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Irish columnist: Pope should visit Northern Ireland first

CWN - February 10, 2012

Reflecting on the conflict of opinions as to whether Pope Benedict XVI should travel to Ireland this year, in light of public anger against the Church, columnist David Quinn makes the unusual suggestion that the Pontiff should visit Northern Ireland before he goes to Dublin. He explains:

The atmosphere around such a visit would be totally different from a visit to Dublin this summer. First and foremost, the visit would be seen as part of the peace process.

It would be seen as the companion to the queen's visit to the Republic last May and the British government would give him an unreserved welcome.

Quinn also says that the Irish government’s decision to close its embassy at the Holy See may not have been motivated by hostility toward the Vatican. In fact he is willing to believe that the move was a cost-cutting measure. He explains that the foreign minister “believed there would be no public or political backlash due to the publication of the Cloyne Report, and because he himself probably places little enough personal value on our relationship with the Holy See.”

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