A Catholic priest in the Irish Republic has been forced to apologise for comparing the country’s prime minister to Adolf Hitler because the taoiseach had dared to criticise the Vatican.
Father Thomas Daly issued the apology on Thursday after he likened Enda Kenny‘s denunciation of the Vatican‘s handling of clerical child sex abuse scandals in the republic to one of Hitler’s speeches.
In a leaflet titled Heil Herr Kenny given to members of the Togher parish in Drogheda, County Louth, the priest wrote that the last European leader to issue such a blistering attack on the pope “was the ruthless German dictator Adolf Hitler”.
Daly said, like Hitler, the taoiseach “had to face reality. A cautionary tale.”
The parish priest also drew a comparison between the Irish prime minister’s remarks to those of anti-Catholic loyalists in Northern Ireland.
“Perhaps we might try and find a way to build new with bridges with the Shankill Road people. A ‘No Pope Here’ sign would definitely be a draw for Shankill Road people and marchers from Portadown,” he wrote.
Parliamentarians from Kenny’s Fine Gael party complained over the priest’s leaflet. Daly said: “I regret the headline and for the misunderstandings that might have arisen out of it. I am not comparing Enda Kenny to Hitler.”
In an unprecedented attack on the Vatican last week, Kenny accused the Holy See of “downplaying the rape and torture of children“. He told the Dáil that the recent Cloyne report “revealed an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry into child sex abuse just three years ago”.