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.
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'
We hope that Pope Francis will visit Ireland's shores and that Senator David Norris will be successful in gaining support for this initiative.
Armagh Talk 5th March
Joint Committee for Foreign Affairs and Trade 21st Feb 2012
Submission by Joseph McCall to Joint Committee
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 email@example.com or by phone 083 4011300
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|
|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|
|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|
|Total||67||61 TDs attended in person, 6 were represented.|
|Senators in attendance at the meeting in Buswells hotel on Wed 18th Jan 2012|
|Independent||3||2 of the Independent senators sent representatives.|
|Total||16||14 senators attended in person, 2 were represented.|