Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

Iran, East Timor and Vatican

November 4, 2011

Responding to Ireland’s decision to close “for economic reasons” its embassies in Iran and Vatican City, as well as its office of representation in East Timor, Federico Lombardi, S.J. (as Vatican spokesman) declared:

The Holy See takes note of the decision by Ireland to close its embassy in Rome to the Holy See. Of course, any State which has diplomatic relations with the Holy See is free to decide, according to its possibilities and its interests, whether to have an ambassador to the Holy See resident in Rome, or resident in another country. What is important are diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the States, and these are not at issue with regard to Ireland.

Vatican Information Service (4 November 2011)

If the Vatican thinks its diplomatic relations with Ireland are on good terms, it may want to consider what other nations were on Ireland’s list of closures.  It may also want to consider the reaction of the Irish primate, Sean Brady:

“This decision seems to show little regard for the important role played by the Holy See in international relations and of the historic ties between the Irish people and the Holy See over many centuries,” said Cardinal Sean Brady.

 (The Star, 4 November 2011)

The Vatican should also take notice of the official denials by the Prime Minister:

Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny rejected claims Friday that the government’s decision to close its embassy in the Vatican had anything to do with recent child abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church.

(same source)


In Praise of Slavery and Piracy

March 17, 2008

Joseph’s brethren famously sold Joseph into slavery:

Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.

Later Joseph explained that this was intended as evil by the brothers of Joseph, but was intended by God for good.

Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

It’s not the only time God has used slavery to achieve His ends for the good of a nation.

Around the turn of the 5th century, a man named Maewyn Succat was taken prisoner by Irish raiders: pirates/slavers. God worked in this providence to make of that man a missionary to the Irish nation, leading ultimately to the Christianizing of the island of Ireland.

God’s Providence is mysterious. It is said that Mawyn, or Patrick as he came to be called, believed that his enslavement was a punishment for a particular sin that he had committed. Perhaps, in part, that was true. But in hindsight, God’s greater purpose in the event was to save Irish souls by the voice of a Welsh preacher.

There are still today many Irish souls in need of salvation, and there are no more Irish pirates to import Christian slaves. In some ways, the Irish condition today is more dangeous now than it was then, for there are many lost who call themselves Christians, whereas then there were few if any. Any modern-day Patrick has an enormous challenge, to shed the light of the gospel in place that thinks it knows what Christianity is, and yet is trusting not in Christ alone for salvation, but in some human system.

While much of Ireland, and much of America as well, celebrates the day with drinking large quantities of green beer, perphaps a sober prayer to God for renewed missionaries to the Irish people is in order. Whether they are brought as slaves (which seems doubtful), or however God chooses to send them, let us be eager that God’s flock be gathered unto Him.

May God’s will be done on earth, as it is in heaven,


So much for Ian Paisley!

January 21, 2008

It’s about time the Free Presbyterian church had a new moderator, and yet I extend my sympathies to them at what must be a difficult moment. One only wonders if this news report that Paisley has joined in a Catholic prayer service will be followed in a few months by an announcement that he has become formally associated with church of Rome. (link)

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