The Vatican, Cloyne and Diplomacy

Ken McDonagh


Enda Kenny’s 20th of July speech on Child Protection was broadly positively received by Irish public opinion. That it was given by a practicing Catholic and leader of a conservative and Christian democratic party only amplified the message that a final straw had been reached as regards child protection and the responsibility of the Church in relation to civil law in this area.

The speech, and the diplomatic spat that followed, has also served to highlight the curious case of Vatican sovereignty and the dual role of the Pope as both spiritual and temporal leader. The temporal power of the Pope traces its roots to the donation of Pepin, a Frankish king, in the 8th Century and not the fraudulent ‘Donation of Constantine’ occasionally used by medieval Popes to attempt to assert their authority over the kings of Europe. As the power of the Papacy and the size of the Papal states waxed and waned over the centuries, the Holy See emerged as the unit of Papal sovereignty regardless of the size or even, occasionally, the lack of actual territory. Regardless any uncertainty over the status of the Pope as a temporal sovereign was finally resolved with the Continue reading

China’s Long March to Modernity

Beijing’s response to the award of the Nobel Peace Price to a leading
Chinese dissident tells us something important about the country’s

By Joern-Carsten Gottwald, Neil Collins and Andrew Cottey

For the first time in the history of the Nobel Peace Prize a citizen of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was awarded this most prestigious award. And for the first time, nobody was in Oslo to receive the award. Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese professor of literature and democratic activist, spent the day in a Chinese jail. His wife was not allowed to leave the country. She is
held in virtual custody in her Beijing apartment. Other representatives of China’s intelligentsia were not allowed to leave the country. As the result of a furious campaign of the Chinese leadership, a group of countries decided not to let their Ambassadors to Norway attend the ceremony. For good reasons, the European Union for once did not let itself be bullied. Continue reading

Fianna Fáil, the IMF, the Future

Posted by Theresa Reidy (17 November, 2010)

The focus of attention on the economic terms of the coming bailout has obscured some of the likely political consequences a bailout may have for the dominant party of Irish politics. The recent decline in Fianna Fáil popularity has coincided with the sharp deterioration in economic conditions. This has led to suggestions that Fianna Fáil has lost a group of its core support, which had been based on their reputation for economic governance. The recession has greatly damaged that reputation and it may take considerable time to restore it. Continue reading

Bailout and loss of sovereignty: time for a New Republic?

by David Farrell (November 17, 2010)

Now that the EU/IMF are en route it can only be a matter of time before the pretence that we’re not being bailed out is dropped. In due course we will learn just how painful things are about to become for each one of us. Already the economists are debating whether in the short term much will change: as Michael Breen suggested in an earlier post, we might not notice that much of a difference (at least in the short term). Continue reading

The IMF, the bailout and Irish sovereignty

Posted by Michael Breen (16 November 2011)

The international media’s spotlight has been firmly on Ireland over the last few days. The talk of the town is of an IMF or European-led bailout. This raises several interesting questions. Why now, with the state apparently funded until June 2011? What sort of terms would be offered in the event of a bailout? And, most importantly what would this mean for Ireland’s economic sovereignty? Continue reading