, recently led the largest ever British delegation to the Vatican and met the Pope.? She said ?Europe needs to become more confident in its Christianity? and that nations should not deny their religious heritage warning of the dangers to Europe of 'militant secularisation'.?

If you wish to obtain postcards please email IrelandStandUp@gmail.com or phone 087 7678040. ?The website IrelandStandUp.org is continually updated and the briefing document given to the Joint Committee is available from the site as is the poster for the Vigil of Hope.? If any person is interested in a copy of the DVD presented to the Joint Committee members they can be obtained by contacting johndwalsh@imagine.ie or by phone 083 4011300

You may also follow us on twitter and facebook.

What is Ireland Stand Up?
Meeting the Israeli Ambassador


January 18th Buswells Ireland Stand Up meets our politicians.

Many of the TDs and Senators were unable to attend due to prior commitments.

Others did not acknowledge any of our correspondence.

We thank all of the members of the Oireachtas who listened to our presentation and who sent us RSVPs and their best wishes. We would also like to thank the former senate leader and TD, Mr. Donie Cassidy, for attending.

TDs in attendance at the meeting in Buswells hotel on Wed 18th Jan 2012
Party Number Notes
Ceann Comhairle 1 The Ceann Comhairle was represented by Mr. Donal Lowry
Fianna F?il 13 Mr. Miche?l Martin TD, the leader of the Fianna F?il party, attended.
Fine Gael 38 The Taoiseach was represented by Mr. John Kennedy who is Principal Officer in the Department of an Taoiseach
Independent 6  
Labour 8 4 of the Labour TDs sent representatives including the T?naiste's representative, Mr. David Cooney who is the Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the non-resident ambassador to the Holy See
Sinn F?in 1  
Total 67 61 TDs attended in person, 6 were represented.
Senators in attendance at the meeting in Buswells hotel on Wed 18th Jan 2012
Party Number Notes
Fianna F?il 6  
Fine Gael 7  
Independent 3 2 of the Independent senators sent representatives.
Total 16 14 senators attended in person, 2 were represented.




The following letter was sent to the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, by registered post on 13th December 2011


13th December 2011 Ireland Stand Up http://www.irelandstandup.org

Dear Taoiseach Enda Kenny,

Once again we are writing to respectfully request that the decision to close our Vatican Embassy be reversed. We also respectfully request that an invitation be extended to Pope Benedict XVI for the International Eucharistic Congress.

On November 28th Ireland Stand Up launched its postcard initiative and it has been an astounding success. We have received hundreds of phone calls and emails requesting postcards. Fifteen thousand cards have already been distributed. Our website is receiving hits worldwide. As a result, we will shortly unveil a virtual postcard which can be sent by the Irish diaspora.

The hurt, disappointment and anger felt by the people is palpable. Many of those most affected are grass root supporters of Fine Gael. The party was not given a mandate, to close Villa Spada, our Embassy to the Holy See, which was bought and paid for by the Irish people for this specific purpose, 75 years ago, in 1946.

In your recent broadcast to the people you informed us that ?we are not responsible? for the current economic crisis. Similarly, ?we are not responsible? for the scandals and abuse perpetrated by a small minority of the Church. However, by closing our Embassy you have made victims of us all by launching a direct assault on our faith.

In times of strife many find comfort in their faith and indeed for centuries Irish people have relied on their faith to help them through difficult times. The ?official excuse? for the closure of our Embassy is but another lie. Indeed the world?s media have recognised it as such. The secularists, humanists and atheists, can barely conceal their joy at this decision.

The Labour party?s policy of inclusiveness, which they plan to engineer in a new constitution, is one which ignores the wishes of the majority.

As a result, Ireland Stand Up is currently planting the seeds of a further initiative on a multi-faith platform. We will be calling on all faiths, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and others to unite against this anti-God agenda.

