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Vatican Stunned by Closure of Irish Embassy

Irish Vatican EmbassyVatican Stunned by 
Closure of Irish Embassy

Catholic Ireland's stunning decision to close its embassy to the Vatican is a huge blow to the Holy See's prestige and may be followed by other countries which feel the missions are too expensive, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

The closure brought relations between Ireland and the Vatican, once ironclad allies, to an all-time low following the row earlier this year over the Irish Church's handling of sex abuse cases and accusations that the Vatican had encouraged secrecy.

Irish Vatican EmbassyIreland will now be the only major country of ancient Catholic tradition without an embassy to the Vatican.

"This is really bad for the Vatican because Ireland is the first big Catholic country to do this and because of what Catholicism means in Irish history," said a Vatican diplomatic source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. (Continue reading this story).

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