Irish News

Irish Ambassador attends ‘inspiring’ papal address

A file photo shows Ambassador Emma Madigan with Pope Francis along her husband Laurence and son Conor. Photo: CNS

 

Ireland’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Emma Madigan, has spoken of the “impressive and inspiring” address delivered by Pope Francis to the Diplomatic Corps on January 9.

Ambassador Madigan joined with representatives from over 180 missions with links to the Holy See to hear the annual address from the Pontiff, which touches on those key areas of concern for the Pontiff in 2017.

“He is a speaker who brings great sincerity to what he says,” Ambassador Madigan said, adding that the address had been “wide-ranging [and] touched on many serious issues. The Pope was very strong and direct on terrorism, and on the subject of migration.”

On these issues, Pope Francis said during his address of terrorism: “We are dealing with a homicidal madness which misuses God’s name in order to disseminate death, in a play for domination and power.  Hence I appeal to all religious authorities to join in reaffirming unequivocally that one can never kill in God’s name.  Fundamentalist terrorism is the fruit of a profound spiritual poverty, and often is linked to significant social poverty.  It can only be fully defeated with the joint contribution of religious and political leaders.”

On migration he stressed that “The issue of migration is not one that can leave some countries indifferent, while others are left with the burden of humanitarian assistance, often at the cost of notable strain and great hardship, in the face of an apparently unending emergency…So I am grateful to the many countries which offer a generous welcome to those in need, beginning with various European nations, particularly Italy, Germany, Greece and Sweden.”

Ambassador Madigan pointed out, however, that the Pope was keen to end his address on a positive note, emphasising as he often does, the themes of hope and peace in commencing a new year.

Quoting from that passage which struck her most, Ambassador Madigan said the Pontiff had stressed that “Peace is  gift, a challenge and a commitment [that] can only come about on the basis of a vision of human beings capable of promoting an integral development respectful of their transcendent dignity”.