In this season of peace and goodwill, we humbly request that as Taoiseach, you use your authority to reverse this appalling decision. A great leader listens to his people. This ability has already been demonstrated by the decision to reverse the disability cuts.

Please listen to thousands of your people and help build a new dawn of hope and renewal in our country and our faith in God.

Yours faithfully,

Anne Doyle on behalf of Ireland Stand Up


Armagh Talk Monday 5th March

Suffering of Faith and Church revitalisation

Celebrant ????????????????? Fr. Eugene Sweeney

Guest Speaker??????????????????????? Mary Fitzgibbon

Choir?????????????????????????? Middletown

First Reading - ?????????? Keady Parishioner

Responsorial Psalm?? Sung by Choir

Prayer of the Faithful??????????? Armagh Parishioner

Offertory??????????????????? Killcluney

 

Information on our Guest Speaker:-

EIGHT months into office, a Government decision was taken to close our embassy to the Holy See. T?naiste Eamon Gilmore said "while the embassy to the Holy See was one of Ireland?s oldest missions, it yielded no economic return."
For the vast majority of the faithful in Ireland this was a historic turning point. Many decried use of the economic argument when issues such as human rights, the promotion of social justice and the elimination of poverty which characterise the work of the Holy See are not fiscally quantifiable.
A week later many drew solace from sentiments expressed in the inaugural address of our president Michael D Higgins: "Now it is time to turn to an older wisdom that, while respecting material comfort and security as a basic right of all, also recognises that many of the most valuable things in life cannot be measured."
After this announcement a young Dublin mother Anne Doyle found it incredible that a government would make this decision. She said Ireland was compelled to stand up and this became the inspiration for a new lay initiative. On November 28, Ireland Stand Up launched a postcard campaign respectfully requesting that Taoiseach Enda Kenny reverse the decision and to extend an invitation to Pope Benedict XVI for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. The demand for postcards soared into thousands.

Jesus in the Eucharist Has and Will continue to be a constant in all our lives if we continue to ask for his assistance and guidance.? Even in the face of much unrest Jesus will remain with us forever.

?And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.? Matthew 28.20


A special collection will be taken up to help the cause ?Ireland Stand Up?

 

 

Fr. Eugene Sweeney, Fr. Michael Crawley and the parishioners of Keady, Armagh

Thank you for inviting me here to speak on the topic ?Suffering of Faith and Church revitalisation.?? It is a real privilege to be here and I would like to start with a prayer written by St. Ignatius Loyola which I learned during my time with the Catholic scouts of Ireland and try to recite daily.

 

Dearest Jesus,

Teach me to be generous,

Teach me to love and serve you,

As Thou deservest,

To give and not to count the cost,

To toil and not to seek for rest

To fight and not to heed the wounds

To Labour and to look for no reward

Save that of knowing that I do Thy Holy will

 

To do Thy Holy will ? what is Thy Holy will?? We may be unsure as to what constitutes His Holy will but I am convinced that our ordinary daily lives, our thoughts, words and actions afford us the opportunity to live out His Holy Will.? And our encounters in life teach us that His Holy Will is not something obscure ? it is real and tangible and it is in our daily lives that if we follow the will of God, we know that in spite of all the terrible things that happen to us, we will never lose a final refuge because the human person finds perfection "in seeking and loving what is true and good.? ― Pope Benedict XVI

 

 

Pope Benedict XVI said on Feb. 8.
?Let us bring to God our daily crosses, in the certainty that he is present and listens to us.

The cry of Christ on the cross should remind everyone that God always hears their prayers, even when he seems distant.

 

When people are faced with ?difficult and painful situations, when it seems that God does not hear, we must not be afraid to entrust him with the burden we are carrying in our hearts, we must not be afraid to cry out to him in our suffering.?


The Pope in his address pointed to Christ on the cross, who ?at the moment of ultimate rejection by man, at the moment of abandonment,? is still ?aware that God the Father is present even at the instant in which he is experiencing the human drama of death.?

