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Rome Reports

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Ireland Stand Up: Ordinary Catholics speak out about having an embassy to the Holy See

Michael KellyDeputy Editor, The Irish Catholic“They felt that this what something, that with a stroke of a pen, we?ll close the embassy and no one will protest or mind.”

It turns out, thousands of ; Irish Catholics did mind. Shortly after the closure was announced, a lay movement called “Stand Up” was created. Some of its members visited Rome recently, where once again, they called for full diplomatic relations to be re-established.

Mary FitzgibbonIreland Stand Up“A young mother in Dublin felt compelled to stand up, and that?s where she got the name Ireland stand up.”

Michael KellyDeputy Editor, The Irish Catholic“It?s important to say that this isn?t an initiative of the hierarchy or an initiative of the institutional Church. These are ordinary Catholics who are very concerned about the treatment of their Church. Very concerned that this is a symbol of their government frosting relations with the Holy See.”

With these postcards, as show on their website, IrelandStandUp.org, the group is promoting the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which will be held in Dublin from June 10th ; to the 17th. So far, they?ve gotten the attention or ordinary Catholics and government officials who also support their cause.

Michael KellyDeputy Editor, The Irish Catholic“Everyone in the Church of Ireland, hopes this will be a unique opportunity for renewal of the the Church at an institutional level but also at a personal level, for one?s individual faith.”

In the summer of 2011, Ireland?s prime minister, Enda Kenny, ; publicly criticized the Vatican for the way it handled cases of sex abuse, as shown in the Cloyne report. Shortly after, the government announced it would close its embassy to the Holy See to save roughly 400,000 euros.

Michael KellyDeputy Editor, The Irish Catholic“We must be very frank and honest about this. About, the terrible crimes of abuse and cover up that have gone on in the Church. We need to face that reality, but I think many lay people feel that some politicians are cynically using the suffering of those who have been abused to score political points against the Church.”

Mary FitzgibbonIreland Stand Up“How important our links with the Holy See are, that go back over 1500 years, our diplomatic links, historical links and the fact that the Vatican was one of the first states to recognize Ireland?s statehood in 1929.”

Michael Kelly says, without communication, the mistrust between both states will only increase. Even though their relationship is still tense, he?s hopeful things will change in the near future.