Belfast Telegraph

McAleese slams ‘bad manners’ of Pontiff

By Luke Byrne

Former Irish president Mary McAleese has accused Pope Francis of “bad manners,” as she revealed he never responded to a letter sent to him about being barred from entering the Vatican.

Ms McAleese, president from 1997 to 2011 and originally from north Belfast, was to give a speech in the city in March, on Women’s Day, until she was told she was barred from entry. She eventually gave her speech at the annual Voices of Faith in Rome.

“I never received an acknowledgment of the letter. It was sent by diplomatic bag,” she said.

“The Archbishop Okolo, who is the nuncio here, went to great lengths to make sure it reached the Holy Father.

“He regarded it as urgent. So here we are just a little bit over six months later and I have received neither an acknowledgment nor a considered reply,” she said.

“I think that’s regrettable. I also think it’s bad manners.”

Belfast Telegraph

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