But even if people are convinced of God?s presence, a question still remains in many hearts, ?How is it possible that such a powerful God does not intervene to save his Son from this terrible trial??

It is important to understand that ?the prayer of Jesus is not the cry of a person who meets death with desperation, nor that of a person who knows he has been abandoned.?


Pope Benedict explained that the ?prayer of the dying Jesus teaches us to pray with confidence for all our brothers and sisters who are suffering, that they too may know the love of God who never abandons them.?



Presently in our country many of our people are suffering and have abandoned God ? they do not believe that God is the way, the truth and the light. Many despair.

There is a move towards a secular culture, to a culture that shuns God, a culture that seeks to deprive us of religious freedom, and to omit even reference to God.

The Closure of Ireland?s Embassy to the Holy See, a few months after the Cloyne Speech by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, was viewed by many as an attempt to progress this secular ideology.

A young Dublin mother Anne Doyle, acutely aware of the aims of Atheist Ireland and on hearing the announcement by the Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore on 3rd November 2011 that Ireland?s Embassy to the Holy See was to close, felt compelled to ?stand up?.? She believed that if people accepted this decision and didn?t take a stand, the secularists would fast track their plans for Ireland.

Pope benedict says ?Man?s biggest temptation is to remove God.?

What happens when we remove God?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn in his acceptance speech for the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (Buckingham Palace, London, May 10, 1983), said:

?More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ?Men have forgotten God; that?s why all this has happened.?

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ?Men have forgotten God; that?s why all this has happened.? ?

 

Allow me to read what he said because we can identify with this through our own nation?s religious persecution.

Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to renounce the Word of God, were tortured, shot in cellars, sent to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets in their old age without food or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the faith; instances of apostasy were few and far between. For tens of millions of laymen access to the Church was blocked, and they were forbidden to bring up their children in the Faith: religious parents were wrenched from their children and thrown into prison, while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies.? (Solzhenitsyn 1984, Issue 36).

6. ?It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the case in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has attained great acuteness and profundity.

It is here that we see the dawn of hope: for no matter how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity.? (Solzhenitsyn 1984, Issue 36).

 

Anne Doyle sent a registered letter to the Taoiseach on 13th December:

 

She wrote:

?In your recent broadcast to the people you informed us that ?we are not responsible? for the current economic crisis. Similarly, ?we are not responsible? for the scandals and abuse perpetrated by a small minority of the Church. However, by closing our Embassy you have made victims of us all by launching a direct assault on our faith.

In times of strife many find comfort in their faith and indeed for centuries Irish people have relied on their faith to help them through difficult times. The ?official excuse,? (the economic argument) for the closure of our Embassy is but another lie. Indeed the world?s media have recognised it as such. The secularists, humanists and atheists, can barely conceal their joy at this decision.

The Labour party?s policy of inclusiveness, which they plan to engineer in a new constitution, is one which ignores the wishes of the majority.

As a result, Ireland Stand Up is currently planting the seeds of a further initiative on a multi-faith platform. We will be calling on all faiths, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and others to unite against this anti-God agenda.

 

She continued:

On November 28th Ireland Stand Up, a national lay initiative, entrusted to Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland launched its first postcard initiative and it has been an astounding success. We have received hundreds of phone calls and emails requesting postcards. Fifteen thousand cards have already been distributed. Our website is receiving hits worldwide.

The hurt, disappointment and anger felt by the people is palpable. Many of those most affected are grass root supporters of Fine Gael. The party was not given a mandate, to close Villa Spada, our Embassy to the Holy See, which was bought and paid for by the Irish people for this specific purpose, 75 years ago, in 1946.

 

 

The Irish people owe a debt of gratitude to the Holy See and the world owes Ireland a debt of gratitude to the countless Irish priests, religious and lay missionaries who labour and look for no reward save that of knowing that they do God?s Holy Will.

