UK Ambassador to Vatican

Cruimh

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BBC Has this story about Tony Blair's former private secretary.

Vatican ambassador in warning over Pope visit protests

While he makes fair comments - I have to wonder if it is his place as a British Civil Servant to make comments like this. He is supposed to be a link between the British Government and the Vatican - not the other way round !

Blair lifted Catholic ban for 'Our Man In The Vatican'

In 1917 the Foreign Office issued a memorandum saying that Britain's representative at the Vatican "should not be filled with unreasoning awe of the Pope," and the post had been filled by a non-Catholic until Mr Campbell's appointment.
From the first link:

The Rathfrliand native also played down reports that the visit has failed to attract much interest from Irish Catholics.
"First I would say that this is an ecclesiastical visit to Britain - the Churches of Scotland and England and Wales - so the fact that there is little interest or uptake from Ireland is not new.

It certainly strikes me that Mr Campbell in the first article sounds more like a vatican spokesman than a British Civil Servant.
 


idle tim

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BBC Has this story about Tony Blair's former private secretary.

Vatican ambassador in warning over Pope visit protests

While he makes fair comments - I have to wonder if it is his place as a British Civil Servant to make comments like this. He is supposed to be a link between the British Government and the Vatican - not the other way round !

Blair lifted Catholic ban for 'Our Man In The Vatican'



From the first link:




It certainly strikes me that Mr Campbell in the first article sounds more like a vatican spokesman than a British Civil Servant.
It strikes me that he is useing very "Diplomatic"language,its what "Diplomats" are well paid to do Cruimh.

I agree with his comments,there will be demonstrations and those people have every right to peacefully demonstrate.

If as expected the Royal visit to Ireland goes ahead next year i plan to demonstrate in a peaceful and dignified way(presumeing ime still around).;)
 

Cruimh

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It strikes me that he is useing very "Diplomatic"language,its what "Diplomats" are well paid to do Cruimh.

I agree with his comments,there will be demonstrations and those people have every right to peacefully demonstrate.

If as expected the Royal visit to Ireland goes ahead next year i plan to demonstrate in a peaceful and dignified way(presumeing ime still around).;)
There have always been problems with diplomats becoming too close to regimes and losing their way - Bewley in Germany springs to mind.

We may agree with his comments - I do - but is it the place of a British civil servant to make political comments of this sort ?

He comes across as a Vatican Spokesman rather than a representative of the British government - especially in relation to his comments about Irish attendance.
 

former wesleyan

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Big streeeeeeeeeeetch there Cruimh ? Back to the old Orange " all RC's are disloyal " are we ? Well according to the BBC documentary about him he seemed perfectly normal. Strangely enough.
 

eoghanacht

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I don't see what the problem is?
 

eoghanacht

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There have always been problems with diplomats becoming too close to regimes and losing their way - Bewley in Germany springs to mind.

We may agree with his comments - I do - but is it the place of a British civil servant to make political comments of this sort ?

He comes across as a Vatican Spokesman rather than a representative of the British government - especially in relation to his comments about Irish attendance.
Yeah id have to agree with wes, your clucthing at straws and trying to make something of nothing.
 

Cruimh

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Big streeeeeeeeeeetch there Cruimh ? Back to the old Orange " all RC's are disloyal " are we ? Well according to the BBC documentary about him he seemed perfectly normal. Strangely enough.
Why ?

He's a civil service representative of HM government to the Vatican.

His job isn't to represent the Vatican in the UK - it's the other way round.

This has nothing to do with orangeism - I doubt if the OO had control of the FO in 1917.

There does seem to be a conflict of interest/loyalty here.
 

eoghanacht

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Nothing to do with the OP, but do you think someone will try and 'have a shot' at Il Papa, serious question.
 

Dunlin3

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There was a documentary on one of the UK channels the other evening about Francis Campbell and his role as UK ambasador to the Vatican. He came across as a decent enough chap!
 

Scipio

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First I would say that this is an ecclesiastical visit to Britain - the Churches of Scotland and England and Wales - so the fact that there is little interest or uptake from Ireland is not new.
I see your problem Cruimh. ;)
 

eoghanacht

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Cruimh

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There was a documentary on one of the UK channels the other evening about Francis Campbell and his role as UK ambasador to the Vatican. He came across as a decent enough chap!
Absolutely. No problems at all with him as a person.

But are his loyalties divided ?

He's the UK ambassador to the Vatican.
In this he sounds like the Vatican ambasador to the UK .
 

former wesleyan

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Why ?

He's a civil service representative of HM government to the Vatican.

His job isn't to represent the Vatican in the UK - it's the other way round.

This has nothing to do with orangeism - I doubt if the OO had control of the FO in 1917.

There does seem to be a conflict of interest/loyalty here.
You have a strangely one eyed view of diplomacy - the object of which is to be diplomatic.
 

Sync

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You have a strangely one eyed view of diplomacy - the object of which is to be diplomatic.
Exactly. Every year, regardless of who's in the white house, when it comes around to Paddy's day, the poor US ambassador to Ireland has to smile and nod when the Irish leader of the day starts asking about the illegal Irish immigrants. Which usually entails: "Why can't they be legal, sher they're not brown" Now the White House line is always the same: Sod off.

But the Ambassador always talks about the importance of Irish in America, always promises to talk the US govt, always pushes the Irish case in the media. It's his job. His job is to be diplomatic and be Ireland's best friend in public.

It's the same here. The UK and the Vatican aren't at war. The ambassador to them is always going to be making nice to them in public. It's not in his interest, or the interest of his employers to make the leader of the Vatican look bad.
 

damon

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There was a documentary on one of the UK channels the other evening about Francis Campbell and his role as UK ambasador to the Vatican. He came across as a decent enough chap!
I saw that. Yes he was a decent chap. All that Catholic stuff in Rome is a bit creepy and sycophantic though I thought. All the dinners and the monseigneurs and toasting the Pope and the Queen in the same toast.
I wonder if he's considered a traitor by some? He comes from South Down.
 

Cruimh

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Sync - does the US ambassador to Ireland tell the US people and Government how they should behave ?

News to me mate.

As you say in your example - the US ambassador makes soothing comments etc to the Irish people and Government. That's his job. He sends feedback on Irish Government and the Irish people's views to his employers - the US Government.

But Francis Campbell has gone beyond that.
 

Sync

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Sure. I think if Brian Cowen was going to the US and there were lots of protests planned, with a small but possible risk of violence, I think the US ambassador would say almost exactly the same thing. He would also clarify the situation if Cowen was going there only to meet with Irish immigrant leaders if there was a mistaken belief that Cown was going there to meet 50,000 adoring fans. I also think the ambassador would be heavily involved with the tour itself, as is happening here.

Right to protest important, but that right means you have to protest legally and responsibly.

There's nothing wrong with that sentiment at all, and I'm sure it'll echoed by every rational British person. He's a member of the UK system of governence. If David Cameron had said it would you have a problem?
 

pujols

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I don't think he has crossed the line.

Ambassadors are often asked to give interviews in respect of upcoming visits in both directions and they have to address questions about all aspects of the visits.

He would not be doing his job as Ambassador to the Holy See if he gave the impression that they were indifferent regarding papal safety or the government's desire to see that protests are peaceful.

Ambassadorial interviews are usually cleared with the Press Office in the Capital and he would not have done this on a solo run. The FO would have been aware of what he was going to say and when and the Vatican Press Office would have been watching and analyzing what he said.

The reason this is being picked up on is that the profile of this visit is higher than most other diplomatic visits.
 


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