Ireland has accredited a new envoy to the Vatican, three years after Dublin closed its embassy following a row over a sex abuse probe, reports AFP in Ucanews.
Emma Madigan was received by Pope Francis, the Vatican said in a statement on Tuesday. She also met the Vatican's number two Pietro Parolin.
Ms Madigan, who presented her credentials, invited the Pontiff to visit Ireland, adding that while such an invitation would come from Church authorities, the government would do everything "to make the visit a success," Irish foreign ministry spokeswoman Fionnuala Quinlan said.
"Ambassador Madigan underlined that Ireland is a strong advocate for the freedom of religion or belief. The persecution of members of religious minorities, including Christians, in several parts of the world is a matter of serious concern to the Irish government," Quinlan added.
The embassy shut in November 2011, ostensibly for economic reasons. But the move was interpreted in Vatican diplomatic circles as a snub by Ireland, which accused the Holy See of trying to cover up and interfere in a report on clerical pedophilia.
FULL STORY Ireland accredits Vatican envoy after three-year hiatus (Ucanews)