 

We are called to defend Christ, to do His Holy Will, to revitalise the Church and we might ask, how can we do this??

 

We can stand up and be counted ? we can use our talents, our expertise, we can write letters, we can telephone our public representatives, we can pray, we can give our ?time, ?we can send postcards, we can donate, we can encourage one another and that is just what thousands of Irish People did and continue to do.

We were given expert political advice as to how to progress this issue, the closure of our embassy.? On 18th Jan 2012 government members were cordially invited to Buswells Hotel opposite the Dail to hear the views of constituents from across the country and to listen to their dismay at the closure of our Embassy ? a bridge too far ?. They also requested that an invite be extended to His Holiness for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.

83 politicians (37% of the government) attended the briefing.? For close to two months the embassy closure was on every broad sheet, radio station and on national TV. A second postcard campaign was launched ? I have brought some for you to take away.

The FG parliamentary meeting called on the Taoiseach to reverse the decision, there was no dissent. There was disquiet in the Labour Party and a desire for the issue to be revisited.

The Tanaiste came under increasing pressure to admit it was a mistake and that the economic argument was untenable. In fact our Vatican embassy was one of the least expensive embassies to run.? Eamon Gilmore was questioned in the Dail in respect of how the decision was made and how it raised questions about the democratic process.

An invitation to the Pope was debated among parliamentarians and Cardinal Brady hopes, and many of us share that hope, that there will be a papal visit this year.

 

We have been advised that there will be a resident ambassador and to allow quiet diplomacy to take its course. ??But we must not become complacent ? we must continue to pray and to work ?Ora et Labore? - we must be ever vigilant.

We are called to a new evangelization so clearly articulated by Pope Benedict XVI, and obviously a signature dimension of his ministry.

 

?

The challenge today is a reawakening of the faith. Two generations of secularism have fashioned this time when some do not know even the foundational prayers or understand the most basic of Catholic devotions. Still others do not sense the value in Mass attendance, fail to avail themselves of the Sacrament of Penance and have often lost a sense of mystery or transcendence. For them the faith has lost its power to attract and engage.

 

Consumerism suggests that our worth is found in the things we accumulate. Individualism demands that we rely on no one but ourselves and our personal needs always take first place. Scepticism pressures us to trust only what we can observe and measure and purports to destroy the classical and time-tested relationship between faith and reason. The trend is to reject the basic right to religious liberty and the freedom of conscience.

 

At the same time there is another generation of young adults who see in the ministry and teaching of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI reason to deepen their knowledge of the faith and strengthen their allegiance to the Church.

 

Many of these people have a faith of conviction not convention and through lay initiatives like Ireland Stand Up and Valuing our Church recognise the important and crucial role of faith in society and in our personal lives. They see how we can revitalise the Church of which we are a necessary part of.

??Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed. Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary.?

Pope Benedict XVI says ?Jesus in the throes of his Passion is an image of hope: God is on the side of those who suffer.?

 

The distinguishing feature of the early Christians was their joy so our faith must be joyful ? it must be attractive ? it must engender hope.

 

And so as part of the Ireland Stand Up National Lay Initiative we launched the Vigil of Hope at the Joint Committee for Foreign Affairs and Trade on Feb 21st in the Dail.? We invite people of all faiths to pray together for their personal intentions and for our country at this difficult time.? So I invite you to come together in prayer on Tuesday the 17th of April to pray for one another, to ask God to intercede for Ireland, for our personal intentions, to help overcome despair and to embrace the future with hope. Hope springs eternal and there is more wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.

 

 

And to conclude:

33 years ago ? 33, the age of Christ- Blessed Pope John Paul II left Ireland and when he boarded his plane, he turned and looked out at the Irish for one last time saying ?Ireland Semper Fidelis, Ireland Always Faithful.

And if we remain faithful, always faithful, semper fidelis we will have done His Holy Will.

Beannacht De oraibh go leir